Stop me if this sounds familiar, okay?
Your job is not what you thought you’d be doing when you graduated college. You sort of fell into it, then stuck with it for 2 years … 5 years … 10 years …
And oh gosh, do you feel it. Achy, mad, exhausted, ignored, taken advantage of. Some days are better than others.
Especially when you found out the younger guy in your department is making more than you, and he only graduated 3 years ago! What the hell?
You don’t even remember what you wanted to do when you were 22. Something meaningful and fun, but it’s hard to remember. College was a long time ago. Monday mornings hurt. You live for the weekends.
But any time you talk about finding something better, you’re not sure where to start looking. You feel overwhelmed. Mom says, “You should be grateful you have a stable job …”
Or your girlfriends tell you, “You can’t have it all! You already have it pretty good! Why do you want more?” or “All jobs suck, just be happy you have health insurance!”
Imagine this reality instead:
A great job. Respect. A salary that covers your student loans AND lets you eat out on weekends. Meaningful work. Being on a first name basis with your boss’ boss. Even a schedule that lets you work from home on Fridays so you can catch an early movie with your boyfriend.
Imagine waking up before your alarm clock on Monday mornings, calm and rested, and going to a job where the day flies by.
Now, why don’t you have that already?
Is it because you’re not smart? You went to college. You know you’re smart, even though you don’t like to show off.
In fact, more women than ever before are getting degrees. We outnumber men! But we’re still left behind when it comes to our pick of the best jobs, the best salaries, and the best choices.
Some of that has to do with sexism. Old systems are hard to change, and change takes time.
But a lot of it also has to do with how we approach our careers.
All career advice is not equal. So why are we still using advice for men?
Men are often much more systematic in their job search. They figure out what they need to do, who they have to talk to, and they do it. It’s usually a more logical process.
They’re also more comfortable asking for what they want. They’ve been raised to do that since they were kids! They’ve even been praised for it!
But what about us?
For women, a job search can be agony. All our issues come up. We don’t know how to discuss our accomplishments. Did we really make a big difference at our last job? Won’t we sound arrogant? We don’t even know where to start looking.
And don’t get us started on negotiation. Won’t people think we’re greedy if we try to negotiate? What if they laugh us out of their office?
There’s not a lot of career advice out there created for women, to be honest. A lot of the advice you see is geared for men: be friendly but aggressive, yadda yadda …
You can find career advice for us in those women’s magazines you see at the grocery store checkout, but their advice is often cringingly bad:
“5 ways to be more confident at work!”
“Have ambition!” (WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??? What exactly do we have to do? What do we say? How do we dress? Who do we talk to? Give us a plan!)
Those advice columns also never address the fears & beliefs that affect women job seekers far more than men. Here are 3 of the most common ones, and why they’re wrong.
Myth #1: “If I just work hard, I’ll be recognized.”
Many women say this, only to see job offers, promotions and raises go to other people. Even young kids fresh out of school.
You know why we still believe this myth? Because this worked when we were students. If you worked hard, you got the A+. Nothing to it.
Unfortunately, when we left school, the rules to the game of success changed. You can give a whole classroom an A+, but there are only so many jobs, titles and money to pass around a company.
When we entered the workforce, nobody told us about things like career planning. Or how to network without sounding sleazy. Or how to stand out of a crowd of people 15 years older than us.
So don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to do these things. Nobody ever taught you!
Myth #2: “I can’t talk about my accomplishments!
People will think I’m arrogant/bitchy/uppity/stuck up!”
Here’s the truth: hiring managers want to hear what you’ve done. They are desperate for top performers.
I should know — I used to work with hiring managers all the time when I was a recruiter. If you hide your brilliance from me, I can’t tell the hiring manager you are the person they should hire.
Being proud of your accomplishments absolutely does not make you sound arrogant. It makes you sound like a confident woman. And confident women get paid bank, provided you know how to showcase your accomplishments in the right way.
If you don’t know what your accomplishments are, that’s a whole other problem. Women especially have a hard time seeing and communicating the impact they’ve made in their job.
Myth #3: “Asking for what I want makes me look pushy and aggressive. People won’t like me.”
Not if you do it right! ;-)
You know what stinks? Looking back on your life 20 years from now and regretting not pursuing a job that would make you happy, or asking for money you deserved.
That said, there are certain challenges to negotiation for women.
Have you ever noticed women who smile way too much? They do it to be endearing, to be nice, to be liked.
Do it too much in a job interview or salary negotiation, however, and you risk being written off. (Remember the too perky cheerleader in high school? Did you ever take anything she said seriously?)
But if you don’t smile at all, people will think you’re cold. You don’t want that either.
So you should absolutely ask for what you want, but you have to do it in the right way.
And you can do it with my help.
Because this sort of thing requires backup. Because you need a friend and a professional to watch your back, who can offer you a crystal clear plan to getting where you want to go.
My name’s Rose Keating. For the past 3 years, I’ve worked as a career advisor coaching hundreds of MBAs and International Business and Marketing students from over 77 countries.
Before that, I was a recruiter. I was the person who received 200 applications for one job and had to decide who got the call for an interview.
I used to review a minimum of 100 resumes a day and do 4 interviews — each and every day.
What all this means in terms of benefits for my clients is that I know how hiring managers think, I know what it takes for a resume to get a call, and I know how to help you find the best jobs. (Hint: it’s not about applying to jobs online.)
And what I quickly realized was that men and women often approach their careers completely differently.
Men often focused on results. The process for them tended to be more tactical and straightforward.
For women, the process could get a little more complex. They often doubted themselves and got anxious about making the wrong decision. They were often aiming to balance professional goals with personal goals like starting a family. They sometimes got so overwhelmed with all their options that they gave up!
I felt deeply pulled to help women get everything they deserve in the workplace and to help them own their genius, so I began designing world class career coaching services for women.
Before you read further, I want to share with you my BIGGEST career mistake.
It’s kind of embarrassing, but here goes.
Once upon a time, I was given a prestigious offer at a creative design firm. It was for a Project Manager role, and I was thrilled. I’d landed the job even though I didn’t think I had impressive credentials at the time.
And you know what happened?
I completely blew it!
A friend gave me advice for how to negotiate the compensation package. I’m sure she meant well, but the results were disastrous. The company actually rescinded the offer and told me, “It’s now how much you asked for, but the WAY you asked that turned us off.”
That blew me away. They would have been willing to pay me, if only I’d better understood the rules of how to ask!
This incident made me realize 2 things:
Women often don’t understand the nuances of the job search process
Women need better career advice
This is when I started to study salary negotiation on a deep level. I’d always been fascinated by human behavior, but now I began looking at how psychology applied to the job process.
I take my clients’ success seriously because I know what they’re going through. I’ve been there myself, on both sides of the hiring desk.
Curious how I can help you?
These are the services I offer:
Job Search Strategy
I’ve developed a 7-step process to help you land your dream job, including how to figure out what you really want to do with your life. This has helped my clients jump into entirely new industries and get jobs they thought were out of reach.
Did you know that you have 10 seconds to impress the hiring manager before they decide to keep it or toss it? I help clients ensure that their resume passes the 10-second test every time. I also help clients with LinkedIn profiles, and how to manage their online presence (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) so they look great if an employer googles them.
80% of jobs are obtained through networking. If you are not networking like a mad woman, you are only accessing ⅕ of the available jobs out there (and the best ones are rarely posted on job boards).
How to prepare for interviews, answer tough questions, impress the hiring manager, and stand out from the crowd.
How to know if a salary is fair, and how to counter offer in a way that gets results.
Dress for Success
What to wear depending on the type of interview, company and job you’re going for.
But don’t take my word for it.
Here are some of the results my clients have gotten:
“Rose’s counseling was the very best thing that I did for myself throughout this difficult time and I could not be more pleased with the results. I come away from this experience with a job offer in hand, and a renewed excitement and direction in my career.”
– Kate Sydney
“I received a promotion, my salary almost doubled, I have more vacation time, and I am in a place where I feel appreciated and respected for what I have to offer. Contacting Rose was the best thing I have done for myself in terms of a career move.”
– Amy Shannon
“It was such a relief to find someone who not only believes it’s possible to have a job that you’re excited to show up to — Rose knows how to get you there.”
– Juliet Alla
I only accept a limited number of clients so I can do the best work for each one.
If you’re feeling frustrated, stuck, or need a change, I can help you cut through all the BS and get a dream job you’ll love.
THE OFFICIAL BIO
Rose Keating is a Certified Professional Career Coach who has worked with thousands of individuals in career planning and job search strategy. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University focusing on Organizational Behavior. Rose worked as a Staffing Consultant and Recruiter for Beacon Hill Staffing Group in Boston, MA after college where she learned what hiring managers look for and how they make decisions. After a stint working in the pharmaceutical industry as a Project Manager, she joined Hult International Business School as a Career Services Manager where she helps MBA and Masters of International Business and Marketing students from over 77 countries find their dream job in the United States and across the world. She is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches and has been published in BostInno.