As a young person living in the information age, I’m glad I can ignore the norm and choose my life’s path. I like that I can decide to either go into a business or choose paid employment. Really, due to the current economic rat race, young people should dare more instead of being mere spectators. Yes, there’s the need to survive, save some money and launch business ideas but you may just need a new career.

Only a few companies are willing to keep up with the energy and novelty of young people anyway. But this does not in any way mean you can’t make things work for you as a young woman.

Here, you’ll find a couple of ways to make employment work for you, especially if that’s your choice:

Know your stuff

You’re expected to add value and make a certain contribution to whatever industry you’re in. This means you need to read, research and be up to date with trends in the industry. This way, you’ll stand out and have better chances at promotions, raises and maybe even a smart pep talk with senior management.

In the event that the first two benefits never come, don’t give up just yet. Keep furnishing yourself with all possible details, attend workshops and push for training.

If it appears that your employer does not see your value, you may need to search elsewhere because another employer will!

Network

This cannot be emphasized enough in today’s job market. A lot of doors are open for folks who never cower in a corner, waiting to be noticed.

You pretty much have to get out there and talk to people. Get linked with industry experts and mentors who can walk you through this journey.

The probability of your success and growth will be a lot higher than if you don’t network. If you’re an introvert, don’t let this define you. You can find unique ways to approach people and network.

Use your voice

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and revolutionary behind the ‘Lean In’ mantra argues that women have taken a back seat for so long at the workplace. This is so because we are not leaning in to ask for what we deserve as much as men do. Women tend to do a lot of the work then sit at the table waiting for an applause.

Hey, great things don’t come to people who sit back. You’ve got to make demands on your success. Have you seen a man’s reaction when he’s accomplished a project, no matter how small? He walks right into the boss’ office and asks for a bonus/raise/promotion. Girls, it’s about time we did just that!

It doesn’t matter if you’re labelled pushy, use your voice to get want you want. And hey, the worst you can get is a ‘no’, right? That never killed anyone, you know.

Develop other skills outside your mainstay

If you’re a marketer, try cultivating some design skills. If you’re an accountant, blend that with finance. If you’re in the hospitality industry, get into a language school.

Find skills that complement your core profession. These seemingly little things make you unique in the workplace and help your career advancement.

Never stop learning, and this is an ode to the power of the internet! You could learn a so much from the comfort of your home. Self-teaching is the new thing. And who knows, you could even start a business from that. Opening your mental horizons is one of the best things you can do to yourself especially when you’re young.

Have fun

I know this sounds crazy when your mind is mulling over how soon you want to switch jobs or leave full-time employment. But guess what, you need to grow where you’re planted and take in some sunshine while at it.

Organize your desk, do fun stuff with your colleagues, kick start an employee initiative…try out things that punch monotony and her friend boredom.

You could start by being grateful that you have a source of income, then get bold at realising happy and cheerful moments. This kind of positive energy is what you’ll need to be productive. Don’t sit with the whiners, you’ll be one of them before you know it.

Good luck and be well. I believe you’ll make it. And remember, shoot for the stars!

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