In the wake of women’s month, it is so important to use our platform to always uplift young women so that they can reach their full potential in whichever career path they choose.
As a young black woman, especially as one starting out in her career, the work place can be a challenging space to navigate through. Gender pay gap, sexual harassment and racial discrimination are our biggest issues and play a pivotal role in how fast or slowly we climb up the career ladder.
This constantly leaves us questioning where we fit, add value and what kind of impact we are going to make in our chosen fields.
Keep reading, because below, we have asked 3 young and incredibly talented women to speak to us about the 3 key lessons they have learnt to push past the career challenges of the young black woman.3 young women share the 3 key lessons they have learnt to push past business and career challenges of the young woman. Click To Tweet
Be you. Most of us don’t know how to naturally be ourselves but once you are able to simply show your personality, you become impressionable to your peers.
Be curious, read and ask questions. Not just on your job but on those related to yours. Understand the business’ big picture and where you fall in so you are better able to plan your own path of success.
Get a sponsor or mentor to understand what value you wish to extract from the relationship.“Once you are able to simply show your personality, you become impressionable to your peers.” – Priscilla Menoe Click To Tweet
Lastly, try be sociable. Comes easier to others but people promote and hire those they like. Go to the work drinks, go to the charity event and talk about things that are not work related to understand fully people’s characters and where your personalities get along.
Above all, remember you are magic.
INVEST IN YOURSELF
I think we’re all familiar with the fact that corporate South Africa continues to be largely white and male. The secret is to invest in yourself not only intellectually or professionally but mentally and spiritually.
My experience has taught me that as a young black woman, I have always felt that I needed to be exceptional to be given the same respect as my white, male or white male peers. I have found myself going over and above what was required only to be overlooked.“Be clear about what you need from a business or career. How will it align to your own personal ambitions? Who can support you in your growth?” – Liziwe Ntshweza Click To Tweet
I have come to learn what it is that I bring to the table and ensuring that at every point, at least one person at the table is clear about what that is.
Find allies in the workplace and use them for guidance as well as to off-load because there will be days when you need to vent before you can continue.
More than anything else, build a strong support system outside of the office and take care of yourself. Be deliberate about taking care of yourself and try to enjoy it by celebrating your victories, big and small.
MAINTAIN YOUR CONFIDENCE
In my profession where knowledge is everything, I have learnt that one must never stop working on their emotional intelligence.
I think that’s so important in the workplace. Always be your own biggest fan, and don’t expect others to pat your back. Know that you are enough, know that whatever is thrown at you, you can handle.
Trust yourself, fight for yourself, and never lose sight of who you are.“Know that you are enough, know that whatever is thrown at you, you can handle.” – Thina Zulu Click To Tweet
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