Much has been said recently relating to the position of women in business and the need for education as a means of unlocking businesswomen’s self belief
None of us know what the future holds in store. What we do know is that whatever the future – change is inevitable. Change is a fact of life and in order to be adequately equipped for change it is essential we develop the necessary skills to deal with such change. The question of course is “how do we prepare for changes in our work environment, how do we predict an unknown future in our work environment and most importantly how should women prepare for the future?
Any woman working for a company that has “developed a culture of learning” and established the importance of the role women play in business is potentially blessed. Such a company will have taken care of the development needs of all employees irrespective of gender. In addition such a company will have developed a learning path or a continuous development programme for women as well as men during the course of their career with them.
However, to remain in demand in the workplace it is essential women in particular continue on a path of personal and professional development. Women need to develop and demonstrate their – Leadership skills, communication skills, inter-personal skills, ability to be innovative and ability to compete with their male counterparts. These are some of the skills sought by employers and are always in demand in the workplace but historically seem to have been in the domain of men only. This is not to say women did not possess such qualities, they certainly did – it is just that many women held them-selves back for some reason.
Many of the learners I train tell me “the company does not offer such programmes for women”. The result is women do nothing to develop these skills. Many sit back waiting for others to train them or feel they are in a “no way forward or no future” situation.
It is time for such women to take control of their own development and future. It is time for such women to do something to become noticed in the workplace. It is time for such women to take an active role in promoting themselves, their abilities and capabilities. It is time for such women to take ownership of their future.
As a woman you should
- Identify the areas you want to improve and choose one or two. Concentrate on these over the next six to twelve months.
- Develop a long and short term self development plan. This plan my include further education and training in order to develop the skills you need to advance in your career.
- Consider your current position and the company you work for. What is it your company does and what are the essential skills required within the company? When you have identified these skills undertake some training to ensure you become multi-skilled.
- Do not jeopardise your future by concentrating only on the skills necessary to do your current job? To me multi-skilling is the way of the future
- Finally I suggest you broaden your horizons by learning as much about the world of business as you can. Only you can do this.
When was the last time your read the business section in the press? What changes have taken place recently in the economy, within your specific profession or within your specific industry?
No one can predict the future but you can stay ahead of your competitors by staying informed and by taking charge of your personal development.