Women professionals : Strike Work Life Balance and achieve Personal and Professional growth.
Have you ever wondered how can women strike work life balance and achieve personal and professional growth ?
What can women do for their professional advancement ?
This article aims at exploring these two aspects that most women professionals seek in their lives.
Major reasons for less women in senior roles
In the current age of digital technology, Women have better access to higher education and greater possibilities to pursue highly skilled career opportunities. However, women advance less in their professional careers compared to men over a period of time and this is particularly highlighted by the fact that we have underrepresented women in most senior level positions.
There are various reasons for this stunted professional growth for women. One of the major reasons could be attributed to women having more life goals compared to men. Another reason could be that most women have higher preferences to pursue relationships, marriage and family and they perceive power as less desirable and do not take advantages of taking opportunities for professional advancement.
Other factors that slowdown professional advancement for women
In addition to the above mentioned reasons, I also consider that core life values, belief system, future goals and the influence of various external factors have profound effect on the professional advancement of women. The more ambitious and career oriented the women become, the more challenges they have to overcome on personal aspects of life. Success and happiness in a woman’s life greatly depend on how she can strike the right work life balance in overcoming these challenges and focus on personal and professional growth.
I will briefly touch on these factors to understand how they can be considered for improving the professional advancement of women.
Areas that women professionals can reflect on to boost their professional advancement:
Core Life Values :
Most women generally favour a communal and more holistic view of life. They are motivated by affiliation and hence allocate more time and attention in pursuing things that are not power related. As a result, women view a high-level position as less desirable, even if it seems equally attainable. However, we can find successful women in leadership roles who are highly ambitious, career oriented and motivated by power. So why are some women successful but not others?
A struggle to progress in career could be an indication of an inner conflict in core values when seeking power at workplace to seek career advancement. Awareness of these core values in life and aligning them with the personal and professional growth can significantly help women overcome the professional advancement challenges.
Belief System :
Most women tend to believe that they have to make sacrifices or difficult tradeoffs in their personal lives to make advancements in their professional lives. They also perceive time constraints and goal conflicts as two major negative outcomes of advancing in career. This belief system often limits their growth and leads them to settle down for less even when they are capable of achieving more.
Women can overcome this yet another challenge of their professional growth by shifting their mindset towards enjoying the positive outcomes (e.g., opportunity, satisfaction) rather than focussing on the negative outcomes of career advancement.
Future Goals :
Compared to men, women have more life goals that make achieving high-power positions at work seem less desirable (but equally attainable). This partly contributes to women not assuming high-level positions in organisations as they desire other things as well.
With aligned core values and empowered belief system, women can aspire for higher leadership roles at workplace. Women can set their future goals specific to career advancement that can be measurable, achievable , relevant and time bound using the prevalent SMART goal system.
External Influences :
In various parts of the world, most women face gender discrimination and they learn preferences from family, friends, community influencing them in their decision making process. Understanding and differentiating between the negative and positive influences in their lives can offer breakthrough moments of realising their true potential.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Women can take this advice for their own benefit and advance further in life by surrounding themselves with inspiring role models and teaming up with empowering people who can uplift them in the right direction of success.
We are all unique and our success and happiness is a definition that we give to ourselves rather than something that is defined or imposed by others. Pursuing personal and professional growth and achieving the work-life balance we desire is a conscious choice that we have to make for oursleves. Through proper career planning and with due consideration to the handful of factors mentioned in this article, women can strive and thrive towards professional advancement without compromising on their other life goals.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I would appreciate your thoughts and comments if this article resonates with you.