Pursuit: Be the expert, what do you think about these “rules?”

A few weeks ago I discussed what sort of career advice is out there for young woman and shared one of my favorites (See: Pursuit: 5 Awesome Pieces of Advice).


Today I want to look at what sort of “big-box” advice is out there for women. And see how we can apply it to a young woman’s budding career! I was recently linked to “Nine Rules Women Must Follow to Get Ahead”. In a nutshell the article offers the following advice:

1. Work Hard

2. Do work no one else wants to do

3. Cultivate the people in charge

4. Know what you want and go for it

5. Promote yourself legitimately

6. Network with your peers

7. Make your own career

8. Leave to get ahead

9. Dress well and play golf

A few of these are givens, (namely, (1) work hard, (5) promote yourself legitimately, one that doesn’t apply to lady-students (8) leave to get ahead, and I’ve written about how cultivating strong rhetoric can help you (4) get what you want.  See: Pursuit: You Can’t Ignore This)

  Let’s dive in to the remaining 5

    1. Do work no one else wants to do: I like this piece of advice a lot! You’ve probably been in one or more of the following situations: no one wants to volunteer for a particular task, no one is asking  questions in conference, or no one is willing to pick up the slack in a group project. In these situations we often feel one of two things. A) “Well no one else wants to so why should I?” or B) “No body else is volunteering – so there must be something wrong/hard/challenging about this task!” Ultimately though, it’s those people that step up in these situations that are noticed. Just know, when you do work that no one else wants to do, ask for the credit you deserve (again, see: Pursuit: You Can’t Ignore This)
    2. Cultivate the people in charge: Find mentors! Finding someone to champion you throughout university is an excellent way to get perspective about the big picture. If you feel stuck trying to find mentors read about impressive ladies (see: Pursuit: Impressive Lady Profile 101 )
    3. Network with your peers: The word “networking sounded SO phony to me. At first it felt like forcing a connection or selling yourself. Eventually though, I realized that looking at networking as something “forceful” is wrong. In life and in your career the first step to a “connection” should never be preceded with the thought to “get something” from someone. Never. Build friendships before ever ‘wanting’ anything.  You should feel comfortable being generous in these relationships.
    4. Make your own career:  I love love love this piece of advice. The W.S.J writes “If a position you want doesn’t exist, create it.” I think for this one you need a healthy dose of being okay with risks (see: Pursuit: What I Wish I knew When I was ___ ). And identifying gaps and opportunities (see: Pursuit: Why We Don’t See Women in Engineering (and what you can do about it)
    5. Dress well and Play golf: Dressing well is perhaps a given. Opt for more “statuesque, rather than sexy“. If you already play golf – all the power to you. But ladies there’s a lot going on the golf course (at least that’s what I hear!) so find a buddy and go learn.


What do you think about these “rules?”

Divya Pahwa writes about young-lady career advice on the weekly series Pursuit, here on the  McGill Caps Blog.

photo from: IMDb.com

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