“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
It’s 2018 and women in every industry still experience gender parity in their chosen fields. However, 2018 also has witnessed great strides forward for women, including coming together to help each other move forward. This was evident in the recent Women in Construction: Building Connections conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
In one room, hundreds of women from across the country – all experiencing the same challenges – expressed their goals, ideas, frustrations, and advice. They spoke about their path in the construction industry and how to be a trailblazer for yourself. Every panel established how women can make a difference in the industry, regardless of gender.
Three pieces of advice stood out and could easily be applied to anyone’s work ethic.
Show Up Powerfully
Be present every day in your role, no matter what. You should always be thinking about how you can better yourself and make an impact. Break through traditional biases by going above and beyond what is expected of you. This might mean working harder than others, but it will pay off in the long run. By forcing yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable, you are growing professionally and making connections that you otherwise might have been missed.
It’s not enough to only show up, you need to mean it. No one is going to believe that you’re serious if you aren’t excited about your ideas. After all,
“Nobody cares until they know you care.”
You’re confident in your ideas, so make yourself heard. Everyone is concerned with their own work. You must connect with coworkers to be recognized and for them to place value in your ideas.
Now that you’re actively present in your role. You must always be thinking about how to achieve your goals. Test your ideas, speak out, and take control of your career. Yes, sometimes you’ll make a misstep but remember that every setback leads to the way forward. Edison found 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb before finally getting it right. Making your unique mark in your career is a long-process and does not happen overnight, but it will happen with the right planning.
These three takeaways from the conference are just a starting point for ideas to grow and further women in their careers, construction or otherwise. All can easily be applied to help propel your career forward. However, if you would like more assistance with forging your career path, check out career focused TedTalks or talk to women like you on sites like Lean In. Each one is designed to assist women in becoming the best version of their professional self.