Black Career Women’s Network (BCWN) Career Conversations focuses on elevating female African-American professionals to a level of empowerment within their career. The BCWN is comprised of women from entry-level to C Suite who provide and receive career advice from others who have been in their position or offer a different perspective to working.
BCWN Founder and CEO Sherry Sims, led the conversation by challenging black women to evaluate three areas of their career that they desire to give power. Black career women are in control of how they want to fulfill their careers; therefore, it is essential that they choose areas that compel them to strive for the best outcome of their goals.
Viewers left the conversation with five pieces of career advice to consider:
Empowerment: Give official power to. – Webster’s Dictionary
1. Negotiation is key to gaining empowerment for your worth – Black career women should recognize the two best times to negotiate are at the initial offer and at a promotion. Research shows that women are less likely to negotiate their wants and it is important you know the things you value when you have the opportunity to voice them. Whether it is a flexible schedule or work-life balance, it is important to know what you want and how to get it in order to decrease the chance of professional burnout.
“If you stand still, so will your salary.”
2. Track your brand and become noticed for your professional merits – As you progress in your career, keep note of your professional contributions. It is easy to lose sight of your accomplishments as you become involved in your career. Eventually, you can become an expert in your career to deliver value to others who may benefit from your insights. Sherry warns as you advance, be wary that when you reach new levels there will be new devils. Once you reach a level of influence in your career, your value system will be challenged by others. Protect your reputation, work ethic, values and beliefs - your presence will speak for itself.
New levels, new devils.”
3. Market yourself and discover your strengths – Identifying your strengths and weaknesses will help set a precedent for your worth. Using tools like Clifton Strength Finders 2.0 can help you discover your dominant strengths and work in your purpose. You must ultimately know who you are to empower your career. Develop a succinct and catchy 30-second debut to highlight who you are, what you do, and where you want to go. Always find the opportunity to make your brand shine and show why you are an expert in your field or the best candidate for a position.
4. Expand and diversify your network – Join a professional organization, social organization, or LinkedIn group to build a presence within your industry. It is critical to diversify your network; unique insights can provide value on how to advance your career. Be sure to make your connections transform into resources that can help you further along in your journey and always remember to keep yourself open; never shut down the opportunity to look at another employer who may embrace your strengths and empower your career to another level.
5. Never stop being active in your career - Understand that it’s your responsibility to develop yourself – not your employer. Seek certifications, workshops, trainings, education or increased responsibilities to develop a skillset of resilience. By actively seeking progression, you prove to your employer that you are on a continuous path to bettering yourself professionally.
What’s your next career move? Join us monthly on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. EST for a live #CareerConversation on Google Hangout. Missed it? You can view this conversation and others here.