Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Career Advice for Working Moms

According to Harvard Business Publishing, 75% of women of child-bearing age (24 to 44) have a job or want one. As a career coach, I help many moms work smarter not harder. Use these simple strategies to keep your career on track while still being a super mom:

1. Keep networking. With all the demands on their time, most moms find they network less and less. By losing touch with your company or your industry you run the risk of missing out on opportunities. Instead, resolve to attend a minimum of 3 networking events a year and choose wisely. High profile events, industry-wide events and company events are great. Don’t forget your child’s games and practices too. Learn what other moms and dads do for a living and share contacts. Your next great career connection might be closer than you think.

2. Advocate for yourself. The fastest climbers up the corporate ladder are not the ones who do the most work. Rather they work strategically, focusing on work that impacts the bottom-line and gets them noticed. Whether you’re VP or mailroom clerk, you have the chance to make a difference. Don’t just do what you’re told. Come up with new ideas and strategies to get work done and save the company money. And let the higher-ups know about it when you catch them in the elevator.

3. Delegate. Getting it done right doesn't always mean doing it yourself. In fact, if you want to get more done in less time you need to delegate effectively. That means finding resources who are qualified, whom you can train to do work for you. Interns are a great option. They are eager to learn and don’t mind doing a lot of different tasks. But always make sure to have the delegatee repeat back the assignment; that way you can avoid any miscommunication and ensure the assignment is done right.

For Moms returning to work, check out my recent video on How to Rejoin the Workforce After a Break from Motherhood.

And if you have a working Mom you'd like to thank, share your comments here. I thank my Mom for showing me how to make a great living doing what you love. You see, she went to medical school after having 3 kids and with the support of my Dad and grandparents, achieved her dream too. Tell me about your Mom and what she taught you about having a great life and career. Happy Mother's Day!

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