A new book released on International Women’s Day aims to help women succeed by getting their careers in shape.
The author of “Get Your Career in SHAPE: A Five-Step Guide to Achieve the Success You Need, Want, and Deserve” drew on research from conversations with thousands of women to reveal five things women can do to get the career they need, want and deserve.
Candace Steele Flippin, Ph.D. spelled out the five steps in the acronym SHAPE:
To safeguard: Create and nurture a strong financial future.
“You’d be surprised to know that I start with ‘save,'” Flippin explained. “That’s because, in my research, time and time again, women said the reason they didn’t take risks in their careers was that if something happened, they were either the primary breadwinner for their family, which we know over 50% of women are, or they didn’t have a savings base to take a risk to start something new, so they didn’t raise their hands to try.
Hard work: Align with your boss on your impact.
“If you can learn to align yourself with the person who is evaluating you, you will be able to perform well because you know what the measuring stick is.”
Attorney: Defend yourself, speak up and get noticed.
“Find your voice and speak up, speak out and stand up for yourself,” Flippin said. “I’m not going to say it’s easy but you have to do it anyway because if you suffer in silence you are only hurting yourself and you will never move forward in what you need to do.”
Persevere: Keep going, keep trying and know when it’s time to go.
“There are going to be ups and downs. That’s the fact of life. Sometimes you’re going to be on the upper cycle,” Flippin said. “Perseverance is really important because it will take you to the next step. And sometimes women give up too soon when if they had a support network or had a plan in place to move and consider their career, they could end up on the the other side even better.”
Educate: Continuously advance your knowledge base and improve your skills.
“When I had conversations with women I would ask you if you could make yourself younger again, what advice would you give? I got that masters degree or I wish I had that training,” Flippin said. “They didn’t seek the promotion or the opportunity often because they didn’t feel ready.”
Flippin is a researcher at Case Western Reserve University, where she studies the multigenerational workplace and improves women’s leadership development.
It was personal observations that led her to further her education and write “Gen Z in the Workplace” and “Gen Y in the Workplace” – guides to bridging the generation gaps in communication, leadership and team building. And, now, she wants to help women get their careers in shape.
“I know firsthand what it’s like for women to work really hard to get the career they want. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had amazing mentors and sponsors, but by my side throughout my career i have had many relatives and friends and colleagues who have struggled to get the careers they want so i went back to school to study what it would take for women to advance in their careers.
Also known as “Dr. Candace”, Steele is recognized as one of the most influential black executives in American business by Savoy Magazine. She is a global communications expert, multi-generational workplace researcher, TEDx speaker, and best-selling author.