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职场妈妈如何成为公司高管?

Tracy Brady 2014年11月28日

女性通往高层的道路与男性截然不同,更遑论已经成为妈妈的职场女性。本文作者,Hill Holliday广告公司副总裁特雷西•布雷迪认为,职场妈妈要打破晋升天花板,成为公司高管,重要的是保持自信,做真实的自己,选择并留在合适的公司,做好自我管理。

    MPW内部网络是一个邀请最有影响力的商界女性及时解答职业与领导力问题的在线社区。本周,我们的问题是:女性如何进入公司高层?以下是广告公司Hill Holliday机构沟通业务副总裁特雷西•布雷迪的回答。

    我很幸运能在一家由女性领导的公司工作,而且她不是普通的女性。她在广告业打拼三十多年,许多读者可能知道,凯伦•卡普兰从前台接待成为公司董事长兼CEO。她非常聪明,知识渊博,经验丰富,对我们的行业有深入了解,我每天都在向她学习。

    但我认为职场女性(以及男性)有时候会忘了自己可以(并且应该)向公司各级别的所有人学习。学习经验或汲取教训。学习如何提高工作效率,如何更高效。没错,还要学习如何更有政治智慧。更不用说如何在管理中做到有为,还有更重要的是如何做到“无为而治”。女性通往高层的道路与男性截然不同,尤其是对于职场妈妈们而言(她们的情况往往更加复杂)。

    我工作了20多年,有了孩子之后,职业经历了变化,并且搬到了美国的另一边。与许多职场妈妈们一样,在努力工作的同时,我还要应付孩子们的玩耍约会、足球训练、夏令营、暴躁的脾气还有头虱。那时候,我根本没有时间去规划自己的职业发展道路。我还没有进入高层,但在那段时间,我学会了如何让职业保持向上发展,尽管会有一些“并发症”——事实上,有些“并发症”有时候反而会促进职业发展:

    自信是不可取代的

    正如BBC新闻主播、《自信代码》(The Confidence Code)一书的作者凯蒂•凯伊所说,男性与女性的信心差距是真实存在的。自信并不意味着夸夸其谈,吹嘘或故意歪曲自己的能力(虽然这样做有时候确实会获得成功)。自信是指熟悉自己的能力、经验和成就,并抓住每一次合适的机会展示自己。如果你正在要求升职,坦诚解释自己为什么应该得到升职。设想可能遇到的阻力——在进行谈判之前做好充分准备,用沉着自信的职业方式进行谈判,不要情绪化。

    做真实的自己。

    我的意思是做人要诚实。做真实的自己。不要模仿别人去发展自己或自己的职业。认识到自己的价值,以及自己的局限性和可以改进的地方。你可以对当权者说出自己的真实想法,但要有礼有节,不卑不亢,采用职业的方式,并且只能在合适的时间。

    选择(并留在)适合自己的地方

    这一条借鉴自公司的CEO,因为我对此也深信不疑。我曾在一家公司度过了痛苦的四年,我能从直觉上感觉到我并不适合那里。那是我职业生涯中最漫长的四年,而且他们肯定也不好过。如果一个地方的文化与你自己的价值观和理念相一致,你便更有可能得到发展。当你在工作中感到快乐的时候,你就会变成更优秀的职场女性——乃至更好的母亲、妻子、同事和朋友。

    MPW Insider is one of several online communities where the biggest names in business answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How can women rise to the C-suite? is written by Tracy Brady, VP of Agency Communications for Hill Holliday.

    I am fortunate to work at a company run by a woman, and not just any woman. She’s been a force at our ad agency for over thirty years, and as many of your readers probably know, Karen Kaplan rose from receptionist to Chairman and CEO. As you’d expect, she is bright, savvy, seasoned, and deeply knowledgeable about our business, and I learn from her every day.

    But I think what working women (and men) sometimes forget is that you can (and should) learn from everyone, at every level, at your company. Good lessons and bad. Strategies for being more productive, more efficient and yes, sometimes, more political. Not to mention, how to manage and perhaps even more important, how NOT to manage. Women have a different journey than men when rising to the C-suite and it’s particularly different (and arguably more complicated) if they are raising children.

    I’ve been working for over 20 years, and my career shifted when I had children and moved across the country. Like all working mothers, at any given moment I juggle playdates, soccer practice, summer camp, tantrums, and yes, head lice, along with work responsibilities. I don’t have much time to plot out my career path these days. I’m not in the C-suite yet, but there are a few things I’ve learned about how to keep my career climbing, sort of, despite – indeed sometimes because of – complications:

    There is no substitute for confidence

    As argued by Katty Kay, BBC News anchor and co-author of The Confidence Code, the confidence gap between men and women is real. Confidence does not mean bragging, being a blowhard or deliberately misrepresenting your abilities (although we’ve all seen that work too). It means being intimately familiar with your talents, experience and accomplishments, and seizing every appropriate opportunity to showcase them. If you are negotiating for a promotion, be comfortable talking about how you’ve earned it. Anticipate pushback – and go into the meeting prepared, with a calm, confident, and professional approach removed from emotion.

    Be authentic

    And by that I mean be honest. Be true to yourself. Don’t model yourself or your career based on anyone else. Recognize your value, but also your limitations and where you can improve. You can speak truth to power, but do it respectfully and professionally, with humility and grace and only when appropriate.

    Go (and stay) where you are celebrated

    I’m borrowing this one from our CEO because I believe it deeply. I once spent four miserable years at a company where I intuitively knew the fit wasn’t right. They were the longest four years of my career, and I’m sure it was no picnic for them either. When the culture of a place aligns with your own values and ideas, you are much more likely to thrive. And when you’re happy at work, you’re a better worker – not to mention a better mother, wife, colleague and friend.

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