Young Women Entering the Workforce: Showing Your Worth

By: Gloria Martinez, founder of WomenLed 

Gloria Martinez runs WomenLed.org, which aims to celebrate women’s achievements in the workplace. As a college professor turned business owner, she knows all too well the ups and downs women can face when trying to advance their careers. She believes that while women have made advancements toward “shattering the glass ceiling,” there is still much to be done. It is her aim to help increase the number of women-led businesses by educating others about the topic.


As young women enter into the workforce, it is not always enough to be just good at a job. Sexism can create extra hurdles to overcome while trying to advance in male-dominated career paths. Although even subtle gender bias is challenging and unfair, there are ways to prove your worth and show your strengths to earn those top jobs.

Bolster Your Personal Skills

  1. Start by making yourself your personal best. For instance, if you want to be an executive in charge someday, try the simple task of dressing the part. Instead of your usual, casual garb, try assimilating leadership styles. When it comes time for hiring and promotions, bosses will already see you as professional, ambitious, and fitting the part of management due, in part, to your attitude and presence.
  2. Find an organization that you’re passionate about and volunteer in an official capacity. Volunteering can be a rewarding endeavor that opens up the opportunity to meet and network with other professionals. You can also use it on your resume, and gain invaluable experience in the process.
  3. Practice using assertive language. When women apologize at unnecessary times or don’t speak up when they know something, they can appear insecure. Remember, you undermine the hard work you put in when you are not confident and assertive.
  4. Realize that you bring value to your workplace. Don’t be afraid to show off your skills and education! Keep a list of all your successes and achievements to reference in the event that they may lend substance for your resume, cover letter, a promotion or project offer.

Strategies to Use in the Workplace

There are several ways you can gain respect in the workplace. Consider this:

  1. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know everything. It’s better to be open about not knowing something and ask for additional information or resources on the topic.
  2. Mistakes happen at work and it is best to own up to them. Taking responsibility for mistakes and finding ways to fix them are signs of leadership and strength. Be a problem solver, your bosses and peers will grow to respect you.
  3. Look for a mentor who is a leader in your field. Choose someone who is respected and knowledgeable; someone from which you can learn from. Mentors can help you analyze and get past problems you might encounter as well as help promote your skills and assets to peers.
  4. Make yourself knowledgeable about your company and field of work. If you are always extra prepared for meetings with knowledge and solutions to issues, you might get an opportunity to run a project or have influence on an important decision.
  5. Hone in on your negotiating skills. These will be key when it is time to talk about salary and advancement. We sometimes believe that our hard work will be rewarded automatically, but that’s not always the case. Many times you will have to market yourself and confidently ask for what you deserve.

Want more? Check out this article where several New York Times readers shared advice and strategies for young women in the workplace.

It may take some time to prove yourself, but stay positive even when faced with challenges. You will gain experience, wisdom, and respect by doing so. Even in male-dominated professions, the ones that put in the most work with integrity, humility, and gratitude will usually rise to the top. Keep climbing and glass ceilings will shatter.

 

 

 

Email Etiquette: When & How to Use Exclamation Points

By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant

Email etiquette can often make or break your professional presence in the workplace. Most standard guidelines can be found on the Internet or taught in the classroom. However, there are still unwritten rules to uncover. Among the unwritten is when to utilize exclamation points. The exclamation point itself is a powerful force in punctuation and must therefore be used with great caution.

Here’s our guide to mastering exclamation points in the workplace:

1. Go ahead, give opening and closing salutations an energetic tone

Many people will kick off an email with an energetic greeting such as, Good Morning! And, similarly, will close with a, Have a great day! Both of these salutations are common and are minimally distracting to the reader.

2. Show appropriate enthusiasm in response to affirmations or congratulatory statements

There are some points in an email when not using an exclamation point may come off as rude. For example, if a coworker or boss shares exciting news with the team, a Congrats! message comes off as genuine enthusiasm as opposed to, Congrats, which makes it appear as though you aren’t excited about something truly noteworthy.

3. Stray away from double, triple, quadruple (you get the idea) exclamation points

There are no exceptions to this rule. Double exclamation points mean double the trouble. Trust us on this one, just don’t do it.

4. When in doubt, let the other person lead

Just as in the art of conversation, you are expected to match the tone of the person you are speaking with; the same goes in email conversations. Make the effort to match the tone of the email that is being sent your way. For example, if you receive the email message, Thank you for the coffee! An appropriate response would be, You’re welcome!

5. Ration your exclamation points in general

If you’re new to a professional workplace and still trying gage the enthusiasm levels of your colleagues, it’s best to air on the side of caution. ASK Associate Director Leslie Chamberlain suggests following the “once a year rule.” Leslie shared, “When crafting your email, imagine that you are allowed one exclamation point for the entire calendar year. Then ask yourself, is this exclamation that monumentally necessary?”

Emails are tricky, and with the ever-changing social norms it is a daily challenge to keep up with the times. We hope this guide will serve as a staple in your exclamation point usage endeavors. At the end of the day, keep these tips in mind, but remember to trust your instincts. No one knows your workplace better than you.

5 TED Talks to Spark Inspiration During the Job Search

By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant

TED Talks have become the latest trend in the information-sharing sphere. They are a one-stop-shop for inspiration, research ideas and theory application across all disciplines. With that in mind, we set out to find TED Talks to help students through the job search. Take a break from job applications, refresh and watch these moving talks!

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

One of the biggest issues facing young adults in the job search is finding a company whose values align with their own. Simon Sinek shines a light on the age old marketing theory, “It’s not about what or how you’re selling something, it’s about the why.” Watch this ground breaking TED Talk for advice on how to effectively decipher a company’s true motives and values.

Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

Have you ever wondered what makes individuals successful in the face of adversity? The answer is “grit.” Angela Lee Duckworth explores the psychological phenomena of grit, otherwise known as the cornerstone where perseverance meets passion, and applies it to everyday life. This moving TED Talk is a must-see for those who are enthusiastic about articulating their commitment levels and determination to potential employers.

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

When it comes to marketing yourself, it is important to understand why you are who you are. Tony Robbins delivers a poignant TED Talk aimed at helping viewers understand the everyday needs that shape us the most. Robbins sets out to aid viewers in identifying the driving forces in their lives and how to utilize them in the face of hardships. This profound tearjerker reminds us why we exist, and of the immeasurable impact we can make on this world if we are willing to fearlessly pursue our deepest desires.

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

Julian Treasure, a business sound expert, poses the question, “how can we speak powerfully to make change in the world?” In his informational and engaging TED Talk, Treasure defines the seven deadly sins of speaking and discusses the theories that are essential to powerful speech. This TED Talk gives users the lay of the land when it comes to vital speech techniques that are often overlooked. Learn how to get people to listen to you and more importantly how to keep them engaged with Treasure’s tips and tricks.

Susan Colantuono: The career advice you probably didn’t get

Employers are looking at leadership experience now more than ever. However, with the ever-changing climate regarding gender hegemony in the workplace, women are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to leveraging these experiences for future employers. Susan Colantuono shines a light on what steps both men and women need to take to make the workplace a space that encourages equity and inspires leadership that everyone will be talking about.