You are successful in a middle-management position, but it seems you are at a dead end. Although your performance history is stellar, and you are considered for lateral transfers, you are simply no longer advancing into high-level or senior positions within your company. You’ve reached the proverbial glass ceiling, a phenomenon that is common to women in professional positions. We have listed below suggestions to help you shatter that glass ceiling which is impeding your move up the ladder:
- Focus on body language. If you want to move into a position of authority, you have to reflect confidence. For example, women tend to nod and tilt their heads when other persons speak to them. However, this can connote submissiveness. Concentrate on keeping your eye contact direct and your gaze steady, when you are in a meeting.
- Consider the manner in which you convey your words. Does your voice rise in tone when you are in a tense situation? What about your intonation – if you raise your voice at the end of a sentence, you will appear to be asking a question rather than making a statement. Instead, concentrate on keeping your tone low, slow and steady
- Do your statements become questions with a rise in intonation? If so, this can make you appear nervous.
- How would you describe the style of your decision making? Perhaps, more importantly, how would your colleagues describe the process of your decision making? It is important to possess the relevant information and in particular, to calculate the risks before making a bold decision. However, the ability to make reasoned decisions in a pressure situation is a treasured skill in a senior-level position.
- Network within your occupational sphere, ideally within your own corporate entity and outside, as well. You may learn of opportunities that you didn’t know existed. As well, in addition to your work skills, abilities and experience, many promotions depend upon the ability to “fit in”. It helps, therefore, to have a friend to introduce you to the persons that you need to know, to get ahead and to pave your way with helpful corporate culture hints.
- Be visible – you may be working harder than your colleagues, but if you and/or your achievements are not visible, your hard work will not help you up the ladder. Do what you need to do, to advertise your achievements. For example, take the opportunity when you’re speaking at a meeting to briefly relate the success you achieved on Project A.