5 Career Tips Black Women Can Use To Win At Work

5 Career Tips Black Women Can Use To Win At Work

Originally Published Mar. 10, 2018.

It’s hard to believe women are still fighting to break the glass ceiling. Pay equity continues to be an ongoing issue, as well as access to leadership roles that are historically held by men. Women can’t stop until they secure career opportunities they deserve with fair and equal pay to go along with it. We, as women, must continue to invest in our personal and professional development as well as share resources to strengthen the women’s movement.

Here are five career tips from career advisers that black  women can use to win:

Chandria Harris, Founder, HireCultures

In order to develop your career in the way you would like for it to go, professionals must be able to fully display their strengths, skills, and abilities. Understanding who you are and how you want to impact the world is a journey of self-discovery all professionals must embark upon. Self-discovery and deliberate practice are what makes the most talented professionals great at their craft, which ultimately propels them to higher grounds of success.

Tracy Cooper, Founder, The Résumé Workshop

When writing résumés and applying for job opportunities today, it is important to know who the audience is and how best to reach them by modifying your résumé to fit their job openings using keywords. Résumé audiences are twofold: a non-human called the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in which you submit your résumé and application documents, as well as recruiters and hiring managers. The gateway to reach both audiences is keywords that fit every job opportunity in which you apply. There are two website tools that can help find keywords to use in résumés before applying for job opportunities and they are www.TagCrowd.com and www.WordItOut.com. Happy job hunting!

Jasmine Forts, Founder, Jobbingwithjas

Being both a talent acquisition leader and certified career coach, I sit on both sides of the desk, which helps to demystify the recruitment process. Unfortunately, job seekers do not take the time to build their network as much as they do other items in their job searching toolkit. Yes, you need a winning LinkedIn, compelling résumé, and even cover letter with an employment strategy, but nothing beats meeting people in real life and networking with industry professionals. Technology is trying to do the heavy lifting in ATS to build algorithms and find matches for hiring managers. That still leaves out great candidates and hiring managers know this. So most companies source of hires are employee referrals. Get uncomfortable. Meet new people. Your network truly can be translated into your net worth when looking for a new position. Don’t wait too late to build your network! 

Dorianne St Fleur, Founder, Your Career Girl

The No. 1 reason women don’t get paid the salary they’re worth is because they don’t really know how much they want. It’s not enough to say, “I want a higher salary.” You’ve got to be clear on exactly how much you should be earning. Just as you wouldn’t dream of buying a home without understanding the neighborhood comps, you’ve got to spend time researching the going rate for your role. Leveraging online tools as well as offline research are a great place to start. Once you’ve got that (and accounted for your specific strengths and experience), you’re ready to start the negotiation process.

Minda Harts, Founder, The Weekly Memo

The best career advice I’ve ever received: “closed mouths don’t get fed.” It’s up to us as architects of our career to be clear with our managers about our goals and desire for upward mobility. We can’t afford to be ambivalent about our career path. Don’t assume your manager knows what your goals are and is invested in your success. Make your plans known!