17 real women share what it takes to land the job, grow your paycheck, and get ahead in your career

business woman career advice

  • For International Women’s Day, Business Insider asked regular women for their best career advice.
  • Women across different industries and levels contributed.
  • Responses ranged from the practical (don’t work for free) to the psychological (you deserve your job).

Everyone wants advice from the most successful businesswomen out there: Sheryl Sandberg. Indra Nooyi. Meg Whitman.

But anyone would be smart to take advice from a little closer to home, too: your boss, your coworkers, your professional connections. No matter the level, industry, or location, we can all learn something from each other.

Business Insider surveyed women across various industries about their advice for others. Responses ranged from advice on knowing your worth to effectively communicating your vision to a team. For example:

  • Remember that getting your job wasn’t a fluke. You deserve to be there.
  • Keep a list of your accomplishments and skills so you can refer back.
  • If you’re dreading a job or project, you aren’t being paid enough.
  • Don’t give up your life for a job.

Below, read 17 different women’s best career advice, lightly edited for clarity:

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Find your advocates, and take a seat at the table

"Find your advocates.

"As women, we often have to work twice as hard for our performance to be recognized. Participating in teams, committees, even if it doesn’t pertain to your role, will help build a network of advocates of varying levels across the organization.

"Always expect your name will come up when you’re not in the room — the more advocates you have, the more people will root for you when opportunities arise.

"And always take a seat at the table. You deserve to be there."

— Jen, 30, New York City
Director of Sales working in Adtech/Media

Don’t work for free

"For new entrepreneurs, do not work for free or undervalue yourself! You are more than capable and qualified.

"Too many times starting out I said ‘yes’ to a low-ball offer or free work for the mere possibility of leads, only to end up spending far too much time on a project that yielded too little compensation.

"I heard a thought one time: ‘If you wake up in the morning dreading working on a project, you asked for too little money,’ and that couldn’t be more true. If you feel valued, the work never feels like a drag.

"As a new entrepreneur (or even more experienced!), lack of confidence is common after the initial excitement wears off. It’s easier to feel confident as an employee because you receive regular feedback on your quality of workmanship. Don’t let fear of failure drive you to accept less than you’re worth."

— Stacey, 28, Austin, Texas
Business Owner: Nutrition Communications & Media


Recognize who is on your team

"When someone is on your team, they are on your team for life.

"I am a big networker, and recently someone I really admire told me he was ‘on my team.’ I took this to mean I did not need to try as hard to impress him — he was already impressed!

"Inevitably in professional relationships and in networking you’ll transition from wanting to impress someone to being their friend, or at least someone they respect and like. Recognize when that transition happens and breathe a sigh of relief! I keep a list of people who are ‘on my team’ and look to them for support and advice, as well as professional advancement."

— Alex, 30, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Associate Attorney

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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