A new book being released on International Women’s Day is all about helping women achieve success by getting their careers in shape.
The author of “Get Your Career in SHAPE: A Five-Step Guide to Achieve the Success You Need, Want, and Deserve” relied on research from conversations with thousands of women to reveal five things women can do to get the career they need, want and deserve.
Candace Steele Flippin, Ph.D. spelled out the five steps in the acronym SHAPE:
Save: Create and nurture a strong financial future.
“You’d be surprised to know that I start with ‘save,'” Flippin explained. “That’s because, in my research, over and over again, women said the reason why they didn’t take risks in their career is because if something happened either they were the primary breadwinner in their family, which we know over 50% of women are, or they didn’t have a savings foundation to take a risk to start something new.
hard work: Gain alignment with your boss on your impact.
“If you can learn how to get aligned with the person evaluating you, you’ll be able to perform well because you know what the measuring stick is.”
Advocate: Stand up for yourself, speak up, and get noticed.
“Find your voice and speak up and speak out and to advocate for themselves,” Flippin said. “I’m not gonna say that it’s easy but you still have to do it because if you suffer in silence, you’re only hurting yourself and you’ll never advance into what you need to do.”
Persevere: Keep going, keep trying, and know when it’s time to leave.
“There are going to be ups and downs. That’s the reality of life. Sometimes you’re going to be on the upcycle,” Flippin said. “Persevering is really important because it’s going to take you to that next step. And sometimes, women give up too soon when if they had a support network or had a plan in place to move and view their career, they might end up on the other side even better.”
Educate yourself: Continually advance your knowledge base and improve upon your skillsets.
“When I was having conversations with women, I’d ask if you could go back to your younger self, what advice would you give yourself? And so many of them said, I wish I’d stayed in school or I wish I’ I’d gotten that Master’s degree or I wish I’d gotten that training,” Flippin said. “They didn’t go for the promotion or the opportunity a lot of times because they didn’t feel ready.”
Flippin is a research fellow at Case Western Reserve University, where she researches the multigenerational workplace and enhances the leadership development of women.
It was personal observations that led her to further her education and ultimately write “Generation Z in the Workplace” and “Millennials in the Workplace” — guides to bridge generation gaps in communications, leadership and team building. And, now she wants to help women get their careers in shape.
“I know firsthand what it’s like for women who work really hard to get the careers they want. I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had amazing mentors and sponsors but alongside me on my career journey, I had many relatives and friends and coworkers who have struggled to get the careers they want. So, I went back to school to study what it will take for women to move along in their careers.”
Also known as “Dr. Candace,” Steele is recognized as one of the most influential Black executives in corporate America by Savoy Magazine. She is a global communications expert, multigenerational workplace scholar, TEDx speaker and bestselling author.