Now, where have you heard that before? I’ll tell you…Working 9 to 5… a Dolly Parton classic and one of the greatest motivational theme songs that would get anyone fired up to start their day full of optimism.
It’s good to be ambitious. To have ambition means to have direction--to know where you want to go and what you want to achieve. And that’s not a bad thing at all. The thing is, the word “ambitious” can sometimes have a negative connotation. It’s because it’s usually associated with being aggressive and pushy, especially if you're an ambitious woman, but that’s not really the case at all. Well, the word can have a range of definitions and levels when we apply it to practical contexts but if we refer simply to its most basic dictionary definition, it simply means having a strong determination to succeed. Not a bad thing, right?
To have determination in achieving a goal takes a lot of willpower and effort. What’s difficult however, in being ambitious, is demonstrating it. While it might be easy to talk about it, how do you translate it into action? How do you walk the talk?
Walking the talk
Having the desire to move forward is having the ambition to succeed in whatever path you have carved for yourself. In the context of the workplace, having ambition can help you propel yourself toward new career heights. Also, employers like employees who are goal-oriented and forward-thinking because these are the qualities that lead organizations to better productivity and success. So, how do you demonstrate such a mindset?
It’s good to focus on both small and big--the details and the big picture. Through this, you’ll be able to have an expansive perspective which is ideal in the workplace especially in terms of decision making and problem solving. With being ambitious also comes learning how to take initiative. You should know when to take the lead without being asked, for the benefit of everyone in the company. With this, you’ll be seen as someone who is always actively looking out for the organization and its members.
These things are just a few of the ways that can help you understand what it means to genuinely exemplify ambition in the workplace. Throughout all these, you should also keep in mind that you are constantly learning. In order to further thrive in the workplace, take every experience as a lesson that you can use to improve upon yourself.
Being ambitious is empowering
As a woman, to be ambitious can be your way of being empowered in whatever you want to achieve especially in your career. Some women in the workplace are afraid of being identified as ambitious simply because they don’t want to come off as being antagonistic. Usually, when you’re a woman in the workplace, you’re told to be more self-effacing than men, that being ambitious is a trait that is more proper to associate with men--a double standard that impedes women from actually reaching their full potential in the workplace. This implies the idea that women can have ambition, but not too much. And this is the thinking that you need to shy away from.
Ambition is aligned with confidence. When you articulate your ambitions, you are showcasing confidence and recognizing the hurdles you must overcome in order to achieve them. This is something that can be very empowering for you because it leads you to fully realizing your goals. As you aspire to be a leader in the workplace, address the double standard--criticize it as needed and help find ways to put an end to it.
You shouldn’t be afraid of being ambitious just because you’re a woman trying to find her place and make her way in the workplace. In embracing your ambition, you are also taking part in changing the narrative that is rooted gender biases that deem being ambitious bad when its women leading the workplace we’re talking about. Find empowerment by acknowledging your ambitions and do not be afraid to tell everyone else about them. Through this, you can also be a role model, letting other women follow suit.
Lack of confidence can impede us from achieving our goals
For many women, their confidence to speak up and showcase their skills and achievements have been dented by an environment that constantly reinforces that somehow, they aren't good enough. Leading them to lose self-belief, talk down their achievements and not strive for that promotion or in some cases, even ask for that pay raise. That's why a cup of ambition should also come with a cup of confidence as both reinforce each other.
Be ambitious and seize your goals!
It’s truly time to pour yourself a cup of ambition. If you want to thrive in your chosen career, then it’s now or never. Don’t let yourself be caught up in what ifs and learn how to take risks so that you can be well on the way in seizing your goals and opportunities that can help you grow even further. Always remember that ambition, despite the biases attached to it, will never be a bad thing especially if it’s the thing that leads you toward success.
Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing. By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career. The world is your oyster, and it starts with you.
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About half the sky
half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women connecting you to career opportunities at companies that care. Providing you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the rapidly changing workplace.