The reality today is that even as women are making incredible achievements they’re still battling the stereotypical role of traditional wife and mother. Mom’s expected at home to make dinner and read bedtime stories, but the boss wants that report finished now. Does she disappoint her family and stay late, or tick off the boss and derail her career?
Yes, women can do anything—but they should NOT do everything. To have a career and a happy family life, a woman must learn to prioritize and delegate. She needs to set her own objectives, stop being a commitment queen and shed the guilt.
Here’s the skinny on getting the fat salaries without relinquishing the family snuggles:
1. What your boss really wants is a personal clone as to work ethic and loyalty to the company. Model your boss. Know what your boss needs and wants and deliver it.
2. Most people tend to socialize with coworkers at their same level while considering top executives unapproachable or even the enemy. The real secret to advancement is to spend time with coworkers at all levels, especially the one who decides your next pay raise.
3. Become indispensable. Don’t be a replaceable commodity by shrinking into your chair. Get in the middle of everything and show what you’re worth.
4. When your accomplishments merit a pay raise, ask for it. Do your salary research, then request more money than you expect. Allow for negotiating. But never dangle other offers. That’s blackmail.
5. Learn the power and freedom of “no. " You may have to decline chairing the next school fundraiser or hosting your husband’s law firm clients after their golf game. Reserve “yes" for your personal priorities and when saying it won’t upset the balance of your career and family expectations.
6. Delegate, delegate, delegate. It’s okay to say “I can’t handle all the laundry, all the housework and all the carpool. Your husband and kids will have to chip in and help. Start small and slowly increase their responsibilities. Offer loads of praise and encouragement as you train them to help out.
7. Draw your family in on your dilemma. List the family’s joint responsibilities and the ways they might be handled—owning a particular chore, taking turns, pitching in as a team—then say “I love you all and I love my career. We’re in this together and if we each carry a little weight, no one gets overburdened. " Everyone will benefit—and your kids will have a much happier mom.
So Mom, wake up and smell the money! By following these simple steps you’ll finally have the confidence to get the pay raise you deserve and the happy home life you crave.
Inc. Top 10 Entrepreneur, Vickie L. Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD is the founder and president of Vickie Milazzo Institute, a legal nurse consultant training and certification company. She is the author of Inside Every Woman: Using the 10 Strengths You Didn’t Know You Had to Get the Career and Life You Want Now , 2006.