The “glass ceiling” refers to the roadblock that minorities and women often confront on their path to reach the higher ranks in corporate America. Many minorities working to rise to the top in their workplaces often face a steep, uphill battle with obstacles such as prejudice and inequalities. But with perseverance, a strive for learning, and the ability to accept challenges, there are steps that one can take to not only survive, but to become successful in climbing up the corporate ladder filled with rewards and achievements.
Toot your horn
To go about breaking the glass ceiling, you have to make yourself extremely noticeable and visible, according to the Tracey de Morsella, Managing Producer of the Multicultural Advantage. Become your own marketing expert by learning how to highlight and promote your best talents, skills and accomplishments. Find opportunities to showcase your work and knowledge. With more visibility, you can learn to advertise and “sell” your abilities and talents to the highest bidder in the workplace. Master the art of negotiating by becoming well versed and skilled on how to ask for and get exactly what you want.
“Do not sit passively waiting to be noticed, or for opportunities to drop in your lap,” writes Morsella. List out what it is you want in a blue print for success, where you want to go with your career. Make a plan for success and follow through. Be proactive in seeking out opportunities for training, assignments and serving on committees.
Get rid of the attitude that you can “go at it alone”. Reaching to the top can be hard enough, but doing it alone can make it harder than it needs to be. Get to know other people in your profession and become involved in professional organizations. Networking is important to not only to make yourself visible, but it may also provide you with advisors outside your organizations that you can rely on. Many jobs are filled from networking. So step away from your desk and initiate a lunch meet-up with others.
Take smart risks
By willingly taking on increased opportunities, difficult challenges and risks, you can enhance your professional image and prove yourself as a hard worker. But know your limits and be aware of foolish risks. Play it safe and calculate the pros and cons of the risk to decide whether you have more to gain or lose. You don’t want to accept difficult projects to later find out in the middle of working that you are in over your head. Successful people are aware of their boundaries and are not afraid to say no, knowing that it will pay off in the long run. Know what your limits are to what you can take on and learn to politely decline some things.
Learn from those before you
Reach out and learn from those who are where you want to be. Morsella writes that most successful minorities have reported that their performance was required to be beyond what is normally expected. Because of that, it’s important to constantly work to improve yourself in your position and exceed previous levels of performance. Study and emulate the success secrets and strategies from those that have come before you. When you have those down, you can learn to benefit from their experiences and achievements to create your own road to success.