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No matter where a woman is within her career, having clear business resolutions are an important part of her professional development. Whether they’re tangible goals, like striving for a certain position or promotion, or something more abstract like changing the workplace culture, resolutions can act as useful guidance to help measure career success and satisfaction.

Here are some resolutions every woman should consider adding to her list, regardless of her position at a company.

Key Takeaways

  • Having professional resolutions can be useful when helping to measure career success and satisfaction.
  • Make a plan for your next position or promotion.
  • You’re more likely to meet your career goals or business resolutions when you enlist the help of others.

Dream Big and Ask for What You Want

Women professionals, in particular, are hesitant to ask for what they want or even deserve. They have a tendency to want to be liked at work and don’t want to be perceived as being too headstrong or difficult. Too often, women lack the confidence to go for what they really want. While men are not exempt from self doubt, they are more likely to take on challenges.1 2

But sitting silently on the sidelines is a career mistake. Beth Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp, started her banking career as a secretary at First City National Bank of Houston, but she always knew she wanted to rise up in the ranks. According to Forbes, Mooney was persistent in her pursuit to be accepted into a management training program at a bank in Dallas, Texas.3 Despite her initiative, she was rejected from most of the programs. However, she refused to give up, and after standing her ground in one manager’s office for three hours, she finally secured a coveted position in the bank’s management training program. "Don’t hold back," Mooney said, "I never said ‘no’ to a challenge."4

Women should take risks, be bold in asking for what they want, and be confident that they can achieve it.

Be the CEO of Your Own Career

As a woman in business, you shouldn’t wait for permission to go after that pay raise, big promotion, or coveted leadership position. Women are responsible for creating their own opportunities and career paths, and waiting for others to offer up opportunities isn’t a likely thing to happen.5

Professional success depends on taking control of your own career and being the CEO. As a CEO, women need to get comfortable with making decisions, consider both near-term and long-term goals and consequences, and develop the resilience to overcome obstacles and resolve conflicts that come along the way. It also means knowing how to say "no" or "not now" when you are feeling overwhelmed or when the opportunity isn’t right.

Keep Learning

Successful business women should always look ahead to the next position on the career ladder and arm themselves with the skills they need to achieve that position. That means being a student of business and contemplating your chosen field from every angle. Whether it’s developing a new skill or staying up to date on industry trends, the ability to keep acquiring knowledge will make you indispensable to a company.

In addition, developing a continuous learning process focused on improving your knowledge and skills will build confidence throughout your career. The ability to learn and adapt in any career environment is a skill that women take with them to another job, industry, or location.

Support Other Women

When women help each other, it raises the bar for everyone’s success. A recent experiment found that 89% of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women they admire, and 77% chose bigger goals in the aspects of life they saw as most important.6

Along those lines, seek out (and provide) mentorships; mentors can be an important feedback mechanism in any woman’s career. They can provide insight and advice and hold up a mirror so you can better see your professional strengths and weaknesses in terms of managing your career. Successful business women can return the favor by seeking out promising individuals and providing them with guidance from their hard-won experiences.

Ways to Measure Goals And Progress

To achieve any goal, but especially a professional or business resolution, it’s important to make a plan. Write down the specific steps you need to take to meet your goals. Is it signing up for a training course? Seeking out networking opportunities? Getting coffee with a potential mentor?

Set a deadline for each step. It can be a daily or weekly to-do list with monthly or even quarterly calendar reminders to check-in and see how things are going.

One other powerful option: have a goal partner. People are 65% more likely to meet a goal after talking about it to another person, and 95% are more likely when they check in with that goal partner on a regular basis.7

Finally, recognize and reward yourself when you meet the deadlines and accomplish a goal. Finished that training class? Get a nice frame for your certificate or splurge on a nice dinner. Actually made it to two networking events last month? De-stress with a massage or a spin class.

Steps to Consider

  • Set short-term and long-term professional goals.
  • Expand your network and seek out mentors.
  • Hold yourself accountable for progress on your goals.
  • Recognize and reward yourself for meeting career goals.

The Support You Need

For more Key4Women resources to help you reach your goals, visit key.com/women or email us to learn more.

Would you like to weigh in on future topics? Please take our survey.

2

Key4Women. "Combating Stereotypes That Come With Being A Woman Leader." https://www.key.com/businesses-institutions/business-expertise/articles/combating-stereotypes.jsp.

3

Forbes. "Top 10 career lessons from powerful women." https://www.forbes.com/pictures/efhg45hhem/set-career-goals/#7a70a11f5ab5.

4

Fortune. "KeyCorp CEO: Say yes to both challenges and opportunities." January 10, 2018. http://fortune.com/2018/01/10/keycorp-ceo-beth-mooney/.

5

Women Worth Watching. http://www.womenworthwatching.com/beth-mooney/.

6

Cision PR Newswire. "Social experiment shows that women understate life goals without support from other women." May 22, 2018. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/women-help-women-reach-for-more-in-life-300651327.html.

7

Entrepreneur. "An accountability partner makes you vastly more likely to success." March 20, 2018. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310062.

The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed to be reliable, but it is not represented to be accurate, complete or objective.

This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.

KeyBank may have current positions or strategies that may be inconsistent with any views expressed herein.

Key.com is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp.

KeyBank is Member FDIC.