We asked you what advice would you pass on to the next generation of working women?

Lisa Sargent – I’d tell the next generation to never stop learning, keep up with new technology, be open minded because change is inevitable and remember to spend quality time unwinding with family and friends.

Kimberly A. Callahan – Professionals need to learn how to set boundaries and manage their time. Women in particular tend to be “people‑pleasers” thus find themselves trying to be everything to everyone. It’s impossible. Nor can you be effective trying.

Kim Hill – While your position may be “business casual” always look professional. Be careful of showing too much skin (especially for you tattooed ladies) and do not wear too much makeup (i.e., over the top false eyelashes) or you will find you are being passed over instead of promoted.

Gala DeJong – Make sure that you have balance in your life. Life is not only about work, it is also about family, friends and community.

Sanne den Hartog – Stay honest to yourself and never give in to something you don’t agree completely

Amparo Cambronero – Respect, respect and respect. Once we have not to fight to be considered as a man, just only another person, we will be able to say all human being have the same rights. Thus, education is of paramount importance. It is the tool we have to life in a fairer world.

Mary Miraglia – Never learn to type and negotiate everything.

Cecilia Louie – Never give up!

Donna Gilliland – Seek to help others first. Use your emotional intelligence ‑ optimism, productivity, self‑esteem, motivation, empathy for others and good personal interaction skills.

Sadhna Panchoo- I’d encourage women to discover their potential and don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish!

Nancy Forbes – A mentor is a great addition to your tool kit. ‑Mine has helped me grow professionally, I have learned a lot from her ‑ and not just work related.

Michela Luoni – I hope that my daughter will know what she is worth. Only with self‑esteem can you earn the respect of the boss and ask what is right in terms of salary, conditions and more demanding activities.

Stephanie Danesie – Know the value of higher education and fit it into your life regardless of your age or circumstances. There are so many paths to choose from once you have a college degree.

Kelly Hero – Make your own financial life no matter what your marital status. A good financial life is your right and your freedom. Then, when unexpected life circumstances occur you are ready to walk forward without the added burden of financial stress. Also, learn to ask for what you want. I am still amazed that people will say “yes” so easily to me in my business when I ask for what I want (shaking inside, of course!). It’s a sad commentary on our society, but at this point women are still afraid to ask for what they want. You go girls!

Linda Morton – Pursue life‑long education and keep your skills current, even if you are a stay‑at‑home Mom. My husband contracted cancer and died within four months of diagnosis, so I went back to school at 50 and finished a B.S. However, then I had to spend one year elevating my MS Office skills to the advanced level. Try to become “the best” at something so you become indispensable. Define all the steps it takes to become an expert at something and methodically begin to advance.

Susan Huynh – Register for LinkedIn early. I advised my high school niece to start a LinkedIn account because her volunteer work is a part of her relevant experience in her career and her resume.

Kathy Vernacchio – Get a college education no matter what. There are so many financial opportunities available for people wanting an education today, don’t think you cannot afford it ‑ talk to your high school counsellor and make it happen.

Julie Blankenship – Flip‑flops with sparkly things are NOT dress sandals. Seriously, I would encourage them to be proud of who they are and hang on to what makes them unique.

Melissa Nourigat – There is always another day to fight the battle for change. Align your self with authentic people who will back you up when the chips are down. No matter what, stay true to yourself, your path and your heart. Maintain your reputation, it is all you have at the end of the day and your life, make it count!

Ceili Rian – There are no longer “safe” industries in terms of stable job employment. Had anyone bothered to voice that opinion when I was young, I would have pursued a “dream career” not one predicted to offer “safety and stability”.

Leslie Harroun – Don’t be discouraged if executives see you as a “his girl Friday” but with less brains. You have to just be good at what you do and find a company where your input is valued and you’re part of the team instead of just “the girl who answers the phone.” I think there are still a lot of old‑school attitudes out there, particularly in companies that have been around for a long time, that women assistants can only fill a very limited role. Just because your boss sees you that way, doesn’t mean you can’t contribute in a meaningful way and if it does, then you need to start looking for work where being an assistant means you are more than the girl who gets the coffee and makes copies.
Also, I think it’s really important not to take chauvinistic attitudes personally. If you show that you’re upset, or get emotional, bad bosses will tend to use that as justification for their attitudes toward women and it will only make the situation worse. I’m not very good at this. I tend to go the righteous indignation route, but I think that if I could tell a younger me anything, it would be that taking the high road IS remaining even‑keeled and objective.

Kathleen Kiltinen‑Frischmann –
Relationships and communities matter both here and in real time. Align yourself with authentic and positive people. Volunteer. Thank others often. Lend a hand to another when you are able to. Learn who you are early in life and surround yourself with good mentors. Have a positive attitude about life, the gifts you have and in anything you do, do the best you can.

Razia Wilson – Keep evolving ‑ train and re‑train to keep your skills up‑to‑date.

Deb Sparks – One thing that was drilled into us back in “Secretarial Training” class in 1975: To make yourself stand out in your career, “Always do a little more than is expected of you.” It’s a great motto and holds true in life situations as well.

Lisa Buck – Do not be afraid to try something new for fear of failing. If you never challenge yourself, you will stagnate and never learn anything. If you do make a mistake, own up to it and vow to never make the same mistake again.

Christina Walters – Don’t let anyone tell you can’t because you are a women. Stay strong, firm and follow your heart. Don’t work too hard, but work hard enough to get you to next level. If you think you know everything, you probably don’t. So learn from those around you and those who are more experienced.

Carol Quantock – We’ve come far in the past half‑century, but not far enough. Women are still not earning equal pay for equal work. My advice is to keep working toward pay equity, always be yourself and keep learning everything you can.

Loretta Tocio – Believe in yourself and be proud of your accomplishments.

Mary Nortey – Aspire to move on to the highest hierarchy in your field of occupation. Please don’t give up on yourself; the sky should be your limit; this will take you places you never dreamed of.

Traci Thompson – Leave your emotions at the door and don’t gossip at work ‑ focus, strong work ethics and confidentiality are imperative for success.

Claudia Patricia Baquero – Learn to be versatile and be able to multi-task while not forgetting job quality, good attitude and professionalism

Andrea Ziomek – Learn to master the priceless skill of being resourceful! The “indispensable” assistant quickly becomes the “go to” person for the entire office. How do we achieve this? We certainly don’t know everything but we know how to get the information through research, networking and by building relationships!

Jaime A Ellis – Don’t ever take for granted the choices you have in your life.

Jessica Marlin – I agree with all of the above and would only add…be a leader! Step out of the “traditional” role and become a true business partner to those you support. Get a seat at the table. Make the company’s goals your goals… become an indispensable part of the process.

Robin Henderson – Choose your career path carefully. Spend some time in a potential role you think you may want to take on, such as part‑time or during breaks from school. Realize it takes hard work, dedication and perseverance to keep you on your path but it can be done. Remember the job duties or responsibilities are just as important as your manager’s personality. If you find a position that you enjoy but dread going in every morning because of your boss, then it’s not the place for you. Move on to something else.

Cynthia Segarra – Learn to wear many hats and with those skills become cross functional in the workplace.

Terri Schulz – Continue your education, both financial and career‑wise to help you retain your own personal identity. Live and love to the fullest, but make sure that you allow the world to know your “imprint” and not one that someone else portrays for you. Remember the words of Helen Reddy… “I am woman ‑ hear me roar!”

Lucy Brazier, OBE is one of the world’s leading authorities on the administrative profession. Author of ‘The Modern-Day Assistant: Build Your Influence and Boost Your Potential’, she is the CEO of Marcham Publishing, a global force synonymous with world- ... (Read More)

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