The future is female: how to build a career, not just having a job
Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo’ – You Strike a Woman, you Strike a Rock. This powerful cry has been chanted from as far back as 1956 in the fight against oppression among women in South Africa. Just like a Phoenix rising from the ashes and being reborn, women have been rising from past inequalities with reborn strength and determination to build a successful life and career.
Over the past few years, women have made significant progress in breaking down gender barriers in various traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as property ownership and real estate. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive view of how women can achieve success in various different industries. It’s unbelievable that, just a few decades ago, women weren’t allowed to vote and own property. Despite the slow progress in equality, women are still building strong foundations and making their mark in the property market.
Recently, a panel of female real estate industry leaders discussed the increasing number of women in leadership roles within the industry. They noted that this is a significant step toward making the sector more inclusive. The growing number of women in leadership roles in the property industry is also a contributing factor to the growth of the female population in the sector. As more females enter the workforce, they start earning their own money, and this has fuelled the number of women who are property owners.
Now, you might be thinking, “But isn’t a job and a career one and the same thing?”. While it might be a common belief that having a job is comparable to being in a career, and although they are connected, they aren’t the same. A job is a short-term goal that has limited commitment. A career on the other hand involves a lifetime of commitment to improving one’s skills and experience in a certain industry or field. Having a job will allow you to develop and strengthen a new skill or find new ways to explore your interests as a professional but if you wish to specialise in a certain field or industry, you should consider building a career. Although there are no specific methods to achieving this, you should be intentional about your application as it will provide you with a step closer to your chosen profession and reaching your full career potential. As Cassandra Mnisi beautifully stated, “Your career is part of your becoming, your becoming is part of your legacy. Therefore, be intentional about building your career!”
Now let’s provide you with a few ingredients to create that perfect recipe for a successful career:
- You should do what you’re passionate about and explore your interests. You must also determine what you value most and how comfortable you will be with a particular career path.
- Before you start thinking about your future career path, it’s important that you identify your goals and priorities. This will help you determine if you’re willing to give up some of your time and talents for the sake of a particular field. Having a well-defined career path can help you become who you want to be and fulfil your life’s purpose.
- Having a strong professional circle is very important to maintain a successful career. It can help you connect with other women who are going through the same challenges as you. Professional mentorship can help you develop your skills and overcome the obstacles that keep you from reaching your goals. One of the most important factors that women should consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance is being open to learning and developing their skills.
- Your career is a vital part of who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. Having the right mindset can help you develop a plan that will allow you to achieve your goals and become a game-changing leader.
Universally, women have been experiencing various systemic problems that prevent them from attaining their desired professional success. However, in some instances these career blocks are self-imposed. One’s mindset can play a significant role in contributing to this issue.
Key aspects to be mindful of as you embark on your journey to success
1. Get rid of that doubt – “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will” – Suzy Kassem
It’s natural to start feeling a bit of doubt when you are trying to find a new job or launch a new career path. To combat this, try to make a conscious effort to avoid thinking about it and instead focus on the positive. For instance, try saying something like, “I believe in myself” or “I have accomplished what I set out to do in my career.” You can also think of all the times that you have benefited from your experience, where you came from and what you have achieved thus far.
2. Don’t let fear get in the way of your dreams – “Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike” – Artur Ashe
Fear can prevent you from acting, and it can also paralyse you. Instead of focusing on fear, try to act. It’s important to be brave when you feel fear, as it is never as bad as it seems. In your career, start taking action to avoid getting stuck in fear.
3. Stop self-sabotaging your success – “Challenge negative thinking with logical, positive affirmations” – MindTools
Take a minute to reflect on how you think and act in relation to your habits and thoughts. It is very common for us to unconsciously align our actions and thoughts with our deepest desires, but these can prevent us from achieving those goals. Every moment, we take action that moves us closer or away from our desired outcome, such as creating a career or attaining our life goal. Spend some time identifying the thoughts and actions that are hindering your ultimate desires.
4. Develop a daily mindset practice – “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love” – Marcus Aurelius
It can be as simple as saying affirmations or meditating. A daily practice of cultivating a positive mindset helps strengthen one’s mind, which is like a muscle. It allows you to keep moving forward and reminding yourself that you are good enough and you will reach success. 
When you acknowledge that you are good enough, you will be able to be gentler and kinder to those around you. Doing so will also help you develop a more positive and loving relationship with yourself. Before you start fighting the good fight, make sure that you love yourself first.
Know that you are powerful and fearless and that there is nothing stopping you from achieving anything by working hard and believing in yourself. You are a woman and that is magical.