• Smart Advice for Women Entering the Workforce

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    No matter how far women’s rights have come, there is no denying that entering the workforce as a woman presents its own unique challenges. From navigating the ladder to leadership to deciphering the extent of your maternity leave benefits, there are just some things women have to approach differently compared to men. One of the universal quandaries for women in the workplace is a lack of mentorship. Oftentimes, younger women don’t have a guiding voice that helps them while searching for a job or those first few months when they finally get one. The following tips can help young women start their careers on a positive note.
    Make a Great First Impression
    When you’re sending out applications, your cover letter needs to be eye-catching and memorable. Look online for cover letter templates that grab the employer's attention and get you that interview. Start with a header that includes your name, telephone number, email, the date, the name of the company to which you are applying, and the name of the hiring manager if you have it. Write a first paragraph that is personal and attention-grabbing; the rest of the content can be more professional. Do some research into the company and mention any projects or initiatives in which you are interested. Keep it short and sweet -- no more than three paragraphs. Finally, sell yourself. This is your chance to explain to the hiring manager in detail why you are a good candidate. If you do that with your application, all you have to do at the interview is show them how you’d be a great fit for the company, as well. 
    Break Your Cell Phone Addiction
    Young people who are just now entering the workforce spent their whole childhoods with cell phone access and are more prone to spend valuable working hours glued to that little screen. If you are one of the 50 percent of young people who admit to having a cell phone addiction, it’s time to work on breaking the habit of pulling out that screen every few minutes.
    A few tips for breaking the habit:
    • Tell yourself you “won’t” check your phone more than once every hour. Avoid words like “can’t” that trigger your rebellious human nature.
    • When at the office, keep your phone somewhere you can’t easily reach it.
    • Put your phone’s timer on when checking your phone to break you out of a “ludic loop.”
    • Try replacing your smartphone habit with another habit. Instead of checking your screen, do a gentle desk stretch that helps correct posture.
    • If you really can’t resist the siren call of your cell phone, leave it at home or with a trusted coworker during the day so you don’t have access to it. Give your work number to family members or roommates that may need to contact you in case of emergency.
    Forget About Perfection
    Young women often enter the workforce thinking if they just work harder, longer, and better than everybody else, that’s how they will break the glass ceiling and make it to the top. However, many find that when they approach their careers with this focus on perfection, it only leads to burnout. Instead of trying to be perfect, approach each task that comes your way with your best effort. Maintain a healthy work/life balance and don’t take on more than you can handle. While it’s perfectly fine to ask for more when you feel like you have the energy and time to do so, know that it’s okay to tell people “no” to responsibilities if you already have a lot on your plate. Finally, know that it’s okay to mess up or even fail. Admit to it and learn from it so you can move on from the situation and grow as an employee and as a person.
    Women entering the workforce today have a bright future ahead of them. To get that great job, craft an eye-catching cover letter that compels the hiring manager to meet you. Break your cell phone addiction and learn to break out of ludic loops. Finally, don’t approach your job trying to be perfect -- just tackle each task with your best and maintain a healthy balance.
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