Entering the Promise Land: Tips for Women Executives on Breaking through the Glass Ceiling

As promised, for the next few weeks you can all expect to receive great career tips for women interested in breaking through the glass ceiling. 

This week I’m providing you with an introduction to get you all prepared for the next few weeks of great tips.

Enjoy,    

Dr. Cris

Entering the Promise Land: Tips for Women Executives on Breaking through the Glass Ceiling – The Introduction

Let’s face it, ladies; there will always be a glass ceiling to a certain extent, and there will always be a good ole boys’ network. So for us female executives in the industry we need to always be cognizant of the fact that our stilettos are putting us in a position where we need to consider what we have to do to propel ourselves to the next level based on our skills, talents, and intellect.

Entering the Promise Land

When breaking through the glass ceiling we gain the opportunity to enter into a land of opportunity–the promise land. In order to obtain that level of success we must learn to prepare ourselves with the armor of Executive Defense, a defense mechanism that is geared to serve us, not just as a shield or a means of protection, but as a means of fortification, to enrich us and uplift us, to enhance us and equip us as the best executives that we can be so that the glass ceiling is not only broken but nonexistent.   

Our road to breaking through the glass ceiling and entering the promise land is paved with much dedication and perseverance. But all the steps that we take along the way put us closer and closer to achieving our goals as professional and capable women, who refuse to settle for anything less than what we desire.

What is so important for us to keep in mind is that we are not going through this alone. There is a great network of sisters around the world supporting us in our common goal to successfully implement the executive defense, break through the glass ceiling, and enter the promise land.

When entering the promise land, as the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King once said in his unforgettable speech, we must remember a few tips to reach that pivotal and coveted goal. Over the next few weeks I will share with you five tips on implementing executive defense strategies that I believe will assist you in breaking through the glass ceiling, entering the promise land, and relishing in the glory that is finally yours, the ultimate dream job.      

The Job Comforter: Noah’s Other Purpose

What most of us know about Noah is that he was the man who built the ark, lived on it for 40 days and nights with his family and saved two of every kind of unclean animal (male and his mate), and seven pairs of every clean animal and bird during the biblical flood that covered the earth (Genesis 7:2). 

What some of us don’t know about Noah is that he served another valuable purpose for all mankind. Noah was our gift as the “Job Comforter.” So what is a job comforter and why is it so important? A job comforter is someone who can ease your discomfort from a job that you do not find pleasure in, a job where you lack fulfillment, a job where you toil because your purpose is not being met, and a job where your destiny has yet to take fruition – a job that I describe as a vocational wilderness. Basically there are three main reasons why some of you work in an environment that requires a job comforter. 

 1)    Perhaps you are NOT working or living in your purpose.
2)   Perhaps you possess a negative mindset.
3)    Perhaps you are working in a vocational wilderness.    
Let’s begin with point #1) perhaps you are not working or living in your purpose. Some may debate that working and living in ones purpose may not necessarily mesh or coexist. However if you believe that is true then I challenge you to at least consider the possibility of accepting one over the other. For if you will at least live in your purpose you will receive fulfillment and satisfaction because God has planned a great life for all of us, all we have to do is tap into it. He has predestined us for His will (Ephesians 1:11) and His will reflects our purpose and passion. You should also consider that God has provided us with certain gifts and talents (Romans 12:6 & 1 Corinthians 12:4) that we should use to fulfill us as we are connecting to His will for our lives.
Rick Warren

According to New York Times best selling Author and Pastor Rick Warren, who wrote The Purpose Driven Life, when we live in our purpose we are connected to God’s plan for our life. In the Message translation of the Bible it states in Colossians 1:16, “everything got started in Him (God) and finds its purpose in Him.” Warren also shares a connection between God’s purpose for our lives and our passion. He states “God gives us different passions so that everything He wants done in the world will get done.”

Just image, there is a specific need for your specific purpose, and that purpose is directly connected to your passion. Whether you chose to relate it to your occupation is up to you, but God’s expectation for you is still the same, to fulfill your purpose. But there are some who believe that working and living in their purpose do not mesh; therefore, they are willing to accept an occupation for the simple means of receiving a paycheck. Although somehow they know that there is a better life for them, they choose to remain in a position where there is no growth, no hope, and no joy. All they have to look forward to is a weekly paycheck and retirement. This brings me to point #2) possessing a negative mindset.
Someone recently shared with me that a job is a simple means to a paycheck. I agreed with that person; he was correct if his mindset was allowing him to receive only money for performing a certain task. Then I took the opportunity to explain to him the difference between a job and fulfilling his purpose. This man, like others possesses a negative mindset when it comes to working. Many believe that the word work has a negative connotation; so much so that we should not receive too much pleasure or fulfillment in what we do, but only expect the end results, a paycheck and retirement.   

He is actually a great example of why this concept or realization will not work for everyone. And even after I share the revelation with all of you that God shared with me, some may still be unwilling or unready to break free from the bondage that enslaves them in the vocational wilderness, which is point #3) or too afraid to have faith in what God truly wants us to possess; which is a career that is our purpose, our calling, our destiny.

If you haven’t had the chance to read my blog on the vocational wilderness then perhaps you should take a few moments. But to provide you with a better understanding, a vocational wilderness describes the lack of fulfillment that you can experience with a job. It is a physical environment where you work, combined with the fact that you are not working in your purpose, which is point #1 or perhaps you are not using the gifts (Romans 12:6 & 1 Corinthians 12:4) that you have been blessed with. It is the fact that we become lost in a corporate maze of long hours, weekend work, little to no time with our family and a life that is now impacting our physical and emotional health. This is not the plan that God has for us. God has planned a life a peace, joy, and comfort when it comes to our purpose. Peace that we are connected to His will; joy that we are connected to our passion; and the comfort in providing us with the savior who blessed us from a life of toil and hardship. And that’s where we begin with our Job Comforter.      
So what is Noah’s role in this?  Well, before I share with you his role, it is important that I share with you what brought us to this point in our lives. And I have to dig back really far in history to bring you up to speed. I’m sure that you are all familiar with Adam and Eve and how they ate the forbidden fruit. Well their actions had consequences, one of which was that they would be banished from the Garden of Eden and required to work the ground from which the apple was taken (Genesis 3:23). Not only would man work the ground but he would sweat from his brow and experience painful toil (Genesis 3:17 & 19) because God cursed the ground due to their disobedience (Genesis 3:17).

Several generations passed between the time that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden and the time that Noah was born. Noah’s father Lamech saw something special in his son, even at the time of his birth. He saw something so special that he decided to name his child Noah because in Hebrew it means to comfort. Lamech went on to say that my son Noah “will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground that the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:29). Lamech’s words had power. And we as God’s children also have power to speak things into being just as He does. But also, God found favor in Noah. Noah was a righteous man; in fact, he was one of the only righteous men who had a personal relationship with God during this time and therefore God honored Lamech’s prayer and Noah not only saved his family and every species of animal on this earth from the flood but he also provided us with a great gift, the gift of comfort in the workplace.

After the flood when Noah left the ark and built an altar to the Lord and began to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, God was pleased. He was so pleased with Noah, and his obedience, that He stated, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man… and never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done” (Genesis 8:21).
The curse placed on the labor for mankind to work in toil and by the sweat of our brow was tough. But now we are predestined to live a life with purpose and to work a job in comfort. So I ask you, what is it that you can do to recognize and honor how God has blessed us? What is it that you can do to receive the blessing that Noah put forth in releasing us from a life without purpose, a negative mindset, and working in a vocational wilderness? What will you do now that you know that God has a great plan for your life, and that plan reflects your passion, your gifts, and ultimately your purpose?


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Great Career Tip #5 – Consider Multiple Revenue Streams

Hello All,
After today there’s just one more career tip. However, I have received positive feedback regarding the addition of a blog series; therefore, all of you can look forward to an upcoming  new blog series that will focus on how female executives can break through the glass ceiling.

This week’s career tip is all about the importance of placing yourself in a position to better prepare your self financially.  I hope this tip is useful. Enjoy!
Dr. Cris   


Great Career Tip #5 – Consider Multiple Revenue Streams
I have often worked more than one job at a time sometimes three, especially while in college, since paying for tuition can be costly. This time management lesson has proven to be a helpful tool when applied to my professional career and has taught me the importance of self preservation. 

Employers are loyal to themselves and their bottom line; therefore, we must be loyal to ourselves by developing other opportunities to earn income. 

Nowadays our money is not stretching as far as it used to; therefore, we need to consider other opportunities to generate more money. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to develop multiple means of earning potential, or multiple revenue streams.  I know what you’re thinking who has the time to devote to another job to make more money? My response it that who can afford NOT to consider how an additional means of income could impact their lifestyle?  So again I suggest, time management, so that you can live the life that you are entitled to.
Recently I wrote an ebook titled Need a Pay Raise? 7 Tips on Making More Money, this FREE ebook is still available on my blog at http://thedreamjobdoctor.blogspot.com. It’s a quick read and provides excellent tips on how you can alter your life and increase your earning potential. 

Ultimately we all need to consider the value of additional ways of making money. What happens if you lose your job? So many people today are being laid off due to this recession. If this occurs at least you will have the opportunity to bring in some additional cash through understanding the value of multiple revenue streams. 

Great Career Tip #4 – Ask for forgiveness not permission

Hello All,

It’s time for another great career tip! This week I’ve decided to touch on something that some may consider rude, but is actually a great opportunity to advance your career. So peruse through the suggestion and let me know your thoughts.

Enjoy,

Dr. Cris 

      Great Career Tip #4 –  Ask for forgiveness not permission
Sometimes we desire to take the safe route, we want to do what is right and follow the straight and narrow. Well in business playing it safe will get you left behind. While Jimmy is getting the job promotion for jumping through all the correct hoops at work, Sally got left behind because she was too busy asking the boss if it was OK for her to do this or that. 
That is where Sally messed up. If you want to get ahead in life, and in your career, you have to realize that it’s one big game and who ever passes go first without asking permission WINS. It’s simple; the philosophy is that to achieve a certain success, you must be willing to take certain calculated risks.
Usually these risks can pay off in a major way if you have conducted your homework, so do some research and know that what you are proposing has been successful with other companies. You apologize after the risk has been executed and the benefits are paying off for your company and for you. Now you have placed yourself in a position where upper management will realize how much of an asset you are to the company and they don’t want to lose you. Better yet, the next time a promotion becomes available, whom do you think upper management will consider?
Your ability to increase productivity or efficiency in a specific job task will directly impact your company’s profits. Once this occurs your risk would have been well worth the avoidance of asking permission. Then once a promotion becomes available, you will be far ahead of your colleagues and upper management will reward your hard work.    


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Great Career Tip #3 – Who’s your role model? – Get a mentor

Hello All,

It’s week 3 of my series on the Greatest Career Tips that I ever received, and this week I have a special treat for all of you. This tip can provide personal insight on how you can grow personally and professionally in your career. If you know a friend or colleague who could benefit from this series, help them out and  share these tips with them. 

Enjoy,

Dr. Cris 

      Great Career Tip #3 –  Who’s your role model? – Get a mentor

There’s a slight difference between a mentor and a role model; however, both would prove promising in your career. A role model is someone who you admire; they possess qualities and characteristics that you believe are commendable. In some cases you admire this person’s positive qualities so much, that you become inspired to adopt the positive qualities that they demonstrate. 

It may be possible that you may not know or have met your role model personally; however, you may have become exposed to them through the media, social circles, or an organization. Some celebrities have often been placed in role model status, simply because they are in the public eye. The benefit of selecting a role model reflects your desire to make a positive change in your life and in your career.
When selecting a role model consider what they could share with you if you were given the opportunity to meet them and interact with them. Hopefully they should be able to provide you with a road map of their success and how you could use their experiences to change your life. But if you are not provided with the opportunity to make their acquaintance, then you need to select a mentor.
A mentor is someone who you have gained the pleasure of knowing and becoming acquainted with. The elements of a role model are the same; for the most part this person or people are those who you admire and they possess qualities that you would desire to emulate. However with mentors, because you know this person you are able to establish a relationship with them. And it is through the relationship that your mentor can help you to grow and develop into the person, or obtain the qualities similar to your mentor that you desire to possess. 
Barrie Davenport

Recently I contacted Barrie Davenport, who is also a career coach and a blogger; and asked her to mentor me. She agreed and although we have never met personally, we correspond via telephone and email. Barrie has provided great insight into blogging and enhancing the visibility of my blog. Although she launched her business Live Bold & Bloom just a year ago, she has found great success.

Because of the similarities between role models and mentors it should not be difficult for you to select someone who can provide you with guidance that you need to assist you in your professional and personal growth.


What College Major Should I Choose?

Identifying the appropriate college major that reflects a student’s passion and ultimately their career purpose can sometimes be challenging. The interest that they had in high school can sometimes shift directions upon entering into college. And the attempt that many colleges make to create a well- rounded student by promoting the opportunity to take classes in various general courses exposes students to perhaps a new found interest or it may confuse their decision making process regarding the appropriate college major.  
As a result, college students find themselves often changing majors, sometimes more than once. Or taking a break from school to find themselves, and try to refocus on what they really want out of life. There are even situations where students taking a break from college may become comfortable with a lifestyle that does not include school and they become complacent and decide not to return to college at all. 
 
The retention rate for college students across our nation is disappointing. Although colleges and universities are cognizant of this dilemma, most institutions find that they are powerless against the fact that some students are truly unaware of and not able to accurately identify their college major. And the students who seem to be impacted the most are freshmen. 
 
Approximately 30% of freshmen across our nation each year drop out of college; some of these students do return to school but not all of them return to the original college or continue with their original college major. As a result students’ will spend on average five to six years completing what is typically a four year bachelor’s degree. Not only do students take more time to obtain their degree, but the extra one or two years in college can add up, costing them more money than they would have spent if they had selected a college major that truly reflected their passion and purpose as a freshman and stuck with it.      
As an advocate of higher education, a career consultant, and a college professor, I have seen this situation occur far too often. College students become discouraged with the direction that they should take and without the proper guidance or direction, they simply give up on obtaining the college degree that they had hoped for. I was one of those students who changed majors more than once and I can sympathize with what our freshmen are faced with today. However, giving up is not the solution; there are ways to tackle this problem.
Solutions
Sometimes a break from college may be needed in order for students to gain a better or more informed perspective on their college major choice.  Some students may even want to take a semester or quarter off to volunteer through an organization such as Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.com) or the Student Volunteer Network (http://www.svnusa.org/svn/register.asp) where they can focus less on themselves temporarily and more on others who could use their assistance and kindness. Students could also consider gaining industry experience by opting for an internship to provide them with great professional experience and also enlighten them on the specific tasks and responsibilities of a career that they are interested in. This first hand experience could make or break their career choice. But the best part of gaining this experience is learning what works or doesn’t work for them as a possible future career.
At some college campuses, guidance counselors are available to assist students in finding their college major. Some college campuses even have a career advising department devoted to addressing these concerns. Both guidance counselors and career advising departments usually offer career assessments that students can take to narrow down possible careers and their specific college major. Finally, career coaches or consultants are ideal for assisting students. They usually provide an in-depth and personal approach to assisting students one on one with their career or college major needs. Their expertise and experience can be beneficial to students who simply need to identify their passion. 
Whatever option college students take to address the selection of an accurate college major, the take away from this problem is simple: do something, don’t give up. When it comes to obtaining a higher education the knowledge and experience that one gains during their college years is priceless.


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Great Career Tip # 2 – Create a great business card

Hello All,

As mentioned last week, I’m conducting a series on the Greatest Career Tips that I ever received so you can look forward to other great career tips each Friday.  If you know a friend or colleague who could benefit from this series, help them out and  share these tips with them. 

I hope you all enjoyed the career tip from last week on transferable job skills. To continue with the series, this week I’ve decided to touch on an aspect of visual identity that everyone of you should take advantage of. 

Enjoy,

Dr. Cris 

Great Career Tip #2
Create a great business card

Your business card is a visual representation of you. It provides one of the greatest opportunities to showcase who you are to others professionally. Although some of you may be employed for a company who has provided a standard business card that you are required to use, others of you may own and operate a business as an entrepreneur where you can exemplify your brand,  and the design of your business card can reflect your unique visual identity. For this reason you want to keep one aspect in mind, you will seldom gain a second opportunity to make a positive and memorable first impression; therefore, it is important that you get it right the first time.

Designing your own business card is not that difficult of a task. There are quite a few websites that will walk you through the process.  Just two name a few, Vistaprint.com and 123print.com are two of the more popular websites where you can customize a business card to your specific needs.  Using one of these sites will also provide you with the opportunity to purchase matching stationery, mailing labels, or even post cards.

If you’re not comfortable designing the business cards yourself, you could find a professional on line to assist you with the process. Their expertise could make your business cards stand out and open doors to potential new clients. You may want to ask a friend to refer you to someone who they have used to design their business cards and start building a new visual identity for yourself.  

Greatest Career Tips I Ever Received

Over the years I have actually worked more jobs than the number of years that I have walked on this earth, primarily by working two or three jobs at the same time. But one aspect that I have learned from working so many jobs is just how important it is to take away valuable lessons as often as you can. Therefore I have compiled some of the most valuable lessons or tips that have served me well over my 30+ years of experience in the professional industry and I hope that these tips are helpful to you. 
Over the next few weeks I will post one of these helpful tips each week and hope that you share them with a friend or colleague that might find the tips valuable.  Thank you for being a faithful supporter of Dr. Cris, the Dream Job Doctor.   

Great Career Tip # 1Consider your job skills as transferable


I know that all of you have gained valuable skills over the years. And those skills when necessary can be tapped into in order to secure an employment opportunity when you find yourself between jobs. Any skill that you can consider a specified talent is a gift and an untapped resource that can transition you into a career that perhaps you may have thought you were not qualified for. 

For example, when I left my cushy job as a retail manager and started a position as a residential coordinator for a university, one of the first comments that the assistant director of the housing shared with me was that “my managerial skills were transferable,” meaning that all of my years of retail managing customer relation issues could now be used to assist students who live in the residence halls. Initially I didn’t realize exactly what I was getting myself into, not that college life was foreign to me, but living among hundreds of college students at one time did take a bit of getting used to. 

 
The lesson here is simple: what skills can you offer an employer that perhaps you haven’t considered the true value of? What are the skills that you offer that you may consider as routine? Re-evaluate your talents and consider how you can use them in a career that may give you more fulfillment and job satisfaction.


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