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Empowering Women

It goes without saying that education is important for everyone – that includes women, it includes wives, sisters and daughters. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the single most important means of empowering women. With education comes skills and knowledge which in turn create the self-confidence necessary to fully participate in every facet of life.

When considering an education a good starting point is to clarify what your real interests in life are and then trying to align your career to them. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be open to different career opportunities but it really is a plus factor to be passionate about your job.

It does however pay to remember that when embarking on a career nothing is carved in stone. If your first choice doesn’t pan out give yourself the space and time to try out something new. Never forget what it is that you want to do and don’t ever allow anyone else to make a career decision for you – it’s your life, live it your way.

Skills Shortage – an Opportunity for Women

According to a survey done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and reported by News 24, the skills shortage in South Africa is hampering business. The following was reported:-

Johannesburg – A shortage of key skills is affecting business growth and requires government intervention, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently found in an international survey of business leaders.”Businesses are struggling with a widening mismatch between the skills of their workforce and the skills they need to achieve strong growth,” PwC human resource services director Gerald Seegers said in a statement.”There needs to be a joint approach to addressing the problem, with businesses and governments working together to plug the skills gap.”

While this is not good news for the South African economy, it certainly is encouraging for those women out there who are prepared to get an education and/or equip themselves with the necessary skills to fill the positions opening up to them. And, when it comes to filling the skills gap the opportunities available to women are hugely diverse. Extending from the shop floor to management and beyond, it includes not only women who are running businesses but even those who own them.

Women have their own unique and valuable talents to bring to the work place. Not only do they contribute a fresh view to business, they are much needed to function as role models for future generations.

Making your Education Work for You

Here are some essential steps to help you to get that job you’re after.

Curriculum Vitae

Having completed your education it’s time to start looking for a job and that means putting together your curriculum vitae (CV). Your CV is a document outlining your qualifications, skills, experience and value.

Always remember that your CV is the first item a potential employer receives from you as a job seeker and as such is the single most important part of getting a job. It is the first chance you get to make a good impression. A good CV will greatly enhance your chance of getting to stage two – a one-on-one interview.

The Interview

We all know that appearances count and that dressing appropriately, being well groomed and on time for a job interview is a given. But, do we know how to conduct ourselves and the iimpression our body language can leave with the interviewer.

Body Language

Interviewers often comment that your body language if far more important to them than what you say. These are some of the things they look for –

  • Relaxed demeanour – try not to fidget or use your hands excessively – you’ll come across as a bundle of nervous energy
  • Make eye contact – it gives the perception of a warm, reliable, sociable, confident and above all, honest personality
  • Smile – it can make the difference in getting the job.

The Interview

We all know that appearances count and that dressing appropriately, being well groomed and on time for a job interview is a given. But, do we know how to conduct ourselves and the iimpression our body language can leave with the interviewer.

Your greatest Challenge

Having traded the traditional role of stay-at-home mom to financial help-meet and finally to career women has been no mean feat and women should be proud that they’ve managed it all so well.

Historically it’s been a long hard road. Women have overcome a multitude of obstacles when it comes to commanding the same job, at the same pay, as men even though quite often they are better educated and better qualified to fill the position.

It is very important not to play down the challenges you face. While you are confidently balancing the demands of spouse, children, your career, board meetings and sundry other commitments you might just find that there is very little time left for yourself.

This is probably the biggest challenge women face today. How to juggle all their obligations and not lose touch with their wants and needs along the way.

So by all means work hard at home and in business – but make time for yourself because you’re important too.

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