Sunday, 1 March 2015

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

You can break through.
© iStockphoto
Do you feel that you've gone as far 
as you can with your current 

 Despite knowing that you 
have much more potential, is there a
 limit for "people like you" in your 

If so, you've hit what's known as the "glass ceiling." This is 
the point at which you can clearly see the next 
level of promotion – yet, despite your best effort, an invisible
 barrier seems to stop you from proceeding.

Traditionally, the glass ceiling was a concept applied to 
women and some minorities. It was very hard, if not 
impossible, for them to reach upper management positions. 
No matter how qualified or experienced, they simply were
 not given opportunities to further advance their careers.

Today, there are many more women and minorities in
 powerful positions. However, the glass ceiling is still very 
real. And it's not always limited to gender or race.
Have you been pushed up against a glass ceiling? This can 
happen for many different reasons. Are you too much the 
champion of change? Do you have difficulty communicating 
your ideas? Are you quieter and less outgoing than the 
people who get promotions?

Whatever the reason, you have a choice. You can accept 
your situation and be happy with looking up and not being 
able to touch what you see, or you can smash the glass with 
purpose and determination.

If you do, indeed, want to break through that glass, here are 
some steps to take.

Identify the Key Competencies within Your Organization

Key competencies are the common skills and attributes of 
the people in your company's upper levels. These skills are 
often tied closely to the organization's culture and vision.
Companies that value innovation and strive to be leaders will 
probably promote individuals who are outgoing, risk takers, 
and not afraid to "tell it like it is." However, if you work for a 
conservative company (such as a publicly owned utility) 
chances are that top management are analytical thinkers, 
with a reputation for avoiding risk and making careful 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the values of your organization?

  • What behaviors does your company value and reward?

  • What type of person is promoted?

Understand what sets your company and its leaders apart.

This is the first step toward discovering how to position 
yourself for a top leadership role.

Two universal competencies for top 
management are effective leadership 
and effective communication. Each of 
these is complex.

  • Read everything you can about 
  • leadership styles, skills, and 
  • attributes. 

  • Communication skills will help you, 
  • regardless of the level you want to 
  • reach in your career. 

Set Objectives to Align Your Competencies with Top 


Once you know your target, set goals to get there. You're
 responsible for determining your own career direction. Be 
proactive and go after what you want, because it probably 
won't be handed to you.

Do the following:
  • Let your boss know that you want to work toward a 
  • higher-level position.

  • Ask your boss what skill areas you need to develop.
  • Work together with your boss to set goals and objectives,
  •  then monitor and measure your performance.
Remember to concentrate on areas of 

your performance that you can improve.

 Don't set a goal to achieve a certain 

position by a certain time. This can be

 discouraging if it doesn't happen. For 

example, set a goal to consistently 

demonstrate assertive and clear 

communication. If you achieve that goal, 

no matter what job title you have, you've 


Build Your Network

You should also build relationships with other people in your
 organization. You never know who may be in a position to
 help you or provide you with valuable information.

It's important to network in all areas and levels of your 
company. Many people tend to think it's best to make friends
 at the top. However, to be effective and actually make it to 
the top, you'll need the support of colleagues at other levels 
as well.

Try these tips:

  • Reach out to new people on a regular basis.
  • Get involved with cross-functional teams.
  • Expand your professional network outside of your 
  • organization. If you can't break the glass ceiling in your 
  • company, you may have to look elsewhere for 
  • opportunities.

Use the climate in your organization to 

your advantage. While "politicking" is 

often seen as negative, you can help 

your career by understanding and using 

the political networks in your company. 

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor is a powerful way to break through the glass
 ceiling. The barriers that you face have likely been there for 
a long time. Past practices, biases and stereotypes, and old 
ideas are often long established at the top of many

Is upper management reluctant to work with certain types of 
individuals? Do they exclude certain people from important 
communications? A mentor can help you learn how to get 
connected to the information and people who can help you. 

mentor can also be a great source of ideas for your 
professional development and growth.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there someone in upper management you can 
  • approach to help you?
  • Will your boss be able to provide mentoring support?
  • Are there people with strong political power who can offer
  •  you assistance?

Build Your Reputation

Ultimately, the way to get ahead is to get noticed. You want 
people to see your competence, leadership abilities, 
communication skills, technical knowledge, and any other 
competencies that are typical of people at the top.
Develop your skills and network with people so that your 
name becomes associated with top management potential. 
To do this, you need to build a reputation as the kind of 
person who fits the description of top management. Visibility 
is very important. Remember, while you can see up, those at 
the top can see down. Make sure that what they see is you!

Follow these guidelines:

  • Seek high-profile projects.
  • Speak up and contribute in meetings.
  • Share ideas with peers as well as people in higher positions.
  • Identify places where your reputation is not what you
  •  want it to be, and develop plans to change them.

Know Your Rights

Finally, watch for discriminatory behavior. Sometimes biases
 and stereotyping can cross the line into discrimination. It's 
unfortunate for both you and your organization when 
situations like this occur.
Don't just accept frustration and failure. Know that you're 
doing everything right, and arm yourself with a good
understanding of your rights regarding official company 
policies and local laws.

Key Points

To get ahead and reach the leadership 

level you want, you need to champion 
and market yourself. That means 
proactively managing every step of your 
career. If you can't seem to break 
through a glass ceiling, you might have 
to work harder than others.

We can't all be exactly the type of upper 
management person our company 
wants. What we can do is develop the 
skills that the company values. Arm 
yourself with a development plan as well
 as the help of your boss, a strong 
network, and, hopefully, a mentor. You 
can then build and showcase the skills 
that will help you climb the corporate 
ladder. Push yourself beyond your 
comfort zone, and you may find new 
zones of opportunity.

Apply This to Your Life

If you're frustrated with your career advancement, consider 
the following:

  • Do you have a career plan in place? If you don't, now is 
  • the time to make one!

  • Does your boss, or anyone in your organization, know
  •  what your goals are? Unless people know what you 
  • want, they may keep you in the same position and 
  • assume you're happy there.

  • Do you feel alone and unsupported in your career goals? 
  • If so, who can help you change that? We all need to 
  • make our own success, but most people don't succeed 
  • all on their own. Ask for support and assistance – this is 
  • sign of strength, not weakness.

  • What areas for skill development have been pointed out 
  • to you in the past? Are you making improvements?

  • Are you facing a glass ceiling? Recognizing that the 
  • ceiling exists is the first step. The ceiling won't be 
  • removed unless you do something about it. Apply some 
  • of the ideas in this article, and monitor your progress.
This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and 
successful career.

No comments:

Post a Comment

sajak MELAYU

MELAYU Melayu itu orang yang bijaksana Nakalnya bersulam jenaka Budi bahasanya tidak terkira Kurang ajarnya tetap santun J...