Women in Business Expo 2019 advice: Five ways to recharge and reassess your career
Christie Day is the Group Event Director, Women in Business Expo 2019 and Women in Business North. An experienced and ambitious business woman, Day is the driving force behind Women in Business Expo, the first national dedicated event of its kind focused on delivering guidance, inspiration and business services to women at any stage of their career or business journey. After forging a highly successful career organising market leading events, Christie spearheaded the launch of the revolutionary Women in Business Expo with all women in mind, empowering attendees to confidently take the next step in their working lives, and feel comfortable juggling the work/life balance. Here she offers guidance and practical tips on how to refresh tired careers.
We all get to that stage in our lives when we reach a career crossroads. But today this need for change is happening more frequently than ever. In the US, the average time spent at a company is 4.2 years, a similar figure is reflected in the UK market. Although official statistics are hard to pinpoint, depending on the sector, the average timespan is between three and five years. Evidently, staying loyal to one company and retiring with a golden handshake is now a rarity in the modern working world. People want and need change.
Whatever triggers the desire to move, from different personal circumstances to fresh career aspirations, employees seem to be more determined than ever to seek new professional pastures. For women looking to advance their careers, the challenge may be greater. With gender pay gaps, lack of female representation in senior roles and the need for some degree of flexibility for those with families, the choices are narrowed. Certainly in industries such as tech and finance, there are more obstacles and less opportunities for women.
This is a challenge the team at Women in Business Expo 2019 are very familiar with and is the main aim of our forthcoming event in Farnborough, 16-17 October. We will be focusing on all of the positive elements of women in the workplace, offering opportunities to any females looking to reassess and recharge their future careers.
One area that we’ve had a great deal of interest in is women starting their own business and those looking for support to get their business ideas off the ground. Currently, only a fifth of SME employers are female but this figure is expected to increase with more women stepping on to the self-employed career path. The visitors at WIB Expo will be a real mix of professional women, from people exploring franchise opportunities, specific business support services or different career change advice.
Continuing the theme of championing women in business, we have put together seven top tips from our expert team that could help women to recharge their careers.
1. Create a better work/life balance
An area many people strive to get right and it’s not surprising as an unhappy work/life balance leads to an unhappy career. When researching a different role or new business opportunity, assessing the work/life balance part should be a priority. In the corporate world, consider what employee benefits are offered and any relevant HR policies on holidays, parental leave or any aspect that impacts on life outside of work. Look for an organisation that best suits you and your needs. Some companies are much further ahead of the curve when it comes to flexible hours, working remotely or policies geared towards supporting equality for female employees.
2. Build your network
This is pretty essential for anyone considering changing their career path – whether the networking is internally within a current company or externally, either with prospective employers, or potential clients. Networking should be a mix of online and physical meetings/events. Attending local business groups is a good way of evaluating a new business idea or if you’re looking at different roles within a certain sector try to visit a range of industry events to widen your network. For general career and business guidance, our forthcoming Women in Business Expo offers an invaluable opportunity for those who need inspiration to kickstart their careers or new business plans. There will be thousands of like-minded women at the event and you could also network with many key contacts, from global brands and specialist companies, to franchisors and finance companies.
3. Education, education, education
Be a perpetual learner and continuously educate yourself. We can’t rely on the skills and knowledge we obtained in our late teens/early twenties and expect this to carry us through our entire career. Learning new skills is a great way to refocus the mind and help to pinpoint any strengths and weaknesses. People who are working in house may get support from their employer through internal educational programmes or reimbursement for external training courses. For those considering starting their own business, the whole process will be one big learning curve. Be prudent and prep in advance in areas where you need support, whether it’s accounting or marketing – you could pick up some basic skills before you unleash your business idea.
- The rise of international business and secrets behind international trade
- Top 10 Sustainable Companies
- Exciting sustainable city innovations around the world
- Read the latest idssue of Business Chief, Europe edition here
4. Invest in You
People who are most successful in business tend to have regimented routines that factor in time to look after themselves – from exercise time to ensuring they get enough sleep. The importance of good mental health has, quite rightly, moved up the agenda in recent years and keeping healthy physically will have a positive impact on both the mind and body. Making career choices is not just about having the right skills and expertise, feeling strong mentally and physically will help you focus better and improve your decision-making. Get ‘career-fit’ before you make choices about your future.
5. Assess your values
A key reason for many people looking to ‘jump ship’ is being employed by a business that doesn’t share their values. Assess what it is you stand for and believe in to see whether those values are reflected in a company you want to work for. Finding a business that aligns with your specific values will provide an easier and more enjoyable work life as they will do things your way and share similar goals. This may be one of the reasons that leads you to explore self-employment or starting a business, as you could really embed those strongly held values into your own company’s ethos.
Women looking for career and business inspiration can attend the free WIB Expo, which takes place 16-17 October in Farnborough.
Like what you see! Signup for our weekly newsletter