As a woman trying to advance her career, it pays to be organized. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to plan for professional development and what you’ll need to consider if you want to succeed in a fast-changing world of work.

Skills & Requirements

Before you can begin to strive towards your goals, it’s important that you outline exactly what it is you want to achieve and the skills you may need to succeed.

  • Assess skills: If you have a position or role in mind, it will help to identify exactly which skills/requirements are necessary to get there. These might be hard skills (e.g., proficiency with software) or soft skills (e.g., ability to work amicably within a team structure).
  • Upskill: Often, to attain the skills we need to secure a position, it’s necessary to return to education. Thankfully, many degree programs can be completed online – meaning you can fit your studies around full-time work. You can, for example, earn your bachelor’s degree in business fully remotely in just 5 weeks, picking up skills in accounting, business, communications, or management.
  • Overarching goals: With skills in place, it’s important to define your barometers for success then. These can help you to stay on track and remain determined in your efforts. Examples of overarching goals could be, “achieve a promotion within two years” or “receive formal commendation from a company superior”.

Action Plan & Timelines

Converting your goals into hard actions will help you to make true progress toward your career goals. Here are a few guidelines to get you started.

  • Plans: If you can compartmentalize the steps required to attain your goals, you’ll find them far less overwhelming and more manageable. To help, it may be worthwhile to bring in SMART or HARD models.
  • Timelines: It will also help to set yourself hard timelines by which you should have achieved certain goals. Be careful with this stage of the process, ensuring your timelines are fair and having a plan of action if you fail to meet them.
  • Documentation: It’s a good idea to document your career progress as you go. This will give you perspective on how far you’ve come and help you to track your trajectory over time.


If you feel you’re stagnating in your current job or you’re just looking for a change of scenery, it could be worth looking at alternative employment options.

  • Switching Employers: Using the digital space, it’s easier than ever to apply for new roles. Online CV builders, for example, allow you to choose from a library of professionally designed templates and add your own copy, photos, colors, and images.
  • Starting a Business: Alternatively, you may have a great idea for a female-led business. In this case, it might be worth looking into creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC) – this would help you to benefit from reduced personal liability, tax advantages, less paperwork, and increased flexibility. Using a formation service, you can avoid lawyer fees – just be certain to read reviews in advance of signing up.

For women in the working world, it can often feel like an uphill struggle. It’s important, therefore, to use our god-given advantages – for example, strong organizational skills and multitasking. With a strategic approach, there’s no reason we can’t meet all of our career goals.

Written by Cheryl Conklin