The Good Ole Boys Club
My very first HR job was in the epitome of a good ole boys club. Working in an environment where you are not taken seriously can take a toll on any woman. You can make it through that experience in one of two ways: broken and deflated or empowered and slightly pissed off.
Here are a few key things to help you feel empowered working with a good ole boys club:
Self confidence. No one, and I mean no one, is better than you. Walking down the hallway with a self confident stride and your head held high can do wonders for any woman. If you've just lost a battle with the male CEO, it's sweet revenge to laugh when they expect a different emotion.
Resources. A full arsenal of professional resources will prepare you for those off the wall, meant to trip you up questions. Use Twitter, local chapter members, industry professionals, and whatever resources you can get your hands on
. Use your resources for all they're worth and be prepared.
Business Knowledge. Know how your business (HR) and the business of the company intertwine. Being able to state your case and back it up with solid business reasoning will get you further than you'd ever imagine. Showing how your proposal positively affects the bottom line with facts is hard to argue against.
The word “no.” Don't be afraid to say “no” when asked to do something shady. If the requester is insistent, have them put the request in writing with your objections noted.
A good friend. Never underestimate the power of a girls night out.
In retrospect, this advice is good for any woman in HR but realizing when it's time to make a change, and acting upon it, is my biggest piece of advice. Never stay somewhere that makes you feel less than the powerful woman you are. There are other opportunities out there. Have the courage to move on.