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Women Offer Their Best Career Advice

We reached out to our Rumble Readers and asked them for their best career advice for other women. Always easier to take great advice instead of having to learn the hard way on our own.

Sandy Thomas Brantly (Maggie Valley) — You must sell yourself first, in order to sell your news, products, company, etc.

Celeste Ybanez (Savannah, Ga.) — Your success isn’t always measured by outward appearances and metric standards. Sometimes, being successful is just getting out of bed and going to work and doing the best you can. Cut yourself some slack, you’re doing just fine, Boss Ladies!

Joy Davis Watkins (Waynesville) Know your strengths, identify your successes, take advantage of opportunities, be strong, but kind, learn from your mistakes, do not apologize...

Beth Owen Cipielewski (Waynesville, Sarasota, Fl.) — Being able to stay calm in difficult or unfair situations, will take you a long way!

Kimberly Brown Czaja (Waynesville) — There is a book I read many years ago. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The one agreement that hit me most was "Always do your best" some days your best is you crawled out of bed and brushed your teeth. Some days you kicked ass and took names. What your best is souly based on what you believe. Never anyone else. Define who you are and what you can do based on you.

Becca Swanger (Lake Junaluska) — Recognize crossroads and then choose: courage or comfort. There is this Brene Brown quote that has stuck with me: “We can choose courage or we can choose comfort. But we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” With jobs, I’ve chosen comfort. Familiarity. With my career, I’ve more often chosen courage. Bigger risk, but bigger reward. When you find yourself choosing courage over comfort- you’ve probably found a career so take that courageous step confidently!

Holly Kays (Waynesville) — Your reputation as a person of character is your most important currency, so always choose integrity over comfort or expediency. But when you do make a mistake, don't beat yourself up about it — you're human, and it happens. Pick yourself up, own up to what you did wrong, do what you can to make it right, and then move on. It's possible to be confident and humble about your imperfections at the same time.

Amanda Stanley (Winston-Salem) — Always, always admit/accept your failures and screw-up, but in turn learn from them and try not to repeat them on purpose. We all have to learn from the bottom and sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn. Some days will start and end in tears, but no path is blocked if you work hard enough. The only person who allows you to fail is you! We are the creators of our own destinies. Also, depending on your career path (like mine in law enforcement) you have to accept that people will hate you regardless of what you say or do just because of what you do for a living. Always carry yourself with pride and integrity regardless of the words and actions being thrown at you!

Pamela Edson (Waynesville) — After almost 30 years being self-employed, the best thing I took away was that I don't have to compromise my values and morals in order to be successful. Although, as women, we are usually programmed to please people, stand up for what's important to you, and if a client asks you to compromise those values, don't work for them. It's not worth the emotional stress, and there are always other clients! I've told many a client that their case has no merit and I have no interest in working with them on that particular case. Of course, I never heard from them again, but I wouldn't want to work in that environment anyway.

Cheryl Beatty (Waynesville) — The most important skills are writing and critical thinking. They are the fastest track to advancement, and are highly portable. Demonstrated experience with effective communication and successful analytical contributions are career boosters, and cross-career bridges.

Hot tips for professional correspondence:

Write, edit, and read it out loud, BEFORE inserting email addresses.

Be mindful that anything you write may reach unintended audiences — and have unintended consequences.

Be very specific in the Subject line.

Omit initial pleasantries in correspondence. The first sentence, or two, of any document is an executive summary. Save collegial or personal comments, if any, for the end. Better yet, send such comments separately, and personally.

Don’t rush complex documents. Take a breather, reread, and revise.

Ask a trusted, brutally honest, colleague to proof and advise before sensitive document release.

Date and save your documents in pdf format — Shared word docs can be altered.

YYYY/MM/DD format when saving docs. e.g 2021/01/15 Board Meeting. It will save a lot of later research time.

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