Advertising
Advertising

Why An Independent Woman Is the Role Model For Everyone

Why An Independent Woman Is the Role Model For Everyone

Have you ever read any comments in posts about independent women? If so, you will see a lot of poisonous comments from men who imitate the media in portraying these women as anti-men, resentful, and out to get revenge! There are comments from women’s advocates who say that many women receive rape and death threats on a daily basis. In the past, Hollywood has portrayed women in their films as stereotypes who need men to rescue them from many difficult situations. In spite of all the hype, myths, and futile sexist attitudes that are abound, an independent woman is a role model for everyone. Here are 10 reasons why this is true.

“My greatest ambition is to have a career without becoming a career woman.” – Audrey Hepburn

1. Because she sees the value in education

Many women go over and beyond the lure of looking good and seek out real development as a fully rounded individual. They are curious and want to learn. An excellent example is Emma Watson, who had it all made as an actress and a model. However, she did not stop there. She completed a degree course at Brown University, taking a year off her acting career to do so. This is an inspiring example of a superb work ethic.

“I want to find something that will let me use my brain in another way. I like connecting people who aren’t part of that world, too.” – Emma Watson

2. Because she is determined

Many women face the glass ceiling in their careers and are not put off by this at all. They show persistence and true grit in getting what they want. One example is Hope Powell, who became the first woman to be granted the UEFA Pro License, which is the highest coaching award available in a field which is normally reserved for men. She is one of the 8 women coaches (out of 24) in women’s football and has played a leading role in getting the game recognized and followed by both men and women. She was instrumental in getting the Football Association to take women’s football seriously and has helped to reduce the stigma attached to women footballers.

“Work hard to get what you want. If it’s your ambition, go for it. You don’t have to be the best in the world to make it as an elite athlete. You need to be a grafter and be prepared to sacrifice.” – Hope Powell

3. Because she can communicate clearly

A superb example of somebody who can communicate complex subjects in a simple and easy to understand manner is Stephanie Flanders. She spent two years at Harvard and has worked for the United Nations, the New York Times, and was the Economics Editor at the BBC for a number of years.

Explaining global finance in everyday terms and how it impacts our daily lives was not easy, but Stephanie communicated her deep understanding of finance in a most effective way. Her TV program, Masters of Moneywas an inspirational example. “Stephanomics” has even been coined to express her unique way of communicating complex subjects to the masses. She now works for JP Morgan.

Advertising

“Do not be alarmed by simplification; complexity is often a device for claiming sophistication, or for evading simple truths.” – John Kenneth Galbraith, American economist.

4. Because she cares about humanity

It takes courage to act when the migrant humanitarian crisis which is now sweeping the world leaves nations perplexed and passive. We need inspiring humans to show they care and take action. Whether it is taking part in a volunteer group or financing a project for talented girls in disadvantaged areas of the world, the message is the same. Oprah Winfrey has set an excellent example by establishing the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, which helps talented girls in need of a free education. This is just one of the many charities she actively supports

“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.” – Oprah Winfrey

5. Because she refuses to be judged by her appearance

Independent women will never fall into the trap of thinking that presenting themselves in a sexualized way is appropriate. She knows that she will be judged on her performance, her abilities, her communication skills, and ways she connects with others. These are the important things she is aiming to achieve. The independent woman will never put her appearance as the number one priority. She will not be brainwashed into behaving the ways that society expects her to. She will never fall victim to emotional and verbal abuse. Sandra Brown’s fascinating book, Women Who Love Psychopathspraises independent women who can do this. These women are inspiring role models to follow.

Advertising

6. Because she knows the true value of a relationship

No independent woman needs a loving relationship. She wants one, just like everyone else, and will not compromise on that. She is not prepared to get involved just to help with her rent or because her new partner has a car. Above all, she can balance the need to be alone with her own space so that she can maintain her life without sacrificing personal freedom for the sake of a relationship. She can balance the two successfully. This is a model for everyone to follow.

7. Because she has overcome prejudice and discrimination

According to Pew Research, about 40% of Americans believe that women are expected to reach higher standards when they are promoted to top positions. About the same percentage are not yet ready to elect women to prestigious political posts. Approximately half of the women say that they have to go the extra mile to prove themselves when they get promoted to top business positions. Gender equality in the workplace is still a long way off. Independent women are a great role model to follow as they have often had to fight against discrimination and overcome it.

8. Because she knows that she does not have to copy male standards of leadership

The temptation for many women when they get to the top is to copy the male pattern of leadership. They tend to take aggression, toughness, and competitiveness to exaggerated levels. Hilary Genga, who founded Trunkettes swimwear, says that this is unnecessary and a mistake. Relying on gender role models is foolish.

“Be yourself, and have confidence in who you are. Don’t try to be a man. You made it to where you are through hard work and perseverance, but most importantly, you’re there. Don’t conform yourself to a man’s idea of what a leader should look like.” – Hilary Genga

9. Because she is confident

An independent woman has great confidence. It is a fantastic asset. Many successful women have achieved this by using their common sense, intuition, and people skills to great effect. Preparation is key as Sandra Rowlands, CEO of ReachLocal, has remarked.

“I had confidence in my abilities to run the business. I just made sure that any initiative I was trying to move forward was backed up by a solid business case. I was never unprepared for the questions that I knew would come.” – Sandra Rowlands

10. Because she has achieved a healthy work / life balance

Any working person strives to achieve the elusive work/life balance. When an independent woman achieves this, it is usually because they have successfully juggled the dual relationship of running a home and a business at the same time. It is often difficult to achieve; however, 78% of American mothers who use the Internet are convinced that it is possible to be successful in their career and in parenting. One of the secrets of their success is that they concentrate on running an efficient home, rather than a perfect one.

“I have set clear boundaries around family and work, and I get home for dinner with my kids. Most important, I am present when I am home with my kids. It’s the quality of time, not just the quantity that matters. I know there is always more I can get done at work, but I will never be able to redo these years with my kids!” – Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder of Stella & Dot.

Let us know in the comments how independent women have inspired you to be successful.

Featured photo credit: She’s in Fashion/Lauren Hammond via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

7 Things to Do in a Gossipy Work Environment 15 Signs Of Negative People 10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And Ways to Be Motivated) 10 Scientifically Proven Ways To Stay Happy All The Time Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Trending in Communication

1 How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up 2 How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late 3 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer 4 If You Think You’re in an Unhappy Marriage, Remember These 5 Things 5 7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

Advertising

How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

Advertising

A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

Advertising

Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

Advertising

How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

Read Next