Today’s post focusses on the question about taking the step up! Going back to University or asking for that promotion.
Since getting back into the academic world to pursue a PhD in Inclusion in Leadership, I have been asked many questions, some positive and negative. Never mind.
It is also in response to questions asked about joining the ‘Migrant Women’s Self Inclusion into Leadership Institute’. I hope it will help you to take that leap to get yourself Leadership ready.
Question 1: Is 50+ years old too old to go back to University?
Of course not, you are never too old to learn; in fact, exposing yourself to education brings out the youth in you. I graduated my master’s degree at the University of Southampton in 2010. I was 37 years old, and my best friend was a 62-year-old Asian man. He did very well, and the following year he had a better job than he had before we started. In my PhD shoot currently, we have a 67-year-old man. So, there you have it. You are only as young as you feel.
Question 2: It is too expensive to go to University, and there is no guarantee of a job when you finish, is there?
Pardon? Paying for education is expensive in comparison to what? Think of how much you spend going for a meal in a restaurant, a car, clothes or parties. Is there a guarantee that those things will last? A car can crash, clothes and food, you know where I am going with this, right? People struggle to invest in themselves and their career but would be quite happy to waste money on trivial things with no return — immediate gratification. Like with anything else, there is no guarantee, what we do is to work hard and intentionally plan on where you want to go. Therefore, being a member of this community, you will not be going into a course blindly. You will have a plan that will give you the best chance to get the job you want.
Question 3: I work hard at work, but they pass me by and promote young people. There was a job I wanted; I was great for it. I knew its everything my manager had been asking me to do before they decided to make it a full post; When it came up, my manager gave it some kid that join only a few years ago. Why bother trying when they don’t see my efforts?
By far the most significant complaint I have from women in general but more so from migrant women. I am not sure if it is because of the difference in culture, we are taught not to put our heads above the parapet, so to say. So, you sit and work hard, your boss sees you doing that they, pile on more responsibilities, with no pay rise or promotion. Then bam! A young person arrives from a graduate programme and next thing the young one is your boss. He doesn’t even know the organisation as you do. But what if you changed your stance, you keep a record of the extra work and bring it up in the supervision, and also show how much you want to do more in a higher position if a project comes on put yourself forward etc., do you think this is something you can start doing. Progress or promotion beyond a certain level is about putting yourself forward. You need to know your capabilities and ask for what you want. You will not always get it but, it will give you the confidence to use on the next one until you get where you want. If you feel there is no room for growth in your current organisation, apply in another organisation but do not go for the same level job. Promote yourself.
Question 4: What do I put in my personal statement?
Not to worry, here to help. That is what this community offers. Sometimes it is hard to see what you have achieved on your own. When you join, we will put together a plan for you, and you can leverage what you have done to help you with the statement.
Question 5: I currently have a job that pays the bills why do I need to change it?
You do not need to change it. If you are truly happy where you are then, there is no need and this community is not for you, I respect that. However, if there is ever a time when you look around and think something is missing in your life, then we will be here to welcome you and answer any questions at that point.