I’ve been staring at my phone for the past couple of minutes, reading what Mister X has just sent me, over and over again.
“Do you want to come to my Hotelroom and help me clear the minibar?”
I’m confused. Why? We had just had a very successful networking event and I was feeling very confident about our future in China.
Dang it. Not again.
Yes. I’m 25, I’m blonde and I’m into fashion. I also happen to accompany managers in China during business trips, negotiate during contract deals and work more than 40 hours a week on my own business. Does that mean I should hide the girl that lives within me?
Ever since I graduated with a degree in Mandarin Chinese 5 years ago, I’ve been working hard on getting myself established in the international business world. By no means did I lift myself up through men. Hell no!
The past couple of years, I’ve learned a lot about being a woman in the world of business and in light of International Women’s Day, I’m sharing 5 tips on ‘How to be taken more seriously as a Woman‘!
Us girls got to stick together right?! 🙂
#GIRLBOSS 101: EMBRACE YOUR INNER CHARM BUT GIVE THEM NOTHING
I used to always think that being charming amongst businessmen, is a no go! You don’t want to give them the wrong impression right? However, I’ve found that, there’s a big difference between showing off your goodwill and being overly charming (to the point where you actually DO give the wrong impression). Use your charm to your advantage, especially during networking events, but be strong and strict about your boundaries!
Ok. Fair enough. But how the hell do I do that Mireille?
Smiles are everything. Watch out with how you use your eyes. Avoid intense looks like the plague. Instead try to sparkle with friendliness. And most importantly, make occasional comments that show off your strength as a woman. So that the men your dealing with know, they should not mess with you.
‘Do I like to Holiday in France sunbathing?’ ‘Nah, I prefer to go snowboarding with friends, I’m not that kind of girl, you know!’
GIRLBOSS 101: FLAG INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR
Call the guy in question out on it. This will A; show off your strength and the fact that you’re not scared of him. And B; he will most likely change his behavior towards you.
Sometimes male colleagues are not aware of their behavior and are most willing to change that. And if in fact they are very much aware of the fact that they are being inappropriate, they will know they shouldn’t mess with you. As long as you’re strict and strong about your boundaries, a lot of men will respect you for it.
#GIRLBOSS 101: LOOK THE PART
No need to dress down. You can still look fashionable, colorful and trendy! One rule of thumb, avoid sexy at all costs! This will sabotage all your efforts of trying to be classy. No low-cut blouses, short skirts or pants that are just a teeny-tiny to tight. You know what I mean.
Go for European style classy.
#GIRLBOSS 101: NO EMOTIONAL BLOW-OUTS
Whether it’s your monthly period, hormones in general or just you being you. Stop what you’re doing. Right now!
Emotional behavior is your worst enemy, when it comes to being taken seriously on the work floor. Especially among men.
Don’t give them reason to question your strength or confidence! Save your emotional fall outs for girl friends. And if I might say so, while I am a big advocate of being a woman and embracing all that comes with it, if you strive to be a confident girl ALWAYS, you’ll have no problem doing this.
#GIRLBOSS 101: CONFIDENCE IS KEY
Confidence is what ties it all together. A confident woman trusts on her own intuition. And if you really FEEL IT! That’s the message you’ll be sending. Body language is everything and a confident woman will naturally come across as a strong woman not to be messed with.
And what if you land in such a situation and these tips don’t work? (Yes, men can be oblivious sometimes).
Tell your boss, avoid doing business with them, and keep rocking your career objectives!
One day, they’ll look back and regret not taking you seriously!
Keep rocking! Xo