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Claim your career

28 Aug 2019

By Nobantu Masebelanga:  Divisional Executive of Human Capital: Insurance Cluster

In a world where there are still challenges in the workplace - glaring gender inequality, glass ceilings and sticky floors have been a part of my career. Gender dynamics remain a key challenge; sometimes as a result of unconscious bias. Women need to continue to find ways of expressing themselves without losing their femininity.

With more than 20 years of experience in building my professional career, I've seen it all. I've moved from the public to private sector, from clinical psychology to foreign affairs and then healthcare before joining the insurance industry. In my current role as Divisional Executive Human Capital at Liberty, I enjoy helping people find their workplace 'groove' - including women who have never truly asked themselves what they are passionate about.

Some women may think, ‘I am a single mother, who cares if I’m fulfilled at work?’  Being a single mom of three girls myself, being a little selfish is crucial to my children's success. I'm committed to setting a strong example, not only for my daughters, but for all women in the professional world so I advocate for self-care along with professional excellence!

Manage your career

As women, we bring a different dynamic to the workplace and our diversity and perspectives are valuable. We shouldn't therefore apologise for who we are but celebrate it. Women need to understand what they are good at - and if they need help with identifying their strengths and passions, there are many assessment tools to help them with this. This is one way to manage your career as a woman.

For example, when I move up a level or shift from one organisation to another, I always undergo transition coaching. Just because I was successful in the last role doesn’t mean the next will require the same elements. Coaching is another approach to consider and can help you to be more effective in a different role and adjust seamlessly to a different culture. When I moved from public to private sector, one of the things my coach had to help me with was to have crucial conversations about my salary and benefits. I needed to enhance my negotiation skills.

Sometimes as women, we undersell ourselves. For example, when being appointed to a new role, we’re so excited about a new offer that we don't check if it's in line with our expertise and industry benchmarks. So, arm yourself with information – a new appointment or promotion is when your bargaining power is strongest. Then, when you're in that new role, search out and engage with key stakeholders to build strong relationships. Find out what their pain points are, their sweet spots and this will help you establish trust and make a more powerful impact.

Ultimately, managing your career is your responsibility. Have a career plan, be authentic and strive for balance. I love what I do and even though I work hard, I also know how to have fun in and outside the workplace. I want all women out there to realise that they are multifaceted individuals, not just an employee doing a job.

Any imbalance in your life can negatively affect how you show up. So, pay attention to yourself, your feelings and your thoughts and most importantly, don't sacrifice your personal values. You need to nurture all aspects of your life - your financial, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social wellbeing all need attention. 

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Work phobias, murder fantasies and meltdowns

Good advice goes a long way

Women are better investors

Claim your career

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Liberty Group Limited (Reg. no 1957/002788/06) is a licensed Insurer and an Authorised Financial Services Provider (no 2409).