The Female Career – ACTS to build a deliberate and intentional path

Fragmented, side roads, pot holes, unexpected twists turns and dead ends.  When I consider my own career that’s how much of it looks in part due to the many roles of motherhood, being a trailing spouse, changes in career direction and multiple shifts in the world of work. And when I am being particularly self critical I blame myself for this. 

For many women taking charge of their own career is a relatively new phenomenon. Aren’t we the ones that play the supportive, caring and nurturing role not just at home but at work? Don’t we put others first and our own needs second? Don’t we wait for someone to recognise our efforts rather than creating opportunities to talk to others about them?

We know from recent research (Women in the workplace McKinsey 2021) that in the recent pandemic women leaders have spent far more time than their male counterparts in supporting their teams not just in work situations but more frequently in the myriad of issues that have risen such as differing abilities to cope with constant change, diversity, inclusion, yet this work often goes unrecognised and unrewarded. 

In that time women’s careers have once again fallen behind their counterparts.  We have perhaps necessarily taken our eye off the ball or actually, our career.

If we are to succeed in getting the roles we deserve in organisations we need to be much more deliberate about the way we do things and how we manage our careers.

As a framework to enable deliberate action and to nudge women in taking practical steps around this, I came up with a simple model that has  had resonance with hundreds of women leaders over the last 18 months –


AAgency – Take action and be deliberate in your choices on your own career. Understand that ‘if it’s to be, it is up to me’.

C  – Create –   Create relationships where you can build shared advocacy and shared understanding of your value to the business

TTransform – Constantly grow and adapt your skills and experience to match existing and future needs of organisations in the rapidly changing world of work

SShape – Through understanding your unique signature skills,  shape the roles in which you will more naturally be successful.

This August and Women’s Month here is us all using ACTS to really create some waves in the world of work and building your own, intentional career path.

By Elaine Seale McKend

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