Danforth said women are uncomfortable expressing their own success and that’s precisely the reason the YMCA executive leadership program includes a workshop on ‘toot your own horn without blowing it’. She said women need to do some critical self-evaluations: “Determine where you are, what you bring to this table and not where you were or left behind.”
She encourages women to move away from the ‘deficit mentality’ where they drag other women down to keep the power structure flat; whereas men are comfortable with the hierarchy and use it as a motivator for a competitive edge.
Danforth said negotiating is crucial in today’s job environment where one can no longer expect to be employed for 20 -25 years with the same company.
TaRita Dioone Johnson, Recruiter for the Rotational Analysts and Internship Programs at KeyBank, spoke about career sustainability and emphasized the importance of networking through leadership organizations like the Junior League. Johnson said it is important to network within the company you currently work for too, “If you get laid off tomorrow someone needs to be screaming about it.”
She suggests being passionate about your responsibilities, going the extra mile, and branding yourself. She recommends keeping an updated résumé, and if you are laid off, view it as an opportunity to explore other options.
With the lack of money and resources weighing heavily on everyone’s mind in this economy, Patty Quiñónez, CRPC Financial Advisor of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., and Tony Dean, of State Farm Insurance, offered practical solutions for creating and maintaining personal wealth in a competitive market. Quiñónez recommends seeking the advice of a personal financial advisor to help you understand the market, invest wisely, and avoid taxable retirement savings.
She recommends planning for future expenses; healthcare, insurance, hobbies, vacations; and adjust the cost for inflation. Quiñónez said as life expectancy is increasing, the cost of living doubles in the next 18 years. “Life can be unpredictable, knowing that you have a plan can make unforeseen difficulties easier,” she said.
Dean concurred with Quiñónez and said write down goals, create an execution plan, take small steps to achieve that goal in a set period of time. “Our vision creates what happens in the future,” he said.
Dean emphasized that becoming wealthy requires self awareness—stop lying to yourself, live a little below your means by separating wants from needs, get off the side lines and invest, and begin with an end in mind, research resources and accept free money like 401K match program and pay yourself first.