This article was originally published on Citi’s Women & Co.
In the year and half since Citi launched the Connect: Professional Women’s Network on LinkedIn, we’ve talked a lot about how women define success, and the obstacles that we need to “overcome” to get where we want to be. But in recent conversations in the Connect group and through a series of Power Your Progress networking events that we’ve been hosting in cities across the country, the discussion has shifted. It’s no longer about overcoming massive roadblocks that stand in our way – it’s about turning those so-called obstacles into opportunities, and how we navigate them to ensure that we’re moving towards our goals with each step forward.
“You’ve got to play the game,” remarked Naomi Beckwith, curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, at our most recent “Power Your Progress” panel discussion with Marie Claire magazine in Chicago. People will say “no” and try throw up hurdles in the hopes that you’ll give up – but the faster you rise to meet those challenges head on, the smoother your road to success will be.
So in the spirit of helping you create your game plan, Citi released its 3rd wave of research on professional women with LinkedIn today – and we transformed the results into a roadmap for success, complete with all of the twists and turns that our survey revealed that women encounter along the way. To determine how gender plays a role in the paths professionals take, we also included men in the study this time around – and discovered several notable areas where our roads diverge: Not only are more women employed in careers that differ from what they thought they would do when graduating college (45% vs. 36%), but women are also more likely to think that they will work in a totally different industry or at a different company in ten years (30% vs. 19%). Which may explain why the average Baby Boomer man has had 6 jobs in his lifetime and doesn’t expect to have any more; the average Baby Boomer woman has had 8 jobs, and expects to have 10 jobs over the course of her lifetime.
How do all of these transitions impact the finish line? We’re pleased to report that more women are also making progress towards their end game – the number of women who feel that they’ve achieved their goals has taken a significant 10-point jump since we fielded the survey in May 2013, from 37% to 47%.
Check out the infographic below, then tell us — what does your finish line look like? And how have you handled the biggest twist or turn that you’ve encountered so far? For real-time advice on navigating career transitions, please join us for a conversation on Citi’s Connect: Professional Women’s Network on October 30th with Kathy Caprino, a nationally-recognized women’s career success and leadership coach. Kathy will be in the group answering questions on everything from when it’s time to change jobs, to how to make changes that lead to more happiness, success and rewards. Find out more here.