Q: Hey Cheyenne, I’ve been having a problem with getting men in the work force to respect me as a professional career woman. I don’t know what it is, but every time I try to network with a man, they never take me seriously. No matter how qualified I may be, all they want to do is date me and/or sleep with me. What is it with these men? Do I have to work exclusively with women just to avoid this madness and get ahead in life? Why can’t we just work together, you do what you need to do and I do what I need to do? Why don’t men have self-control. This happens EVERYWHERE I go and it’s becoming a big problem because I’m not able to open the doors I need to get to the next level unless I sleep with these men (and that’s not happening). I’m sure I’m not the only woman to experience this, so what’s a woman to do?
A: Hello and thank you for sharing. When it comes to networking, always present yourself as the person you want to be known and remembered as. It’s all about knowing your audience. For example, if you’re trying to connect with a child and have them deliver a great review to their parents, you wouldn’t bring your resume, you would bring your cheer. If you’re talking to a group of teenagers, if you’re smart, you had better include some of the latest music artists, songs, or fashion in your presentation. If you’re dealing with women, your hair, shoes, clothes and hand bag had better be on point in addition to your resume and presentation because women tend to require more. But when dealing with “men”, the only thing he cares about is “you”. Your degrees, certifications, qualifications, clothes, shoes, hand bags, interests, etc aren’t a man’s primary focus when connecting with a woman (personally or professionally). A man is interested in knowing more about “you” as a person.
This puts you in a great position of power (i.e. You have something that he wants). You will keep that power for as long as you are wise enough to hold onto it. Once you release your power, you will no longer have the same effect on him unless you have successfully managed to get him to part with something that is of great(er) value to you. Hate it or love it, your vagina is your negotiating power. I’ll say it one more time (and no this is not a typo). Hate it or love it, your vagina is your negotiating power. You ever wonder how the good looking women who weren’t as “qualified” got the job and you didn’t? It’s because in many cases, she “qualified” for the position according the person who was doing the hiring (men).
You don’t have to like the fact that men primarily hire staff that are easy on the eyes, but if you want that particular job you had better show up to the interview dressed to impress and with glee, and once you get the job maintain your appearance and charm. Once you’re in the door, you can show and prove that you are more than just a beautiful face because now you are “connected” to the source and have more power than you had prior to being accepted into the network. No one cares how you arrived, all that matters is that you’re there. If the boss hired you because you’re attractive and hired someone else because they’re smart, you’re both in the same building working for the same company. It’s not at all that men don’t respect you. No! In actuality, what’s happening is that he sees more in you than what you’re portraying (which is a business woman).
This is perfectly natural and is evidence that you are doing something right. Not only are you a successful business woman, but you are also an attractive woman and have the power of seduction. If you could have this effect on him, surely you could have this effect on other business tycoons and make their numbers skyrocket. You can be professional and still be attractive, in fact it’s recommended. Use what you got to get what you need.
Not every woman has the gift of beauty and can use it to open doors. If this is your gift, by all means USE it to open doors. Once you’re in the door however, it’s your job to show that you’re worthy enough to stay. By no means are you required to sleep with the boss or sleep with these men who want to network with you, all that is required is that you be the beautiful person that you naturally are. So often we create this image of ourselves and we think that people like us because of the car we drive, the business we own, or the degrees we’ve earned, when sometimes it’s as simple as hearing your voice, seeing your smile, or just having your presence in the room.
We pride ourselves on all of these different things that we’ve invested in over time and completely overlook our God given talents and abilities which dwell on the inside. Instead of working harder, work smarter. Be honest with yourself and learn to understand your power. Your power is subjective to the needs of the person you are connected to. For example, your powerful good looks and charm might not work on females or children, but they will always work on men.
Know your audience and know your power. You can be angry about it, blog about it, form women’s groups to protest against it, but the fact will still remain, men who are in the hiring position look to hire women who are attractive. Learn how to use this interest in your appearance to your advantage and get the most out of the deal.
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Life & Relationship Coach