Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 


February 28, 2019

Dream jobs are like unicorns; they don’t really exist. There are always tradeoffs. The work is fascinating and the hours tough. The team is amazing and the commute long. The work-life balance is real and the opportunities limited. But an imperfect opportunity to move up or over can still be a great stepping stone to something just a little closer to dreamy.
The key is figuring out how well the opportunity fits into your career plan and current life stage. Wally Doolin, Founder and Chairman of TDn2K, the restaurant industry analytics firm known for its People Report, advises women evaluating new opportunities to look at two key considerations. Consider how well the values of the organization and team fit with yours and explore whether there are already other successful women on the team.
“If you are going to be the first woman at that level or in that segment of the business, it’s important to know the leadership has a strong talent strategy going forward. You need to know they are committed to your success and the success of other women leaders in the organization,” Doolin said.
Keys to consider in evaluating job opportunities:

  • Is the role relevant? Will it provide experience in an area you are passionate about or want to excel at in the future? Will it provide experiences that will help close a skill gap? “Sometimes even a lateral move can be the right one if it enables you to fill in your understanding of the business and skill sets you need to advance,” Doolin said.
  • Who’s on the team? If your new boss is someone you admire and can learn from, the position may make sense even if salary or title remain about the same. The opportunity to lead an exceptionally strong team might also be a major draw, especially at points in your personal life where you may need to lean on others and are not in a position to build from the ground up.


  • Are related sacrifices likely to pay off? “Most people who are successful in their careers have accepted some degree of personal difficulty along the way, whether that’s the job location, time commitment or even financial commitment,” Doolin said. “It’s important to determine if a short-term sacrifice may lead to long-term gain. Although do not set yourself up for an untenable work or home life arrangement.”  


  • Is the organization on the move? If your company has exciting new endeavors on the horizon or is growing into new areas, you can likely grow with them. They may also be especially open to your creative new ideas. 

Dream jobs may only exist in fairy tales, but great jobs in the real world can provide major opportunities for growth — and the magic needed to prepare for your next break through.

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