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Promise Yourself a Great 2012, Ladies

A new year rings the bells of change for many professional women. It’s a time to re-evaluate where we are and maybe, reinvent ourselves to take us where we’d like to go in the coming months. Change can be difficult, but sometimes a simple tweak can lead to success – both personal and professional.

In her book, Recession Proof Yourself! (Aardvark, 2009), author Elizabeth Lions offers readers a strategy for job-finding success. Whether you’re content in your current career or looking for ways to reinvent yourself in the New Year, we asked Lions share her insights on how women can get ahead in several areas of the workplace. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: What can women do to cultivate more professional respect?

A: Respect comes from building trust, so go build that. Respect is earned, not demanded. Keep high emotions out of the workplace. Learn how to play in a man's world while being a woman. 

Q: How should women go about asking for a promotion?

A: Don't ask, don't get. Ask for the money after you've researched how much your skill is worth. This is about your skill, not what you think you deserve for all you do. Know the difference. Money isn't personal. In fact, it has no opinion about you at all. 

Q: What should women do if they want a bigger paycheck?  

A: If you think you deserve more money, prove it. Document what you do and how it exceeds your job description. Don't be one of those women in the office that is a total martyr that sings the 'he done me wrong song' to the boss. 

Q: How can women achieve higher job satisfaction?

A: Draw the line between work and home. The boss should get your talents, not your soul. It's your responsibly to protect your home life and draw lines. If you don't, you will be bitter and blame everyone around you, when it was really your fault all along.

Q: How can women find better work-life balance?

A:  Learn how to say no. Learn to delegate. Learn to work until five and unplug the phone. In terms of your children, you will never get this time back, so don't fool yourself by thinking the money you make gives them a better life. You give them a better life by being with them, not being at the office. Enjoy them while you can. Ditto for any hobbies or your husband.

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