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Karen Edwards Blogger

Taking Charge in the Workplace

Posted by Karen Edwards | May 20, 2016

Welcome to the May 2016 edition of the ÖWLI blog. We hope you've had a great month and found new ways to lead in your career and that ÖWLI has been part of that! Thanks to those who attended our quarterly webinar last week. We have two more planned for the year along with our next book club in June and our upcoming Women's Leadership Conference in September, so be sure to check out the calendar for updates and registration information!

This month we are pleased to have guest blogger Heather Hoover who brings us five tips for taking charge in our careers. Heather is a product marketing manager at Össur in OA & Injury Solutions working with the premium knee, hip and upper extremity products. Heather has worked at Össur for the past eight years. She is an ABC certified orthotic fitter and graduated with her bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in women's studies from Pennsylvania State University. She will be receiving her Master's in Education in June 2016 from Drexel University.

Taking Charge in the Workplace

I can partially thank my minor's degree in women's studies for helping propel me to where I am today in my current career path. These empowering classes taught me to be vocal in my beliefs, and that I have every right to be at any table at which a man sits. It empowered me to know I have a voice, and that I should use it with confidence! Here are a five tips that will hopefully empower you and help you take charge in the workplace.

Five tips for taking charge in the workplace

1. Don't be afraid to ask for a raise.

If you have a reason to ask for a raise, I say go for it.  I suggest not waiting for the raise to come to you – be empowered to ask for it yourself. If you ask and your manager says no and you believe you deserve it, I suggest putting a follow-up meeting on their calendar in 3 or 6 months with the subject line of reviewing your compensation. This will let your manager know you are serious about it and won't let them forget about it. Plus, it will show you are confidant in your work abilities and will hopefully get your work noticed more during this period.

2. Set your password as your current goal

Have a work or personal goal? Set it as password that you use as a login every day. I use my computer every day. Having my password set as my goal forces me to think about it daily and helps drive me to achieve it before my password expires. Keeping your goal at the top of your mind every day will help motivate you to achieve it.

3. It is okay to say no (at least every once in a while!)

When I first starting working in a corporate environment, I was asked to take notes often in meetings. At first, I thought it was because I was new, but then as time passed, I realized it was due to the fact that women historically take notes in meetings. Don't get me wrong, I still volunteer to take notes, but I don't agree to do it at every meeting and I politely ask if others, including males, can take on the administrative role. No one likes to be pigeon-holed into doing tasks, and it's okay to stand up for what you believe in every once in a while to make it known. I don't overuse "no," so when I say it, it is taken with respect.

4. Bring solutions to the table

If you go to your manager with a problem or issue, have a solution ready to propose. This shows you are taking initiative and can help you and your manager brainstorm together on the obstacles. In addition, this can get a solution implemented quickly, and that is leadership your manager will recognize. 

5. Be realistic with your to-do list

Whether at home or at work, try not to stress yourself out with a never-ending "to-do" list. I feel the most achievable when I have 2-3 items I want to cross off the list each day. When the to-do list is long, it becomes a burden and can weigh you down. Make your day achievable and it can help your stress level. Plus, it makes you feel more accomplished when your list is crossed off by the end of the day.

I hope you find these tips helpful in your workplace!

Thank you, Heather, for these empowering strategies!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:  Reserve a spot on your schedule for the following upcoming ÖWLI events…

June 17-24, 2016:  ÖWLI Online Book Club Discussion. We are trying a new twist on the book club this quarter and hosting a week-long online discussion. Each day during that week, we will post a new discussion question. Participants can respond to the questions anytime during that week. This quarter our book will be "The Confidence Effect" by Grace Killelea. The "Confidence Effect" helps women speak out, take risks and assume leadership positions. This book offers practical strategies to turn job competence into the kind of authentic confidence that gets noticed. Join the book club group on Facebook at "OWLI Book Club." BONUS:  The first five ÖWLI members to join the Book Club page will receive a FREE copy of the book! On your marks, get set, GO!!

Aug. 8, 2016, 12-1pm EST:  ÖWLI Webinar. Our topic this quarter will be "Networking 101". More information on the speaker and details to come!

Sept. 15-17, 2016:  Össur Women's Leadership Initiative Conference, Orlando, FL. We are truly excited to offer our first Women's Leadership Conference! Please join us for a FIRST-CLASS education and networking event at Össur's Orlando facility.  This three-day conference will focus on issues relevant to female O&P practitioners as well as leadership development. CEU's will be offered for eligible courses (approximately 20 hours and we will confirm this once we have approval) and topics include leadership development by former Black Hawk fighter pilot Elizabeth McCormick, career development led by a panel of female O&P owners and managers, and the chance to network with your female peers and colleagues. Best of all, the event is FREE and includes all meals (including a super fun dinner outing on the Friday)! Register EARLY as spaces are limited to 50 attendees and we are already over half full! Click here to register:  //

Oct. 14, 2016, 12-1pm:  ÖWLI Webinar Series. Our topic this quarter is "Personal Branding." More information on the speaker and the details to come!

Thanks, as always, for being a part of ÖWLI and continue to submit ideas and suggestions as to how we can help you develop as a leader via email, Facebook or Twitter!

Until June,

Karen Edwards

Director, Össur Women's Leadership Initiative

ÖWLI Quote of the Month:  "True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves, but about lifting others up." – Sheri L. Dew, author, publisher, President and CEO of Deseret Book Company

Talk to us!! Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged! Please let us know what you think of our initiative, share your ideas, share your victories, or just say "hi" by emailing us at And follow us on Twitter @OWLIOssur and Facebook at Össur Women's Leadership Initiative page.