Female Professionals: 10 Ways To Undermine and Conquer Your Career
Career Tips For Women:
1. Cannot Break Down Their Focus
Women are great multi-taskers. They believe they can be everything to everybody at all hours of the day never ceasing to understand the greater picture. With this type of thinking and behavior, women can get bogged down by the big picture and reducing focus on individual tasks. This results in sub-par work.
TIP: Delegate. Trust and allow others to help you. Do not be afraid to demand excellence as you focus on your main tasks. Don’t forget to minimize your urge to micromanage. Know what you want up front and be clear about your expectations.
2. Focus Too Much On Personality Rather Than Skills
My female clients come to me expressing their feelings about their work and how they, as a person, will make a great candidate for a job or promotion. My male clients come to me with their skills and tell me how their experience makes them qualified for a job. This is where the man’s world and the woman’s world collides.
Women get too hung up on their feelings and personality because women tend to be group oriented as they realize the effect of group dynamics in the work environment. The problem is, women forget to highlight their work experience and amount of education and accomplishments they have to offer, failing to drive home their ultimate value.
TIP: Understand that getting a job takes a combination of personality, skills and knowledge, and a certain level of accomplishments. It doesn’t matter how nice and thoughtful you are. An employer wants to know whether or not you’ve got the clout to meet deadlines and understand the bottom line. Emphasize your skills, knowledge, and experience and allow your personality to take a back seat.
3. Assuming Others Will Notice and Reward Your Work
Many women think, “If I keep my mouth shut and do a great job, everyone will notice me and give me the pay/benefits/acclaim I deserve.” This type of thinking is career sabotage as other employees are more focused on themselves and their jobs than to care about what you’re doing even if you’re the company’s biggest asset.
TIP: A little self promotion goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to voice the sacrifice and effort you are making for the team. Do so in a gracious way and you will get noticed. Toot your horn too loudly and find yourself alienated from the greater team. If you believe you deserve a raise, promotion, or recognition, ask. Be prepared to back up your demands with evidence.
4. Waiting For Permission To Advance Your Career
Many women believe they must receive a sign to make a career move or be expressly told by a superior that they should move up or on with their career. Waiting for permission to advance your career could leave you rotting in the back office.
TIP: When you feel ready to move on, plan and execute with confidence. Demonstrate assertiveness by proposing a promotion and have confidence in your work. If you experience some road blocks conquer them quickly and work towards a plan for growth.
5. Office Gossip & Personal Politics
Office gossip can cause a whole mess of social problems that affect productivity. Sure, knowing gossip about our colleagues can make us feel like we’re in control of our work environment, but doing so leads to questions about our ethics and integrity.
TIP: Avoid gossip. Make a stand to stay out of office dramas and limit your personal involvement if it affects your performance. Keep yourself in check and if you hear information about others, keep it to yourself and don’t use it as blackmail later on. Aim for the straight and narrow path of personal politics.
6. Using Sex Appeal
There is nothing wrong with being and feeling beautiful. There are many known and unknown ramifications of using sex appeal and sexuality on the job by means of flirting, inter-office relationships, and physical relationships. The short and long term consequences can very well affect your career in terms of reputation, ethics, and perceived intentions. Some ramifications involve law suits, gossip, termination, and public embarrassment.
TIP: Use your image wisely and know your limits and company policy of physical and sexual involvement in the workplace. Be sure to understand the consequences before engaging in questionable behavior. Using sex as a method to gain recognition, salary increases, and promotions should be avoided at all costs. If you’re using your body as a means for career growth, then it’s time to reevaluate your skills and goals.
7. Ignoring Your Work Needs
Being a professional woman, let alone mother and wife, typically involves self sacrifice when it comes to a career. Women often put others’ needs before their own and get caught up in assisting and sometimes doing the work of others to the point of sheer self negligence. Doing so can severely stunt one’s career growth.
TIP: Assist others when you can and be sure to communicate your needs and projects as necessary. As mentioned before be sure to delegate responsibility and use the skills and talents of others to maximize their own efficacy and increase overall productivity.
8. Trying To Manage A Career On Your Own
For every ten men who comes for my career advice, I receive one female client. Men justify the expense of hiring a career coach because they are the main breadwinners in their family and thus need to use the tools available to them to make the most out of their career. Women, on the other hand, find it hard to justify the expense of a career coach because they’re not the main bread winner or simply because they do not believe in the possibilities and value of their work. Don’t belittle the value of your career.
TIP: Find two people: a mentor and a career coach. A mentor will help you develop your career and role at work. They’ll also take you under their wing and show you how to maximize your time, meet the right people and develop your skills as a professional. A career coach will help you develop a vision and solid career plan. They’ll also hold you accountable for your performance and will constantly provide the motivation you need and deserve. It’s time to define value in your work and realize you can’t do it alone.
9. Neglecting Yourself
This addresses the fact that many women feel they must sacrifice a healthy diet, sleep, emotional and physical health and hygiene for their careers. Before they know it, they’re risking their health and sanity to for a job and doing so can result in disastrous consequences such as termination, taking sick days, loss of income, and the perception of a lack of reliability.
TIP: Make your emotional and physical health a daily priority. Work out, eat healthy, and talk with someone who can help you sort out your emotions and feelings so you don’t have to drag your issues to work in the morning. If we’re sick, tired, and generally unhappy, the odds are we’re unable to properly do our jobs and help our clientele.
10. Mismanaging Money
When women overspend incomes, live with debt, misuse money, or depend on others for their income, they are forced to take unwanted job simply for the money. When one thinks too much about money or debt, they’re not focusing on their overall career and how they can use it as a tool of personal and professional self expression. Instead, a career becomes a matter of money, rather than a matter of passion and one finds themselves dependent upon a bad job, living paycheck to paycheck, or afraid of being laid off.
TIP: Take control of your finances now. Hire a financial adviser and cut your credit cards, live with less, pay off your debt, stop co-dependent relationships and make financial and social sacrifices to free yourself of financial slavery. When women are free of overwhelming financial obligations they feel freer to make career decisions based on their goals rather than a mere number.
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