You are an ambitious, intelligent, decisive woman. You know what you want, you work hard, you engage yourself in company projects that excess your duties. For some time, your work is noticed, you get praised and appreciated, yet someday you notice that something has changed. Your hard work is seen, but at the end of the day somebody else gets the praise, the promotion, engagement in a prestigious project that’s an elevator to success.
What’s going on? You start panicking, thinking what’s wrong with you and why it gets harder and harder to deserve to be noticed by your supervisor.
Well, you are probably making some classic mistakes which are pretty common among us women. They make it harder for us to succeed, yet they are easy to spot and eliminate so that your career grows stronger!
Mistake No. 1: A man for the job, not for the spotlight
You work hard, you never disappoint, you are a solid employee. Whenever somebody asks you for help, you are happy to provide. Still, you don’t speak loudly about your input in other people’s success. You think they already know since you do your job fairly – and in your case, perfectly – and you get so engaged in what you do for others. According to research, 77% women think this way.
I know it really well because working as a coach, I often come across such approach among my clients.
I will be honest with you – I, too, made this mistake once. There was this new company on the Polish market and they had a very expansive growth plan regarding employment in our country. For the company’s first year in Poland, my role as an HR director was crucial and key to achieving the plan’s objectives. It turned out to be a great success of mine an my team’s. Well, it wasn’t me who got the promotion at the end – it was my colleague who interrupted more than he helped.
How did it affect my motivation? Terribly. In such cases, money, prestige, getting recognised – these are the outside signs of success. It is way harder to cope with feeling disappointed with myself, with other people who I’d worked so hard for, with feeling that I could have done more to fight for myself and instead I didn’t do myself justice.
Lesson: Stop thinking that hard work is enough and it is wrong to promote yourself or negotiate. I’m not saying you have to trample over people to achieve your aim! You are simply supposed to take care of yourself the same way you are taking care of others!
Mistake No. 2: More about your inner convictions
What is you approach towards power? How do you react to this word? Maybe you felt some unwillingness at the sound of it? Maybe you think having power or authority means dominating over other people in order to get what’s best for you.
Another thing – what’s your approach towards love? How do you react to this word? Love is being devoted, vulnerable, open to another person, it means trust and reliance. Love consists of happiness and risk because you may get used by somebody who will eventually only look after themselves.
Us women, when we pursue our careers, we fight this constant battle in our heads and hearts and we’re usually completely unaware of this.
This inner conflict may stop us really bad, so you might actually get pretty lost on your way to success if you don’t work out a good approach towards love and power.
Lesson: Your permission for the Love’s presence in your life, whilst creating a feeling of having Power over your life, will put you in a controlling position. You will be ready for success then. The success in a way you understand it, on your conditions.
Mistake No. 3: Who needs a strategy? Let it be!
My coaching experience makes me quite certain about one thing: there is no strategic thinking when it comes to your career. It simply doesn’t apply, doesn’t exist :) There may be some exceptions but I feel like we completely put our careers in the hands of faith. We mostly believe hard work will pay off on its own, making a Mistake No. 1. Unfortunately, we usually turn out to be left for disappointment.
Most of my clients are quite surprised when we start drawing a map of their work environment, when I ask them about the delivered value, about other people’s business, about what affect their careers.
Their amazement grows even more when they hear their own answers to these questions. Suddenly it turns out their knowledge about the workplace may actually greatly influence their career if it’s used strategically.
The value you deliver with your work it’s this part of it that affects your company’s business results. It doesn’t mean these are the duties assigned to your position. So instead of saying what is it that you do, say why you do it, and what benefits it brings your company. This is your true value and this is what you should promote.
Furthermore, the people you work for are more than just roles of the company – they are mostly people who have their needs, their potential, their difficulties. What value do you bring them? What value do they bring you?
Lesson: Look at your career situation as if it was a Google Map, as if you were planning a journey – where will your GPS lead you? What important points do you see at the map? Which way should you turn? Where to stop on the way, to see something interesting, gain new knowledge, simply… rest?
Because life is about achieving a joyful success :) !
Wishing you all the best,