Have you ever wondered why some women cannot be regarded as equal partners in business even though they have vast knowledge and impeccable training?
There is always a woman who climbed the success ladder quickly and one that did not manage to move an inch even though they both started in the same time, at the same position. So what may be the reason for failure in one and success in the other case? We sure cannot blame socialization and sexism for such thing.
Starting a career is difficult for everyone. The very first steps a person makes in the beginning of a new career can be rough, but experience and learning from mistakes are crucial in one’s professional development.
As a woman, one must be able to show oneself in the best possible light. If you wish to learn how to succeed at work, make sure you pay attention to the 10 most common unconscious mistakes every woman makes at work.
1. Desire to Be Nice and On Good Terms with Everyone
Girls are often taught to pay attention to other’s needs, to be obedient and nice to people. The parents raise their girls teaching them that helping others can bring you benefits and make you feel good about yourself. Implementing this knowledge in the office makes women obedient of others, only to stay in good terms in everyone.
Sometimes a colleague will ask you for a favor that requires your time and dedication, such as staying late to help them with some presentation. Despite the fact that it is always good to help each other, people often take advantage of those that cannot say no when asked for help. So, you may agree to help your colleague once, but this can easily turn into numerous favors for that person and everyone else in the office.
What you get as result is spending time on things that cannot benefit you and are distracting you from your actual work. At the end, your colleague will take credit for your work and you will get nothing in return. A colleague is someone you work with, but also your competition for a promotion and success in the company.
Learning to say no is crucial in business. Sure, you should help out a colleague once in a while because you may need help someday too, but you should definitely set some limits. Do not allow people to take advantage of your desire to be nice only to stay in good terms with them.
2. Taking On Too Many Tasks
Being competent, friendly and diligent in doing your work is important in a career. However, women often try to show that they are more capable and qualified than others right from the beginning, even if they are not. Demonstrating diligence, hard work and loyalty should be done by taking jobs that will be done completely because of the woman’s qualities, not because she wants to prove competence.
You may be better educated than everyone who works with you, but some cases require experience also. This is why you must always aim towards taking up jobs suitable for your qualities, and not any work you are offered.
Everyone has their own talents, so make sure to pick a job that helps you reveal them. Such job will help you stress the most important qualities you have and demonstrate how competent you are. Men often reject tasks because they feel like they are more or less capable to be assigned those tasks. Follow their example and you will get to the top much faster.
3. Being Afraid of Loneliness
Many women fear of becoming lonely because they’ve heard that power leads to being less desirable and alone. We fear that after we reach a higher level, people will stop respecting and liking us and we will become similar to men – defensive and fierce.
The truth is, women are not always supposed to be delicate and they are not at all defenseless. Despite the fact that we are learned to see females as the passive and gentle gender, this should not apply to the workplace. People that show such qualities will never be taken seriously or even considered to be reliable partners.
Women being obedient to men is a thing that is long gone. Right now, women do not depend on men as they used to and are able to live social lives. The ability to demonstrate power is one key management skill that you must use to show that you are self-confident.
4. Sending Out The Wrong Signals
When you talk to people, you do not only communicate with spoken words. Your body language reveal much more than what you are saying verbally and sending out the wrong signals can influence the way people see you greatly.
When we study at the schools and universities, we learn of professionalism and strategies for doing the job of our choice. Schools rarely teach students of body language and how to avoid showing indecision and weakness. This is why women often show how intimidated and insecure they are to others, especially to bosses who are actually men.
Speaking to people higher on the professional scale makes women giggle, hesitate when asked something and smile archly and guiltily. Perhaps you have noticed how your voice trembles in important occasions, such as an interview or a presentation.
This is why it is highly important for a woman to learn how not to send signals of passiveness, defenselessness and fear. After all, business requires confident, stronger people and you will not be considered for dealing with serious matters if your body language speaks otherwise.
5. Being Indecisive
Women are more comfortable doing customary things so they may seem passive at work. More often, we do not speak of our opinion or discontent because we are unsure at how others will react. We rarely disagree and try to be obedient instead.
If you wish to succeed in business, you cannot be indecisive. You needn’t go by the principle of waiting until you are called or keeping silent why others are speaking. If you want to become one of those people who are higher on the professional scale, you have to be heard.
6. Being Too Emotional
Sometimes you will have an opportunity to rise in your chosen career that may hurt others’ feelings. In some cases, you will be asked to work for better companies and leave your workplace. Sometimes, you will have to make a change.
Women are often too attached or emotional to their workplace or simply do not have the courage to make a change. Also, we often value the feelings too much and take everything to heart. This can only harm our way to success.
7. Not Seeing the Workplace as a Playing Field
We have previously mentioned that you should not take up too much tasks in order to prove you are more competent than others are. This however, did not mean that you should see the workplace as anything else than a playing field. You should not start things you cannot finish, but you sure should not remain passive and think that a promotion will come on its own.
8. Not Realizing The Importance Of Networking
Advances in technology have made modern living dependent on networking, which means that your success does not only depend on what you do at work.
Developing professional relationships outside work and participating in professional associations can come in handy for when you want to become something more, even if it seems irrelevant in the moment.
9. Not Telling The Truth
As women, we often have the habit of creating stories if we feel that something went wrong. In many cases, women get less respect or even fired because they lied in order to explain why something did not go as planned, even though it was not their fault.
Truth is often your best option when it comes to work. Every person at your workplace has made a mistake at a certain point, so even if this was your fault they will more likely accept the truth than forgive you if they catch you in a lie. And if it is not your fault and you are simply unsure, clearing up the facts is always your best option.
10. Not Being Able to Define Their Brand
Personal branding depends on the value definition you bring to the table. This is the only way to stand out from the competition. Defining what you are good at and relating your strengths to what you can do for the company is key in becoming successful.
The nowadays world is filled with competition and more often than not, a single mistake can cost you your success. Of course, studying hard is your best way to make sure that you will find a good job, but what happens after you get it?
Everything is different when you start at your job and you need to rise above the competition. This is why it is highly important that you avoid the most common mistakes women make at the workplace.
Guest author bio:
Julie Petersen is a blogger and a writer at NinjaEssays.com. She shares her experience to help women avoid mistakes that can damage their career and success.