Women face different challenges than men as they climb the career ladder. From sexist bosses and mansplainers to credit-snakers and companies who don’t take into account our families, there are many biases systematically working against us. Sometimes, we even play a role in being roadblocks in the path to our own success by picking up behaviors that keep us from becoming the badass bosses we’re meant to be.
1. You’re reluctant to take credit…
Blood, sweat, and tears go into your work but when the time comes to step into the spotlight, you find it hard to form the word “I” and go for “we” instead to humbly spread the credit around.
2. …yet expect to be noticed.
Honestly, Moms are a prime example. They do so much and feel like trash when it isn’t recognized because they’re so good at Mom-ing. Great work cannot always speak for itself until you step up and take credit where it’s due.
3. Being too good at your job.
This isn’t a bad thing, but when you throw yourself fully into a role, it’s often assumed that that’s where you want to stay. Let it be known to your bosses that you see your current role as a mere stepping stone.
4. Not learning to take advantage of relationships.
There’s nothing wrong with leveraging your relationships. If your friend/colleague/acquaintance can put in a word for you, or help you get a leg-up, there’s no harm in asking. Be genuine and sincere.
5. Falling victim to Impostor Syndrome.
We all feel like we have something to prove from time to time which stops us from asking others for help. There’s nothing weak about it and you wouldn’t be where you are today without hard work.
6. Focusing too much on the Now than on building the Future.
Being so focused on what’s on your plate now makes you forget to lay down the groundwork for your next steps. It’s important to always have a goal in mind so you can a clear image of what you’re working towards.
7. Perfectionism. Point blank period.
There’s no such thing as perfect. It’s a trap – one which induces stress and negativity and pushes you, perhaps, to be controlling. Learning to let go of this notion and delegate will not only help you be more at ease but also open your time up.
8. Contracting the disease to please.
Learn to say no.
It’s great to be helpful, but don’t do it at the expense of your own growth. Be selective about which projects you choose to take on and don’t be afraid to pass the buck.
9. Minimizing your self to make others happy.
You have a tendency to make yourself small in the presence of others and in speech. You deserve as much space and time as anyone else, so take it. Forget adding the words “just” and “only” to your sentences (I just have one question; It will only take five minutes…)
10. Being labeled as “too emotive.”
Your emotions provide vital information about the situation you’re in. To feel is good but to take action in said feeling is not. Take a moment to process your emotions – ecstatic, dreading, saddened, angry – and then respond with an answer rooted in feeling but expressed logically.
11. Focusing on mistakes.
Mistakes happen. It’s a part of life and ruminating over it with the why’s will make you feel stuck and swimming in negativity. Focus instead on the what as in what’s your next step towards fixing or working past it?
12. Getting easily distracted.
The world is full of distractions in the form of your own thoughts, inanimate objects, and other people, to name three. So, sometimes, these leak into our work bubble and distract us. When this happens, try and reframe the situation by either dismissing or addressing the inputs in order to steer back your focus.
Not all of these apply to every woman, and not every woman encompasses these habits, but you can absolutely break out of those routines.
It’s hard enough making your way up, so let’s take advantage of what we can and kick some ass. And if you need some extra motivation, I’d recommend picking up a copy of How Women Rise, which is the ultimate cheat sheet to moving up the career ladder.