“This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world. But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.”
There is an old saying that women have to work twice as hard as men to get half as much. This may be true in some cases, but only if we allow it to be true.
Women have come a long way in the workplace. We have fought for the right to work alongside men, the right to be paid the same as men and the right to be treated with respect rather than the “lesser” sex. There is no reason why we can’t compete like a man. The question is: why don’t we?
According to Dr. Lois Frankel, an executive coach for fortune 500 companies, women unknowingly undermine their credibility and sabotage their careers. In other words, it’s not the male co-workers ruining our chance for a promotion, we do it to ourselves.
After interviewing and coaching over 1000 women, Frankel has documented 101 of the most commonly occurring mistakes women make. Thankfully, not all of us make all of the mistakes, but if you find yourself repeatedly being skipped over for a promotion, you may be doing a couple of them. Below are the top three to watch out for:
Working too hard: Women often complain that they do more work compared to other people. The truth is no one is promoted by hard work alone. According to Frankel, likability, networking skills, and strategic thinking are some of the other factors needed to grow into a successful career. Instead of working hard all day, skipping lunch and breaks, give yourself permission to “waste” a little time. Spend at least five percent of your day building relationships.
Doing the work of others: Women tend to take responsibility for not only their work, but also the work of others. There is only one problem with this. While we are busy doing the grunt work, men are busy building their careers. Promotions are rewarded for a job done, not doing the job. Stop volunteering for low profile assignments. They will not only zap your time but won’t improve your career. Try not to let others delegate their work to you. Practice saying “I’d love to but I’m just swamped.” There is no need to explain further. It’s their job, not yours.
Failing to capitalize on relationships: Men rely on relationships to open doors for them. Women view it as taking advantage of a friendship or business partner. You would trust a referral from one of your business associates, then why wouldn’t the door swing the other way? When in doubt, ask permission to use a colleague’s name. For example, “I’m trying to set up a meeting with George Smith. Would it be all right if I mention that I know you?”