In modern times, women are increasingly being able to establish careers for themselves and not being forced to choose between that and staying at home. That being said – these are the biggest mistakes women make in their careers:
1.Believing that there is only one space for a woman
Different jobs and organisations have different dynamics and in an environment where women struggle to get to the top, it is easy to adopt the belief that there is only one space for women which leads to treating your fellow females as adversaries. If one is to change the status quo – the way is to unite and support each other as opposed to brushing others aside in an effort to be the only one that makes it. You never know when you may need their help or support along the way.
2.Asking for permission
It is a common notion that men do not ask for permission whilst women do and this helps the former be more successful in the workplace. Asking permission lowers your status to that of a child, i.e. someone who always needs to be afforded permission. A better approach would be to inform your colleagues and supervisors of your plans and back up those plans so that you command more respect.
3.The need to be liked
This is closely linked to the need to be on good terms with everyone and although this is an ideal scenario in a social situation, it is not a necessity in order to do well in the work place and in many cases is difficult to make a reality. Say ‘no’ if you are not able to do something for someone rather than spreading yourself thin in an effort to be viewed favourably. This way you will have more time to do the relevant and important activities that you have been tasked with and only if you have extra time, can help out others as a favour.
From accepting blame and being the scapegoat to not speaking up about the things that have aggrieved us in the work place, women have a tendency to be passive in the workplace. This stems from behaviour women in general are taught when growing up, i.e. to be quiet and not to interrupt when others are talking and only to speak when spoken to. There is a place for these behaviours when you are a girl but as you grow up as a women and establish yourself in your career, have the confidence and self-respect to set the record straight if you are wrongly accused or speak up more in interactions that require it.
Every organisation has its own unique culture. In a formal corporate environment it would be inappropriate to dress casually – one should dress for the job they want. A women’s behaviour is just as important as over-sharing personal information or gossiping is not appropriate. Always be professional and others will view you as such.
If you respect and value your time and presence in an organisation, chances are that other will as well. Do not fall prey to the biggest mistakes women make in their careers.
Written by Marjorie Belemu