Do you feel that you’ve gone as far as you can with your current career and life goals?
Despite knowing that you have much more potential, is there a limit for “women” in your organization or community?
Gender bias may exist, but most of the responsibility can be placed on women themselves and the career-stunting behaviors they unknowingly exhibit at work.
Women sometimes tend to make mistakes to sabotage their career, in addition to their own feeling of not being “good enough” or “worthy enough” of certain positions.
Whenever our femininity is questioned, we tend to back-off to protect ourselves rather than stepping forward as leaders of the future, when they are told this is emotional, that their decisions and judgment are based on emotions rather than reason.
If a woman possesses leadership skills she is too aggressive – a male in a similar situation would be told that he has a strong dominant personality -, if she managed to get promoted faster than the usual pace she is shamed for her moral and ethics while a male in a similar situation would be considered witty and smart.
Women fear those stereotypes and labels so very much that they would convince themselves they are happy where they are in their careers despite their potential and their inner hunger for success.
Another important point is that some women tend to act like men in the workplace to live up to male set standard on leadership behaviors, skills, and characteristics. In a leadership training that I have attended for female future leaders, the CEO of the organization I work for said some inspiring words that I remember to date, he said:
“Don’t act like men , act like women we need your skills and the qualities you bring to the workplace , we for sure don’t need women acting like men otherwise we will hire more men , we need your unique input and the combination of male /female leadership in the workplace and for the future of the workforce ?”
Some of the main characteristics that women should beware of that jeopardize their own development at work are :
Giving away your ideas
Don’t give away your ideas, share them at the right time with the right people make sure you speak clearly enough and take credit for your idea, don’t let others take it from you and label this as teamwork.
Using long introductions and well “explaining”
Many women qualify everything they say in a meeting with a lengthy sentences, “as a means of softening their messages for fear of being perceived as too direct or aggressive,” or their “inner fear of getting rejected,” whether this is due to past experiences of the way they were raised to behave, this attitude shouldn’t come into the workplace, especially in meetings.
Be direct to the point and give supportive, quantitative and quality reasons to support your ideas and always remember the golden rule “Short Sounds Confident”
Waiting to be given what you want
Many women use the “Hinting Process “ that they use in their relationships at work in both scenarios don’t mean. Be direct and ask for what you believe is your right.
Many women would rather take a chance that their supervisors can read their minds than to ask for what they want or need.
If you want a more flexible schedule, a pay raise, or a chance at a new project, promotion or line of work why don’t you ask?What’s the worst thing that can happen, remember if you never ask, “The Answer is Always NO.”
Ask yourself which of those behaviors are holding you back? Not happy with your job? follow your passion. Not Happy with your line of work? Acquire new skills and move on. Not happy with your employer? Look for another job.
The classical response is that there are not enough good jobs, but you’d be surprised at what you can find if you just start looking. It is our own fear that is holding us in every aspect and endeavor in our lives; It is the fear that we might not be good enough, we are not worthy enough.
The guilt that if we put our career forward that we will not be good wives or moms or that we are not focused enough on finding a partner.
In a mentoring session with a female leader I was told a simple statement, she said women sometimes will need to juggle, some years family will come first, others career will take the lead and others personal pursuits and care will take the front line.
It doesn’t have to always be about others, I know this is the way we were raised, to believe what a good woman, wife, and mother should act and be but this is about to change, sometimes it has to be all about you.