Over the last 30 years, I have coached thousands of amazingly talented women. They shared with me their hopes and dreams as well as their disappointments and frustrations. One prevalent theme is the bad career advice women have received and believed through the years. It is only as these executives realize some of their erroneous core beliefs regarding who they are and how they should work in business that breakthrough and career momentum occurs.
Simply put: there is a lot of poor career advice out there.
Let me share a few concepts you may be holding that keep you small and restricts the progress of your career.
- Persevering Against All Odds: Surprised? If you’ve followed my writings over time, you know that I see perseverance as a leadership quality. However, rigidly clutching a direction that is not working or is no longer relevant won’t win you an impressive career. Instead reset. It just may be time to revise your plan of action or perhaps envision a brand-new destination that will be more rewarding than the one you’re currently pursuing.
- Hard Work Is the Ticket: There is no question that fire-fighting and production skills are the keys to the much-coveted “getting noticed and rewarded” early in your career—it’s just not the name of the game to reach the senior levels. Now, those hard-won skills and attitudes that earned you praise in the early stages of your career can work against you. At the higher levels of the organization, the emphasis is on establishing strategy—not merely completing a lengthy “to do” list. It has more to do with using your soft skills to inspire others—not relying exclusively on your hard work alone.
- Never Ask for Help: Many women think asking is a sign of weakness? NO, IT IS NOT! In fact, confident leaders understand how powerful seeking assistance is for enhancing and expanding their knowledge base. They recognize that it is empowering to ask, listen and learn from those around them. And even more importantly, this attitude role models continuous learning and growing throughout the organization. After all, no one gets to the top alone.
Are you satisfied with your career? If not, you may be dealing with the aftereffects of bad career advice that are restraining the advancement of your career. So, the first place to check is you and your unconscious assumptions.
Yes, you will run into roadblocks along the way. It is all part of achieving a satisfying career. Barriers are intended for your good to hone your attitudes and skills. They have you reexamining your objectives. When your career isn’t as stellar as you wish, it is time to upgrade or even create an original plan of action, and it always starts with transforming any internal or external limitations that hold you small. Your ability to grow and recreate yourself is infinite. This continual reinventing process is how you soar and become all that you were created to be.