I’m writing this week about some of the ways I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
How many times have you seen a woman raise her hand timidly in a meeting… and then make a suggestion in that baby girl voice.. trailing off at the end into a question?
When that happens, here’s what we hear:
“What if we [this is a good time to zone out because this is just a filler comment] maybe, you know, changed our marketing focus [this must a bad idea because she doesn’t even believe it] from Live Journal to Facebook?” [hmmm…. Would it look bad it I took another cookie?]
Leaders make choices. They take positions.
Sometimes they’re wrong and sometimes they’re right.
But they’re willing to take a stand instead of dithering.
Do you dither? Do you hesitate to speak up? Do you have a hard time making decisions? That might be why you’re getting lost in the crowd.
I’m a reformed wishy washy decision maker….. Yes, of the paper-plastic variety. I can see all the possibilities—which is sometimes a great skill for a creative….but that knowledge used to make me get overwhelmed and frozen. Unable to choose. A
I was so, so afraid of getting it wrong.
But I unlearned that habit because I knew it was holding me back. And it not only supersized my career growth, it made my life better as well.
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard the advice—lean in, lean in!
But do you ever think, that’s just somuchflippingwork….?
hughhhhh (exhausted sigh.)
Maybe you’re a working mom, working the ‘double shift…’ no, wait, it’s probably more like the triple shift—working a long day, coming home to take care of your family, and then logging in a few more hours at night. Or maybe you’re balancing putting in the hours while you pay your dues…study for professional development tests……and then go out multiple times a week to check your networking box.
I just got so exhausted writing this, I had to take a break.
But now I’m back…. With the second way I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
I see a lot of exhausted women come through Build Yourself Workshop…. And I see a lot of exhausted women decline to take Build Yourself, because they’re so exhausted they feel they just don’t have the time.
But I’ve also seen women break through.
I’ve seen the busy business owner take the time upfront to hire a project manager—it felt like she’d never make the time to hire—but once she did, it took less time than she thought to find the right person. And doing so allowed her to show up at 100% for the high-level clients she was booking.
I’ve seen the working mother get a promotion—and go home in time to be with her daughter. And she told me she had time to craft. To CRAFT? What working mother you know who has time to craft?
So what’s the secret? These women are working smarter not harder.
Feeling like your career growth has stalled out? Are you getting lost in the crowd? Stuck in the mid-career malaise, the sea of shiny faces at the bottom of the pyramid?
We all know the feeling of waiting to be picked…. And sometimes our careers feel that way—whether it’s hoping we’ll get put on the growth track at our companies, or hoping our dream clients will say yes.
Over the next few days, I’m going to be writing about some of the ways I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
One of those ways, is they look backwards and not forwards.
What I mean by that is that every day, at work, they behave like the person they are in their career now.
Well, duh? I am the person I am now, right? Are you about to get really meta on me?
Today, I wanted to share three stories that I’ve collected on what it can feel like to be a woman or person of color in my field – architecture. Names and identifying details have been altered, but the basic structure of these stories is true—and they are recent. They are not from the 1950s or 1960s, they are from today.
I’m excited to share with you some confidence hacks from real women who have put Build Yourself suggestions into practice, or created their own. Today’s hack comes from Kelsey who was struggling with anxiety at networking events and put a Build Yourself ‘hack’ into play–she pretends that she’s a host of the events she goes to, and approaches people with that mindset in place. From the outside–it just looks like she’s a friendly and confident person.
When I first started my business, I found myself staring down an empty work calendar. I was totally unbooked–except for one tiny little workshop gig. I didn’t know how to get work, I didn’t know what I what I was selling. I had no clue what to say at cocktail parties.