I hear a lot of things from women who are feeling stuck in their careers – and I wanted to take a moment to clear up a few of the biggest myths and misconceptions that I see about growing in your creative career:

1 | You can only be successful in your career if you work all the time.

We get a lot of messages that women can’t have it all – and that you’ll have to choose to either be successful in your career – or have the time outside of work for family and other priorities.

And yes – there’s a lot of pressures on women that men don’t face but when you are clear on what you want to achieve in your career – it’s clear what things you really need to spend your time on and what is just busywork, perfectionism and FOMO.

2 | If you were good enough you’d be chosen for that promotion.

No matter how great you are at what you do, it’s easy to stay invisible.

And while you watch others get the opportunities you want, and are waiting for your managers to notice how hard you’re working – they might just be thinking that you’re happy over there doing your thing.

So if you’re not being chosen, it might not be because you’re not good enough. (So simmer down, inner critic.) You need to 1) make sure your leadership knows about all the good stuff you’re doing already and 2) let them know what promotion you want next – and enlist their support in growing into it.

Why you need a career plan as a designer - download my 4C Career Self Assessment

3 | You have to be extroverted to succeed and get noticed in your job.

Sometimes it seems like the people who are naturally loud and vivacious are the only ones who get noticed and move forward.

And to move forward, you do need to make sure that the people who make decisions about promotions and stretch opportunities know about you and your accomplishments – and introverted people can do that too. 

When you know what the key relationships to build are – you can just build those relationships one-by-one. Coffee date by coffee date. Phone call by phone call. Collaboration by collaboration.

4 | You have to leave your job if the position you want doesn’t exist at your company.

Many women start my programs thinking they need to leave their job – but in fact, once they get clear on what they actually want, they are able to see a path to getting it at their company.

Want to be the Director of Coastal Resilience, but there’s no role at your company? Doesn’t mean you can’t be one if you make the case for it.


Wondering how healthy your creative career is? Take my 4C career assessment It only takes 3-minute and will serve as a gut check for ensuring you make the most out of your career.
Click here to access it.

Why you need a career plan as a designer - download my 4C Career Self Assessment

Hi I'm Mia

Mia Scharphie , career coach, headshot

I’m a career coach and strategist with a secret power (I mean, past career) as a designer. I love road trips, graphic novels and helping people like you design the career you love on your own terms.

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