3 missteps that hurt your career
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Posted by: Barbara Francella
Let’s face it: It isn't easy to
break out and establish yourself as an up-and-coming leader inside a large
corporation. Some days you can feel like the best kept secret in the
For more than 15 years, I've
been training emerging women leaders to break into positions of management and
leadership. I have helped women avoid the most common missteps that could be
putting a lid on their career advancement. Here are the top three missteps
you should avoid:
Misstep 1: Waiting to be promoted. Your management may have said if you
"work hard" and "do a good job," you'll be recognized. But if you've already
tried that route, you'll know that it can bring mixed results at best.
Related: Are you on fire — or just burned out?
You can't afford to delegate
responsibility for your career advancement to your boss. Instead of waiting for
a promotion, take charge of your career trajectory by
identifying the role you want next and giving voice to your ambition. Let it be
known that you are throwing your hat in the ring for that role.
Misstep 2: Allowing others to define your reputation. Inevitably, the people you work with
perceive you a certain way. They have formed opinions — judgments, even — about
what you are good at and not good at. You
already have a brand or reputation, but it has taken place by default, not by
design. Don't wait for others to discover who you really are.
Instead, build your brand as an emerging leader. Identify what you
want your name to be synonymous with, and create a short, succinct brand
statement such as "the go-to person for strategy" or "the bridge between
engineering and finance." Make sure it describes something you are passionate
about, skilled at, that your employer needs and values.
To build your own leadership
brand before others build it for you, create awareness of your brand by adding
it to your LinkedIn profile, your email signature and your elevator pitch.
Misstep 3: Working too hard. Believe it
or not, working too hard can be a career misstep, especially if it's work
that's neither valued — nor visible. If you are a hard worker and develop a
reputation for hard work, guess what you'll attract more of? More hard work!
And not necessarily the visibility and recognition that is due to you for the
work you do.
So don’t be the best kept
secret in your organization. In other words, don't spend 100 percent of your
time at your desk, head down, doing your job. Make a point of stepping away
from your work on a weekly, or even daily, basis to do activities that make your value visible. Promote your accomplishments as
you achieve them, not after the fact.
What action will you take to
move ahead in your career?
Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. and founding editor of BeLeaderly.com, facilitates the NEW Leadership Academy webinars designed to help emerging leaders build core
skills and prepare for top management roles in their organizations.
Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.