5 common career mistakes women make

by BabyYumYum
Baby Yum Yum - career mistakes women make
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There are certain career mistakes that women tend to make more often than men – and it could be what’s holding you back at work. We asked bosses and career experts for advice.

Career mistake #1: being a ‘yes’ woman

We’re constantly encouraged to put our hand up for more opportunities at work, but there’s a fine line between doing this and taking on too much. Career coach Sally-Anne Blanshard says if the pile of work on your desk resembles Mt Everest, you need to add ‘no’ to your vocabulary, stat. “Learning to say ‘no’ without biting your lip is one of the first career skills to adopt. Sometimes what you’re being asked is unreasonable or simply not appropriate. Give it a go, the results may surprise you,” she says.

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Career mistake #2: waiting for opportunities

Your dream job is open but they’re asking for people with three years’ experience and you’re just on two. Do you apply? Absolutely, says Karen Adamedes, author of Hot Tips For Career Chicks: Unlocking The CODE To Success. “Women often make the mistake of not applying for roles they’re capable of doing – instead they work hard and wait to be recognised and rewarded. If you don’t apply, you can’t get the job,” she points out. Assess your skills and ask yourself if you’re capable of doing the job. If the answer is yes, then what are you waiting for?

Career mistake #3: not having a career plan

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” There’s a reason this question is often asked in job interviews – having a plan of action is a great way to show you’re ambitious and that you want to succeed. “If you have an erratic approach to career progression you’ll get erratic results,” explains Blanshard. “You need to think about where you’re heading at least once a year. Consider what you’ve learnt in the previous year, what you want to achieve in the next, and if your current employer is helping you achieve those goals.” This will help you stay on track if you start to lose direction.

woman climbing the career ladder: common career mistakes that women make

Career mistake #4: not negotiating your salary

While we’re not encouraging you to burst into your boss’ office to demand a pay raise (although it would make for excellent office gossip), assertively asking them to evaluate your salary package isn’t going to get you fired. “Negotiating for yourself often gives your manager good insight into the confidence you have in yourself. The money discussion is a key opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and experience,” says Adamedes. But make sure you’re up to date with all your tasks and really feel you deserve, not just want, more moolah.

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Career mistake #5: confusing staying later with working harder

Kellie Rigg, an organisational psychologist, says that as a boss, she doesn’t automatically think those who stay late are harder workers than those who leave on time. “I find it important not to focus on how many hours an employee is in the office but to ensure that they’re using their time at work effectively. If someone’s constantly staying late it may be a sign they have difficulty with time management,” Rigg explains. Rather than staying late, focus on working hard during business hours to prove your commitment to your job.

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