I’m passionate about helping women learn to “get out our own way” because I believe the greatest obstacles we face are self-made. Thus, you will hear me repeat this phrase in my training or coaching moments: focus on what you can control.
Here are three areas for women to move their career forward, especially if they feel frustrated in their current work environment. (Side note: I may be simplifying these items for this article but there truly is nothing simple about self-analysis that can uncover some painful truths!)
Prioritize the truly important stuff. So often, women will become obsessed with the minor details and forget what is most significant to our personal and professional lives. Our hearts understand quality time with our children is important, but those dirty dishes in the sink are driving us crazy! While at work, worry less about the number of hours worked and instead concentrate on productivity.
Become promotable. A wise friend and mentor told me early in my career that to be promoted, someone needs to be able to take over my current position. In other words, he encouraged me to communicate openly and share knowledge. I’ve observed many women do the opposite: they believe if no one else can do their job, they then cannot be terminated. Coworkers are left mystified by these roles and responsibilities, processes cannot be repeated by others, and the entire organizational efficiency is harmed because of someone’s lack of self-confidence and maturity.
Delegate. This is an area many women are uncomfortable, possibly because they internalize delegation as showing poor work ethic, being “mean” to others by unloading duties, or the believe the work can be done “better or faster if I just did it myself.” When a professional is working hard at DOING, she is not LEADING. Another aspect to consider for those in management roles: if you are busy doing the work of your team, who is providing leadership, mentorship, training, and support?
The best advice is to accomplish these above steps is by looking at your To-Do list and ask yourself: Does this work need done now? Can someone else complete this task? Do you need to train others to help you with your workload? Is the work even necessary?
No only will your work duties be more streamlined, so will those of your team. By supporting others and leveraging your peers to be more effective, everyone's productivity will increase. Higher productivity and efficiency will create more accomplishments to add to your impressive resume while also aiding for more visibility internally.
Give yourself permission to work smarter, not harder. You’ve got this!