When I first started working in the “real world”, my co-workers and I would think of some crazy, off-the-wall situation that could happen and then would joke about how it would be “career limiting”. Of course these would be things we would never do but what about the things we might’ve been doing that were actually holding us back? This week’s post is 5 career mistakes you might be making (and what to do about it!).
1. Not taking initiative
Let me just start by saying that “taking initiative” doesn’t mean “do all the things & work 80+ hours a week”. Taking initiative means identifying strategic ways in which you can show your employer what you’ve got. There are a couple of different ways you can start taking more initiative today:
Create your own development plan. Start with one thing you want to work on/learn more about and create some actionable ways to get to where you want to be. Run this by your boss and make sure they agree with your approach and support what you are going to be doing.
Stop worrying about your own work. Start looking for ways to support your boss, your co-workers or other teams/department. How can you maintain your current workload while providing some relief to another area?
Raise your hand even if no one asked for a volunteer. If you see an opportunity that you are curious about or know you would be a good fit for, then do it. Just start doing it. One of the hardest things for me as a boss was when I felt like employees were waiting for me to give them permission to shine. Here’s your permission: do it
2. Forgetting about your brand
There is a certain way that you would like your co-workers to see you, right? You don’t want to be known as the lazy co-worker or the mansplainer. You want to be known as the kick ass woman that gets sh*t done efficiently and with grace (insert your own version of this statement here, instead). What have been doing or not been doing lately that is adding to or subtracting from your personal brand? Check out this blog post on 3 Ways to Build Your Non-Verbal Professional Brand.
3. Not advocating for your results
Ladies, we kind of suck at this. We often underestimate our results by giving credit to our team versus our individual contributions or by simply not saying what we actually accomplished because it feels like “bragging”. Throw all this bologna out the window and start tooting your own horn. Here’s a resource to help with that: How to Write a Self-Evaluation.
Don’t worry if you’re doing anything career limiting right now. There’s always a way to turn things around and you can only go up from here!