10 Ways You Unknowingly Sabo Yourself At Work
Ever wondered why you can’t get ahead at work no matter how hard you try? The sabo kia in your career might not be your colleagues, but yourself.
While nobody likes to brag about their achievements, women in particular always tend to downplay their abilities even when they are outstanding in their fields. Women also fear failure more: Sheryl Sandberg identified the fear of failure as a major obstacle for women in her book, Lean In, and that many women suffer from “imposter syndrome,” perpetually feeling like they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved.
Here are some ways women self-sabotage at work and how they can overcome it for career success.
Strive for perfection
Perfection is paralysing — it discourages risk-taking, experimentation and even active participation. Instead, strive for excellence. It yields the same standards as perfection but allows for some breathing room for you if things don’t go as planned.
Question your abilities
Don’t undermine yourself by making statements that end with a question. It takes away your credibility. Observe your intonation and inflection when you speak and end your sentences when you speak with a firm full-stop instead of a sing-songy unsure way.
Apologise all the time
Swallow that apology the next time you feel it coming out of your mouth. Women always apologise unnecessarily because they feel like they are being a burden or a bother. Make your requests from a place of strength so you don’t seem timid.
Women have this voice in our heads that make us doubt our abilities. That inner dialogue can be damaging when we start thinking we’re not good enough, pretty enough, or whatever enough than the next person. Stop the negativity and be kind to yourself.
Wait to be rewarded
Women think when as long as they work hard they will be promoted, given the raise they were eyeing or generally praised. But that isn’t always the way it works. Sometimes you have to be vocal about your victories as not everybody will notice them.
Focus only on speech
Body language can speak volumes so don’t discount the message you can convey through non-verbal means. Generate energy and adopt posture that will make a positive impression on others so you can gain their trust without saying a word.
Overuse "girly" gestures
Do you always touch your hair while giving a presentation? Stop. Overly-feminine gestures like this give off the vibe that you’re a juvenile. People won’t be able to get it out of their heads that you’re a little girl and hence, they won’t take you seriously.
Look for only female mentors
Women often think ‘Oh I’m a woman so I need a woman to guide me through my career’. Get this notion out of your head because the world is made up of extraordinary people, both male and female. Seek out mentors who inspires you regardless of gender.
Network upstream only
Of course, we want assistance from those higher up the career ladder to help us further our careers but women especially should be networking 360. Opinions of those who you think don’t matter might make all the difference in swaying the big guys you want to impress.
Not help others enough
Sometimes women who have achieved positions of power don’t look back enough and help other women who are struggling in their careers. Always look back and see how you encourage other women to succeed. After all, no one gets to the top on their own.
Text: Natalya Molok / The Singapore Women’s Weekly / December 2017
For similar stories, visit womensweekly.com.sg.
For more career stories, read 5 Weird Jobs You Can Actually Do In Singapore and 4 Success Secrets From International Female Game Changers.