There are a lot of women looking to advance in their careers, but they’re afraid they don’t have what it takes or that they aren’t “management material.” Perhaps you’ve had mentors in your life, even other women, telling you that you should never ask for a promotion — believe it or not, that was actual advice that was given to me. Maybe your own fear and self-doubt are sabotaging the courage you need to advance. Whatever it is keeping you stuck in the shadows, I have one solid piece of advice that you can and should take if you’re ever going to level up in your career. Here it is:
Stop waiting and take action.
Many people, women especially, allow fear and self-doubt to swallow their dreams whole, resulting in a life of sitting, waiting, and wishing just like that one Jack Johnson song.
There are legitimate reasons why we wait around for advancement:
- We find it more rewarding for someone else to notice our hard work.
- We’re afraid of rejection and someone telling us “no.”
- We’re afraid we will get the position and not be ready
- We’ve tried asking before in the past and haven’t gotten the results we wanted.
If it’s been a while since your last advancement or you’re still in the same place you were years ago, maybe it’s time for a little re-evaluation of your skills, qualifications, and opportunities. If you find that it’s time for a level-up in your career, then all that’s left is to take the following steps in the right direction:
Step 1: Believe you are capable of more. Whenever I struggled to advance in my career, I didn’t actually believe I was capable of being an executive. When my husband tried to encourage me by telling me all the reasons why I was qualified, I gave him every possible excuse as to why I wasn’t. The truth was, I was unsure of myself because I had never been in that position before. But the more I sat with reality, the more I realized I was capable and the confidence to ask for a promotion only grew from there. This leads us to the next step…
Step 2: Decide what you want out of your career and make it known. The absolute worst thing you could do for your career is to want more, but keep quiet about it. One way to gain confidence with this decision is by using My Promotion Plan where I walk you through the steps of designing your own personal promotion plan so you can clearly and concisely ask for the promotion you deserve. My course and my book were both designed to make promotion planning easy and effective, taking all the stress out of doing it alone.
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to make it known to your boss. When your manager doesn’t know how you’re feeling or that you would like to lead at a higher level, they aren’t likely to help you achieve that goal, especially if you’re a woman. This isn’t a conscious conspiracy to keep women down; it’s just our own subconscious or implicit bias where our thoughts and reactions in certain situations are possibly skewed. Unfortunately, this puts women at a disadvantage because often we may appear unprepared, unavailable, or uninterested in a promotion. If you’re a mother, this bias doubles! However, the opposite is true for men even if they are married with children.
Now that you’ve been given the best advice that I can possibly give, grab your promotion plan and schedule a talk with your manager! If you need a little more guidance, check out my book or join My Promotion Plan!