Get Ahead in the Workplace: Leave the Mom Title at Home

0 Comments 16 June 2009

The biggest mistake most women make at work is to play mommy to their coworkers. Avoid this misstep to advance your career.

Lesson Two: Leave the Mom Hat at Home

Beautiful woman holding hot roasting pan with oat cookies on it.

You’re NOT Betty Crocker

While you may be an excellent cook, the time to show off your skills is not by cooking lunch for the whole office every week. It’s an extremely kind gesture and will not be overlooked, but it won’t be looked at in any way that will equal a promotion.

If you have some left over cookies, share with one or two coworkers your close with, but don’t make an event out of it. For an event focused around your culinary skills, consider a dinner party where you invite only influential coworkers (such as your boss) and their partners. Utilize this time to show off your talent, charm, and as an opportunity to push your ideas to push the company ahead. Can we say ‘corner office?’

You’re NOT an Interior Decorator

… And even if you are, you do not want your office to look like grandma’s house. While you may be a strong, powerful force in the board room, no one will take you seriously if they step into your office (or other work area) and see frilly decor full of cute little barn animals or a daisy wallpaper.

Instead, decorate your area tastefully, and definitely don’t overdo it. Keep it simple and very neat. Do include your own personal touch. Find individuality by keeping a small indoor plant, having a custom mousepad with your kids’ picture, or a trinket from international travel.

Do NOT Go Out of Your Way to Help Others

More than likely, this totally goes against everything you’ve been taught. Whether you’re new or a department manager, allowing yourself to help your coworkers with everything they ask will only ensure that you’ll be walked all over. It’s fine to show someone how to do their work more efficiently, and it’s even more important to make sure you do your share. Just be wary, or you will end up doing work that is not your own, get distracted from your goals, and be seen as someone that cannot delegate work out to others.

As Lois Frankel has said, “helping others is one way capable women gain exernal validation for their self-worth.” You are a capable woman. Not only were you selected out of a pool of candidates for your position, you have the potential to continue moving upward.

Are you ready for success? Try working on some tips from lesson two. If you have any questions, please use the comment section below. There is more to come in the series, so add Social Media Mom to your RSS reader to keep up to date as the successive articles are published.

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