This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
In 1978 the expert Marilyn Loden coined the term "glass ceiling" to describe the unequal employment situation that makes it difficult for women to enter the labor market. Forty years later, the term is still in force in an environment where even women in leadership or leadership positions require greater effort.
According to UNAM's "The Glass Ceiling in Mexico" study, only three percent of the country's top 500 companies are run by women, and of the list of the most powerful women, only seven are company executives. In the US, an estimated 4.8 percent of the CEOs of the Standard & Poor's top companies are women.
How can marketing help destroy the glass ceiling? Working on your personal brand. Of the times I miss in bookstores, I've picked a gem, that of Lois P. Frankel, therapist and professional trainer, titled "Nice Girls Don't Get a Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes That Lead Women to Careers Sabotage "(The Good Girls) was not written in the corner office: unconscious mistakes women make that sabotage their careers).
Drawing on Frankel's experience in advising women leaders in the United States, the book attempts to identify more than 130 common mistakes that affect their professional growth and provides many practical tips for overcoming these problems. Since I thought that there should be some of these that also apply to men, I bought it and was right.
At all times, the author explains that while women do not have a monopoly on these behaviors, there are more cases than men. However, it is fantastic read for anyone looking to grow but have doubts about whether they are doing the right thing.
Out of the examples shown in the book, all of which are accompanied by advice and practical cases, these are 15 points that caught my attention as they negatively affect your personal brand.
1. Imagine it's not a game
The work environment is a game, a competition, not a pink environment, in which we can all live in peace and harmony without hurting each other. You have to try to stand up and grow. If you don't, others will do it for you. If you trust everyone to arrive with the same cool attitude, you may be too naive.
Recommendation: Quickly learn the rules of the organization you work for, find a mentor to guide you in the area, and learning the game of chess can give you an advantage.
2. Do other people's work
"If I don't do it, no one will" is the excuse of many people for doing things that correspond to others. The worst thing is that after that they take the action and you work twice. Remember that there are responsibilities for doing this. If someone is not doing their job, this should be communicated.
Recommendation: Don't volunteer for routine, nondescript jobs that require time and effort for little recognition. Learn to delegate and identify when someone wants you to do their job in order to receive credit.
3. Work miracles
When we are short of time and resources, or when we take on a project that is all messed up, we know that it is our duty to keep order and sometimes we invest more: we go late, work on the weekends and put personal ones aside Commitments to "get the job done" without knowing that we are really raising the bar for what is expected of us. After a while, what we considered exceptional due to the workload, such as going to the office on Sundays, becomes the norm to maintain our own standards.
Recommendation: Identify the expectations others have of your work, and don't be afraid to point out when a goal requires more effort than you or your team can handle.
Set achievable goals and request an extension if the workload calls for it.
4. Don't take advantage of relationships
We shouldn't be afraid that a family member, friend, or acquaintance can help us when we need it by introducing ourselves to someone, informing us about job opportunities, or as a reference. Humility prevents us from showing our contacts when they often open doors or give a better impression of us.
Recommendation: Make a list or diagram of the people who can be critical to your business, who can contribute, and the order in which they are important. Remember that a key contact is only valuable if it can make a contribution. So when you need it, ask him a favor.
5. Ask everyone before making a decision
This reflects our inability to make decisions or uncertainty at our own discretion. It is one thing to consider the needs of employees, our customers or the boss, and another to completely lose the decision-making power according to our goals and experiences.
Recommendation: Even if you ask everyone, you are the one who makes the decisions in the end and takes on their consequences. So, regardless of the influence others must have, gradually take more risks with small decisions and analyze the mechanisms that make those decisions commit yourself to soliciting approval from others even when it is not required.
6. Ignore the consideration
Every time you do something for others, you expect something in return, even if it doesn't happen immediately. Free favors only create an army of ungrateful people. If you're doing someone a favor, don't be afraid to ask for one in the future.
Recommendation: When you do a favor, let the other person notice the effort you have made and emphasize that it is not easy. When you ask for a favor, you will face less resistance.
7. Refuse services
That same modesty prevents us from accepting benefits that give us an edge over our employees, even if we deserve them: a better office, a promotion, a parking space they give us an investment contract (yes, there have been cases) or a transfer of territory. Even if it's new furniture or a closet with a window, indulging yourself is never wrong.
Recommendation: If the opportunity arises for higher performance, a better office, a better company car, or a better salary environment, instead of thinking about not accepting it, ask yourself "why not?" After all, it often comes with the new responsibilities of the position.
8. Minimize success
We say that it is nothing, that there is no problem, that it wasn't that bad even though it cost us a half. We can reduce a titanic effort to next to nothing with a simple "it wasn't much", thereby diminishing our effort and making others perceive it as simply doing or meaningless. It never hurts to cluck the egg and take praise for a job well done. The same applies to our positions: "I am the Director of Operations for Ford" is very different from the statement "I only manage the assembly area in an automotive company".
Recommendation: Identify the words or phrases that you use daily to minimize your work and practice to gradually eliminate them by changing them to neutral terms or those that do not imply any qualification of work, e.g. B. "I am satisfied with the results of the project." ""
9. Wait for them to give you what you want
Yes, we often wait for the revolution to do us justice and give us what we deserve without asking for it. These are situations when others are expected to understand or accept what they want when the person in question may have no idea that something is needed. It is always better to say what we need or need than to trust the good faith of others.
Recommendation: Getting known is key when talking more about your accomplishments, training, projects, skills, and interests. When it comes to requesting something, it isn't that difficult to ask when others know your credentials, including promotions.
10. Reject large projects or responsibilities
"You just don't understand, I don't want to be a manager: I don't want any more responsibility," said a friend who had killed himself in a consulting firm for 6 or 7 years when her boss told her about his intention to promote her. Every time we turn down a challenging project that allows us to test our skills and demonstrate our performance, we give the idea that we cannot carry responsibilities or functions beyond a certain point, which is called inefficiency or even mediocrity can be misunderstood.
Recommendation: Take these invitations to advance your career even if you don't have the time. Set one aside as this is an investment in your future. If you are offered a key position and feel that you lack the knowledge to perform it, take it and learn what it takes. Everything is a matter of trust.
11. Put work before personal life
There is no grave in the history of mankind whose gravestone reads "He gave everything for the interests of the company". So let go of your head so that personal life, family, friends, and partner can be put aside when it comes to removing the job. In time, if you continue like this, you will become completely alien to them. On top of the fact that you must one day find out that the company has managed to find someone who can do what you swore no one else could do, even better than you.
Recommendation: You need to balance your working hours with the time you devote to life outside of work. Think twice before canceling plans as you have been asked to work overtime in the office to assess the pros and cons. There will be times when it deserves it and others when it doesn't. Don't quit any plans with your children unless your job itself is at stake as that time with them won't return.
12. Let others use up your time
Rarely do we consider the time we lose in the work and grace of others from the "Hey, can I ask you a question?" Through the email war, coffee trips, or meetings that you don't attend or interfere in. It's time for them to take you out to finish your job and even spend your time. Take care of him.
Recommendation: Differentiate the occasions when others need to speak to you from the occasions they want to speak to you, and state emphatically that you don't have time this moment but want to discuss this issue later, and a plan of activities so as not to be disturbed and even do some simple tricks like typing while the distracting person is coming, wearing headphones, or making a work call. You don't fail.
13. Let yourself be made a scapegoat
In order not to argue or turn against bosses, there are those who prefer to take the blame for problems that don't even belong to them, as in the case of third party mistakes or the ineptitude of their own bosses. If you let it happen, it will not only reduce your self-esteem, but also your trust in your colleagues, your superiors and the company.
Recommendation: Politely speak to your boss that you don't want to be the one in charge of the situation, especially if you didn't have any interference or decision-making authority over it. To do this, you need to find a speech that is friendly and assertive.
14. Tolerate idiots
Yes, I know it's not new that in almost every job there is one or more people who willingly or involuntarily do their job badly and usually bring others to bear the consequences. It is important to take responsibility for your own work, but always point out the mistakes that can affect others. If we let them do what they want, after a while we will pay for them.
Recommendation: Far from tolerating behavior that is contrary to the operation of the group, it is recommended that the relevant persons (supervisors, quality control) be made aware so that the appropriate measures can be taken and the person concerned can correct their work schedule.
When I got to this point in the book, my jaw dropped: I had cases. For Dr. Frankel, this undermines the respect that other employees, bosses, or subordinates have and creates the impression of being someone who cannot control their emotions or who cannot handle the workload or stress.
Recommendation: There will be times when it is impossible to contain injustices, arguments, or the workload. Lois recommends a 15-minute break and says: "May I have a moment?" and go to some secluded place to cry, a moment that also serves to reflect and act on ideas to provide a more assertive response.
In fact, for the most part these items are unisex (I think the last one not so much), but they have a lot to do with building a personal brand. We do it unconsciously, sometimes out of goodwill, without realizing that those who do not do it have an advantage that enables them to go further than the "good people".
I sincerely hope that this post has served you. The book is available in its English version in bookstores and online shops as well as in an e-book version.