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5 Mistakes to Avoid At Work

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In today’s work world it’s critical to take note of how your brand is being perceived. The workplace has changed since the financial crash. It’s an environment where more and more is being asked of employees. As women, we have to assume the power position. Only we are in control of how much money we make, how far up the ladder we traverse, and ultimately whether we stay, go, or become the next CEO.

Here’s a list of five simple and common missteps we must learn to dodge.

1. Use your full name when meeting potential clients or new collegues.
J. Lo, Cher, Beyonce, Adele, Shakira have the whole one name thing covered. The rest of us down here on earth have two names—use them when introducing yourself.

2. There are no excuses for not completing work, getting to work on time, or making a mistake.
Apologize and fix the problem. Everyone makes mistakes, if you’re not making any then you’re probably not going outside of your comfort zone and trying new things. The important thing is not to over-explain, just work to correct the issue and keep it moving.

3. Disregard # 2 when you haven’t made any mistakes.
Women have a tendency to apologize in the workplace, even when we’ve done nothing wrong. While you may think you’re merely being polite, you’re actually hurting your image. Think about it: If you’re apologizing all the time, people may interpret this behavior as a sign of weakness or a lack of conviction. So, whether you’re closing a business deal or negotiating your compensation, don’t be apologetic.

4. Don’t take it personally.
“Women, especially, need to realize that business choices and decisions are often made without regard to whether they are liked or their work is appreciated,” says Arlyne Diamond, Ph.D., a management consultant and professional development coach in Santa Clara, California. Just because someone in the office takes a pass on an idea of yours doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It’s not about you. It should be about the greater goal of making the business successful. You need to be a part of team or it will be personal when people begin to think all you want is your own success and really begin to resent you.

5. Don’t s**t where you eat.
It’s a place of business. Be friendly, but not overly personal with co-workers. They’re not your therapist if you had a rough night with your partner or your father confessor if you had a rough night at a bar. Building healthy relationships with co-workers is important, but draw the line, and be aware, some of these people may be in a position to raise you to the next level, or help you if you become their boss. Be the team leader.

Lastly, the greatest mistake women make, and studies have shown it, is to sublimate their self-assurance in their undying efforts to “be liked”. A report, published last year by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, concludes that women who are assertive and confident, “but who can turn these traits on and off” depending on the circumstance “get more promotions than either men or other women.”

It’s less important to be liked at work than it is to be triumphant. That’s a win-win for everyone—most of all you.

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