Vincy Workplace
October 11, 2013

Three mistakes working women make

When I started working in my first job, I worked hard and hoped someone would notice my diligence. In my second job, I worked even harder, did what I was told and could not be bothered to get to know the people around me, as I just knew my work would speak for itself; but that did not happen either, even though my work was excellent. Unfortunately, women have not been taught that work is like playing a game of chess; it requires strategy and calculated moves. Instead, we often see work as an extension of ourselves and become too emotionally involved when decisions are made and we end up on the losing side.{{more}}

Here are a few costly mistakes that many women make in the workplace.

1. Women work hard, not smart. The key to being successful in the workplace is to be a smart worker, not a hard worker. Smart workers know how to balance their time; they do not take pride in working long hours every day without lunch or a break. There are women who feel they need to sacrifice themselves, just to say they are working and then complain about how hard they work and that they have no help. If you are doing that, stop it! This behaviour is a sign that you are not good at delegating, building relationships or being an effective leader, nor are you able to manage your time effectively.

2. Failing to build strategic relationships. No one makes it on their own and to be successful, alliances must be made with both men and women. It’s difficult sometimes to build professional relationships with the opposite sex in the workplace, because the male-female dynamics in the Caribbean can be problematic. Frequently, the conversation eventually becomes a bit too intimate or the relationship is a source of office gossip, even if nothing is happening. Advice to women interested in moving up: dress appropriately, censor your conversation when interacting with men and do not discuss your personal matters. Conduct yourself in a manner that says business, have a third party present if you feel uncomfortable meeting with a male, and ignore the gossip if you’ve done all the above.

3. Women want mind readers. When playing a game, each person wants to win, but in the game of work, we help others win and wait for someone to read our minds to know that we want to win as well. We hope for the right time and the right person to come along and recognize us for a job well done or give us a promotion; when no one helps, we get upset. Enough of that! Set your goal and be determined. This is the time to create your own destiny. Don’t be afraid if no woman has done what you want to do; you could be the first. Be your own advocate and go after what you want. Do not be deterred by the many detractors that you will meet. Go and get what belongs to you.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

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