Do you suspect your confidence – or lack thereof – is standing in the way of a promotion? You’re not alone. Many successful professional women tend to question their abilities or downplay their accomplishments – a tendency that can get between you and your next promotion.
There is a marked difference between male and female managers, senior managers, CEOs and emerging leaders when climbing the ladder. “Women have the capability, but lack confidence in spite of increased levels of responsibility; this lack of confidence is why they do not traditionally succeed in reaching CEO positions.” states HRVoice.org.
The Key Differentiator: The Confidence Gap
As a woman, factors that may prevent you from fast-tracking include – overthinking, fear of failure, hanging onto criticism, getting stuck in a comfort zone, and using a tone of voice that conveys questions instead of declarations.
To succeed in the workplace, you can overcome gender bias by:
- Working with a mentor. Your mentor can provide feedback and give advice to help you navigate through the challenges, such as training yourself to speak more confidently.
- Knowing your talents and capabilities. Courageous leaders have a strong sense of self-awareness. Knowing yourself, including owning your key achievements and successes, is the first step in gaining confidence. Perfectionism is another deal-breaker, a quality that serves to protect you from criticism but also brings you down.
- Getting feedback. Ask your manager or a colleague to provide an honest assessment and then dedicate time to making some changes.
- Promoting YOUR accomplishments. A key step in moving forward is to shift your profile, particularly in meetings with your colleagues and senior management. Reposition yourself as a proven leader through sharing your accomplishments.
- Grabbing the bull by the horns. What’s your position on power? Do you set power-related goals? Are you taking advantage of personal development opportunities in the same way that your male colleagues do?
- Aligning yourself with successful, upwardly mobile women. Working with other successful women can help you identify areas where you need to grow and boost your self-confidence.
Lastly, one distinct mistake that hinders women’s chances of making it to the top is: negative thinking about power and advancement. A Harvard study determined, “women and men expected the same level of positive outcomes coming from a job promotion, but that women anticipated stronger negative outcomes than men did.” Women become apprehensive when seeking a promotion because compared to men, they don’t view power as desirable a quality as men. They also don’t take as many personal development opportunities, and they see goals that lead to power positions and accomplishments as less important. (Source: http://qz.com/508196/women-more-than-men-see-the-downsides-of-getting-promoted/)
Embrace the journey to breaking through the glass ceiling, one step at a time. Seek out a mentor, promote your accomplishments, close your leadership gaps, and embrace power. We look forward to seeing you at the top!
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools to help them advance their careers. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.
Wishing you much career success!
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
Looking for insightful, tailored career coaching or retirement planning? Contact us today to learn how you can fast-track your career and create a life you’ll love.
Wishing you much career success!
Joanne Loberg Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc