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7 habits of ineffective women

Stop doing these things and you may boost your career

by Kylie  |  17424 views  |  4 comments  |        Rate this now! 

There are seven things you can do to undermine yourself at the office.

1.) Crying during meetings. I think it’s about time we realized that no matter how bad a performance review or brutal a boss, it’s never worth smudging our eye makeup. Plus it freaks people out.

2.) Keeping candy on your desk. It doesn’t need to be your responsibility to ensure that everybody in the office is sugared up. And this one is for men, too. Unless it’s Halloween.

3.) Divulging too much information. A hard stop is a hard stop. No need to explain if it’s for your hair or your kids. You never hear men say they have to be out at 5 p.m. for the fantasy baseball championships.

4.) Worrying too much about what people think. If you need to make someone stay late, or tell them their work was appalling, go for it. Don’t worry about them thinking you’re a bitch. Chances are, if you’re a manager, they will anyway, because that’s currently the most common profile associated with powerful women, and that’s not something you can tackle today.

5.) Constantly apologizing. Whether it’s for a mistake, or for not knowing something that you should, resist the urge to act like your behavior needs to be forgiven. You’re at the job because you’re competent. So get over it and move on.

6.) Dressing like a tart -- or like a man. Somewhere between a corset and a boxy gray suit lies your perfect professional get-up. Maintain your personality, but try not to draw more attention to your wardrobe than to your brains.

7.) Forgetting to take the credit. This is definitely something women can learn from men. Giving credit where it is due is a critical skill in the professional world, but attributing credit to anything other than themselves is something that women can stand to do less of.

About the Author

WomenCo. is the premier online community for female professionals in the US, a forum where members can forge connections with other working women to keep informed, empower and entertain themselves, and advance their careers. Get started today.

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4 comments so far...

  • Great advice. I'm looking for the sound ones and you have it lady!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nancy on 2nd April 2008

  • love this - to the point and SO very accurate!! nice to see it blunt instead of all surrounded in flowery language - i am a huge fan of numbers/bullet points!!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 27th March 2008

  • Glad you appreciated this one, Diane. It would be nice to branch out and cover some more specifics, too. Look at different scenarios, and create a "best action to take" guide. I'll see what I can come up with!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kylie on 26th March 2008

  • Wow. I'm impressed. Frank - almost brutally so - and so concise. A nice summary of what makes for an ineffectual colleague. It seems like your excellent No.4 point - worry too much what others think - is the root cause of a lot of this stuff now I think about it... Great reading - thanks!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 26th March 2008