As a woman, you’re already at a disadvantage in your profession whether you’re in the legal field, hospitality industry or just about anywhere else. Believe it or not, women still earn less than men and the expectations of professional women are steeped heavily in stereotypes. For example, headlines light up around the world when a male CEO steps down in order to spend more time with his family, but nobody would think twice if a woman did it. However, are you standing in your own way of success?
When The Daily Beast reported on Amy Poehler encouraging women to lean out instead of in, it re-sparked a timeless debate: Can women really have it all, and should they even want that? Regardless of what you want, how much or when, there are a few things standing in your way you need to address. Here’s the starter list:
1. Not caring for your health
Whether it’s failure to address your sleep apnea, foregoing your workouts in favor of working late every day, or not making time for those dentist appointments, your health comes first. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything including a career. Health first before anything else, and you’ll discover the rest of your life comes together a little easier.
2. Following “what you should do” instead of your passions
To do what you love or not is a hot topic right now, with experts such as Harvard Business Review weighing in on the subject. However, here’s the deal: People are usually good at what they love, so it’s (usually) a good indicator for your career path. If you hop on the home automation startup bandwagon because it’s seemingly lucrative but you have zero experience, interest or passion for it, you’re more likely to fail. Yes, it’s tougher to start a vegan paleo bakery, but if that’s what you love your ambition can drive it.
3. Fear of standing up for yourself
There will come a time when you’ll be treated differently because you’re a woman. How you handle those situations can re-direct your career path. There will be times when the best course of action is to ignore it, but there will probably be more times when you should stand up for yourself regardless of “looking emotional.” Just like men can handle uncomfortable situations without losing their professional edge, so can women.
It’s easy to scapegoat, but many times women (and all professionals) stand in their own way.
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