5 things to do to get the corner office

Working your way up the corporate ladder? Take a look at how to get there with ease! Click To Tweet

After reading the book, “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office 101” by Lois P. Frankel, I felt it was only best to share some of the best tips that I learnt from this book! The book offers a bunch of no-no’s that we tend to overlook but actually, play a huge role in our professional careers.

As Black women, it is already an uphill battle as it is! We all know the steps we need to take to be successful, but how about we look at it from a different angle? Let’s take a look at what a Motherland Mogul should NOT be doing in order to reach the top.

1. Asking permission

It should be clear to people from the get go that you do not need approval from anybody! Go after what you want and be confident. If you are asking for permission, especially for simple things, you downplay the position you are in to make decisions.

Instead of asking your boss, “May I work from home today?” rather say, “I will be working from home today, I will be available via email or cell”. This shows that it is important for your boss to be informed, yet you can make your own decisions when it comes to yourself and your work.

2. Needing to be liked

Everybody wants to be liked and it can play a huge role in your success but, you have to strike a balance. If you are overly concerned with being liked, that means you are easily swayed by stronger personalities.

I was thrown into an industry I knew nothing about. I knew I was capable of doing the job, but I felt I needed to be liked because it was my first time at the rodeo. I became a “yes” woman and ended up doing other people’s work. I learnt that I need to stand my ground – new or not.

Not having a backbone meant that nobody was giving the respect I deserved, but at the same time, I was not showing anybody that I deserved it because I wanted to be liked so badly!

Click here to see what you should NOT be doing to reach success in the office. Click To Tweet

3. Holding your tongue

Society has been conditioned to believe that if a woman is being assertive, she is being a bitch and many women do not speak up as a result. This happens not only at work but in our personal spaces too.

A friend of mine told me about a superior who shoots down all her ideas, yet uses them as his own in important meetings to take all the credit. She let this happen for a while, but this made her realize that her boss is only stunting her growth in the long run. My friend kept all her ideas to herself until it was time to brainstorm in a meeting.

She received some great feedback and because of all the great work she put in over time, she was promoted. This also allowed her to gain the respect of her superior, keeping him from stealing any of her ideas! It is ok to disagree, and being assertive means people will respect you, not walk all over you.

4. Minimizing your work or position

Women tend to downplay their positions at work. Often you will hear, “Oh, I’m just a secretary, nothing special”. This is wrong! Whether you are a secretary or manager, each position plays a role in the growth of the company you work for.

My new transition into the finance industry was not the easiest as I learnt about everything from scratch. This made me downplay my role when people asked “what do you do?”, I just wanted to avoid the topic completely because I was ashamed of the fact that I was not in the field that I worked hard and studied for.

People did not take my expertise seriously because of this. I taught myself to snap out of that habit and acknowledge the fact that I am amazing at what I do and I should be proud of it. If you act like your job is not serious, then people will not take you seriously.

Check out how these office faux pas can stop a #MotherlandMogul from getting that corner office. Click To Tweet

5. Failing to define your brand

Personal branding is all the rage, and for good reason! Ask yourself how you want people to see you, what your expertise is and what you want to be known for.

You may be working in finance, but ultimately you want to be a writer. What are you doing to make sure that people know you as a writer? What are you bringing to the table to make sure your expertise is communicated well?

Ask yourself these questions. A lot of people make you feel like you should be following one path. But as a Motherland Mogul, it’s ok to be a jack of all trades or take on many interests. Show people what you got and you’re well on your way to success.

About Hlumelo Siphe Williams

Hlumelo Siphe Williams is a copywriter who is based in Johannesburg. A creative at heart, she is passionate about all things fashion, writing, and wine. In her spare time, she is either blogging & writing, reading or creating unforgettable memories with family and friends

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