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How to avoid career limiting behaviour

Career Tips By Tania Ngima
Photo; Courtesy

Over the course of my career, I have come across habits that for the longest time we thought were categorizing us as ‘good girls’ but which I have come to discover hold us back in our roles or in business. These come from the disconnect between school where book smarts are rewarded by good grades and where the mark on the report card speaks for itself.

We, therefore, go into the workplace thinking that if we do a good job, the promotion or pay we deserve will come our way, right? Wrong.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the only times when this advice stands is if we have a mentor for a boss, someone who is dedicated to our success and these people are few and far in between.


Asking for help, guidance, contacts etc. To this day, even though I know you will never get what you don’t ask for, asking still makes me feel uncomfortable and doesn’t come naturally to me.

This stems from belonging to a gender that has to work twice as hard to earn the same rights and recognition as everyone else.

It also feels like asking is a sign of weakness, and that is the one thing we never want to be perceived as.

But I know it takes more strength than weakness to ask whether it is for contacts or guidance and usually, people are only too happy to share and oblige where they can.

Letting go of the perfectionist, can do it all by ourselves mentality is the first step to being more effective in our professional and personal lives.

The deserve mentality

We think that if we color within the lines in the workplace, and do a splendid job, our work will speak for itself and we will get that coveted promotion or pay rise. But that is not the case.

Just because we deserve it does not mean to will fall into our laps.

We have to be clear and vocal, and to negotiate for what we want.

And we need to get used to being in this mode so that our bosses understand exactly what our ambitions are and where it is unclear, find out what we need to do to position ourselves better.

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