~by Haley Lynn Gray~
I spent the first few years of my career under the misapprehension that if I worked hard and followed the rules, then I would do well in my career and rise through the ranks. What I didn’t know is that I had made a bunch of those rules for myself. No one else had ever told me what those rules were, and I needed to learn that those rules are made to be broken. What rules am I talking about?
These 5 Rules Are Made to Be Broken
- I won’t tell anyone what my career goals are, in case they’re offended or somehow threatened. Yeah. Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? I learned that I really do need to speak up on what my career goals are, or I’m not going anywhere. At least not anywhere fast. In order to progress, I had to articulate very clearly what those goals were, and that I was indeed going after those goals. Funny, how I was taken more seriously after that, huh?
- I am not going to toot my horn, or otherwise make a big deal about the work I’m doing. Yes. I know. Another really, silly rule. How in the world is your boss going to even know what you’re doing, and what a HUGE deal that work is, if you don’t tell anyone. Do you really expect someone to notice and praise you? Not going to happen. Start tooting your own horn, and marching to your own band. It is so much more effective at raising visibility.
- I will be demure when praised. Oh heck no. I will smile, and say “Thank you”. Lesson learned from me. Never, ever say “I don’t deserve it”. Because you DO deserve it. In fact, you probably deserve quite a bit more praise than that. But we women tend to be uncomfortable with praise given, and we need to get over it!
- I have to wear black, beige, navy, and other boring colors. Black is a beautiful color. I love gray. But I don’t love them every day. Frankly, some of those colors look really bad on me. I gave up, and decided that even if I have to dress professionally, I’m going to knock it out of the park. That means that my favorite suit jacket is purple, grey, and black. A number of my other clothes are turquoise, Duke Blue, or other bright colors that complement my complexion. Go figure that I feel more confident when wearing the colors and styles that I know suit me better, and that are more comfortable for me to wear than when I’m dressed in what I thought I “should” wear. That’s not to say that I wear hot pink to a funeral. But I have been known to wear purple and black.
- In order to be successful, I have to work around the clock. The reality is that in some jobs, you will be on call for all sorts of hours. Now that I work for myself, I do somewhat work around the clock. But, I also spend a lot of time with my kids, and family. Frankly, I enjoy my work- a lot- but I work to live. I don’t live to work. There are plenty of studies that show a marked decline in productivity as the number of hours of work increase much past about 45-50 hours/week over a sustained period of time. I have found that to be true. I know that I start to burn out around the edges, no matter how happy I am, and find myself just staring blankly at the computer. I have found that by being focused about my work, and by being mindful of how I’m spending my time, I actually get more done than if I just worked lots and lots of hours. It’s not a question of how much time necessarily gets put into doing things, but rather how I actually work the time that I am working.
What are your rules that you make up for yourself?
Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray
Haley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.
Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
Connect with Haley:
- Work with Haley: http://leadershipgirl.com/work-with-haley/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Leadershipgirl
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haleygray