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#WorkingGirlProblems: 7 Roles A Woman Should Avoid Falling Into In The Workplace

Finding your place in the working world is tough, particularly when you’re a woman. Successful businessmen seem to live in a world where they can berate each other, compete for promotions and still be okay to go for team beers at the end of the day.

Unfortunately for women, it’s much more common to fall into a stereotypical office “role” and find yourself stuck there. If you want to be taken seriously in business, ladies, here are the seven traps to avoid:

1. The Mom

Whether you’re an assistant, PA or manager, you should avoid being the only person in the room to make the coffee. Looking after others makes us feel good, but as a businesswoman, you should come across as completely capable rather than just motherly. If in doubt, ask yourself where you are worth more to your boss: working at your desk, or jumping up to serve chai teas?

Similarly, stop baking. The only thing home-made cookies tells your colleagues is that while they were up late working, you were messing around with butter and eggs. Just don’t do it.


2. The Bearded Lady

No office needs to see an outfit eyesore like your hideous brown pantsuit. Don't resort to the fuck-me pumps, but accept that yes, you have breasts and it’s okay to wear clothes that don’t hide them. The way you dress has a huge impact on the way you feel, act and represent yourself. Dressing seriously shows you are serious about your job but what are you, 50 years old?

Wear heels if they make you feel good (and you can walk in them) or try out a new dress — just keep it classy. Trying to hide the fact that you're a woman won't lead anyone to treat you like a man.


3. The Apologizer

Stop apologizing for giving instructions, constructive criticism or feedback to the people with whom you work. It's one thing to avoid becoming the glorified intern but quite another to wrap your sentences with nuances like: “If you wouldn’t mind”; “Could you just”; “If that's okay.”

This submissive crap has been programmed into us as a sorry attempt to make it okay to be a woman who’s in charge. You don't need to apologize for doing your job — if you constantly undermine yourself, so will everyone else.


4. The Good Time Girl

It’s perfectly acceptable to go for business dinners or drinks when the occasion calls. Successful women know that matching a client, shot for shot, is often an essential part of winning a new deal.

What's not okay is to leave said client's apartment at 6 am, sweating tequila and regret. To get real with you, most male clients are big, old sleezeballs who are used to getting their own way. Don't be flattered by this — no one will respect the girl who swapped big bucks for a one-night stand.


5. The Queen Bee

Be helpful, courteous and friendly to your coworkers but stop kidding yourself that they're the people with whom you’re going to grow old. Part of getting through the working day is having people with whom to lunch and chat, but know that eventually, you or they will be asked to do something that puts you firmly outside of “the gang.”

There may even come a time when you have to fire, rebuke or “grass up” one of your so-called work friends. Being BFFs is not going to make this easier. The sooner you accept this, the quicker you can cut the driftwood and progress with your career.


6. The Fake

We all have that one annoying colleague who seems to get away with doing minimal work for maximum reward. Don't be that chick; recognition comes to those who deserve it, so while you shouldn’t be the wheel that squeaks the loudest, make sure you do something every day to put yourself out there. The boss may seem as though he or she likes the company suck-up, but the figures don't lie.


7. The Sexy Secretary

If you're a PA or something similar, there are people who will think that you’ve only been taken to a meeting or conference to look good. Even now, there will be times when you walk into a room and realize that you're the only person there with a vagina. Don't let this faze you into thinking you can't contribute.

When you work for the right boss, you'll know that your opinion is valid and that if you weren’t supposed to speak up, you wouldn’t be there. Have faith in yourself and acquaint the douchebags with the woman beyond the rack.

Photo via We Heart It

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Beth Gladstone

Contributor

Beth is a British Marketing Manager and freelance writer, working in London's answer to Silicon Valley. A recovering worrier, Beth stays positive by reading, writing and being mindful.You can view more of her work at www.bethgladstone.com
Beth is a British Marketing Manager and freelance writer, working in London's answer to Silicon Valley. A recovering worrier, Beth stays positive by reading, writing and being mindful.You can view more of her work at www.bethgladstone.com

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