Don’t shoot the messenger, do the work

It’s fascinating that people will project their anger at women for raising these issues instead of working with what the trigger is calling them to question within themselves. Black men have to do the work of facing up to their privilege, their supremacist attitudes and harm that they enact on women instead of weaponising the word feminist to silence us who are calling them to the truth. What white supremacy is doing to Black people is what Black men do to Black women. The fascinating thing is that patriarchy is killing men as much as it is women. I don’t have to quote the suicide rates, alcoholism, chain smoking, promiscuity, drug abuse among men, among Black men lately.

Can we appeal to Black men’s humanity. Women are not made with any different material than you are. Before you abuse someone you have to dehumanise them, you have to project to them what you hate about yourself.

Men have projected emotions , weakness to women. They have made part of who they are as human beings inferior undesirable and have projected those ‘undesirable qualities on women.

The problem is that, that part of you that you have rejected is harming you. Instead of doing the work, you project that anger to women. Inadvertently disempowering yourself by becoming victims. Your disempowerment is not benign, it is deadly.

We need to have a conversation about the social construct of gender, just like we need to about race. By the way if you are a white person. Replace Black men with white man, white woman. It’s the same thing.

http://www.blackwomenintheworkplace.com

#black #blackwoman #blackwomen #blackgirls #blackman #blackwomanmagic #blackwomenmagic #blackwomenintheworkplace #blackgirlsrock #patriachy

Listen to the beat of your own drum

Listen to the beat of your own drum.

Listen to the beat of your own drum.

Indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambili is a Zulu saying that means we ask from those who came before us what the right path is. This is often true but not always. Sometimes we have to listen to the voice within, for the path that our souls wants to follow. Sometimes those who came before us and those who are around us are incapable of understanding our destiny because it isn’t theirs.

There’s a clip where Jay Z says that his uncle wouldn’t believe him when he said he will sell a million records. He says he doesn’t blame his uncle because he had never sold a million records, that was beyond his reality and he couldn’t believe it for him either. Because Jay Z was wise enough this time, not to listen to his uncle, he has sold a million records many times.

There comes a time in the life of anyone who will do anything of significance; to leave the road well traveled and beat their own path. There will come a point in your life if you are committed to your souls’ calling; that you can’t look around because they may not understand.

When that time comes you will have to trust the voice inside. It might be a lonely path for a season. But if you stick with it long enough, your gift, your path will draw to you, your tribe. Those who have come before you and those who are on the same path. Those from whom you can ask what the right path is because they have, like you said yes to the voice within.

In the meantime give yourself permission to trust your intuition. Trust that your wildest dreams are not leading you astray. Leave that which is comfortable, the beaten path. Your destiny calls you, will you heed the call?

http://www.blackwomenintheworkplace.com

blackwomen#blackwoman#blackgirlsrock#blackwomenrock #blackgirlmagic #blackwomanmagic #black #blackgirls #blackgirl #mondayvibe #mondaythoughts

It’s time to drop the struggle

When you have been disappointed enough times you learn to live in a perpetual state of expectation of the same. You learn to armour yourself with the expectation of more of the same so you can buffer yourself against the pain of another no.

When all you have known is the hustle. When your mantra has always been ‘I work really hard for all that I achieve, nothing has ever been handed to me’, ‘I can’t rely on anyone else’. What you are doing is anchoring the struggle in your life. It is time to drop the struggle.

You will see it with the way you engage with pleasure, abundance or more. You don’t relax into it and be present with it. You rush to the climax so you can go back to reality. You can’t sleep till you spend all that money because you don’t know when next you are going to have it. You can’t stop until everything is finished on your plate, until your stomach is about to burst.

It’s time to drop the struggle. It’s not going to be easy, all your protectors are going to
be up in arms. Anxiety might be the order of the day, you might find yourself self sabotaging and manifesting emergencies. Stay on course, change is here and it is worth it. It is time to drop the struggle.

black #blackwoman #blackwomen #blackgirl #blackgirls #blackgirlsrock #blackgirlmagic #blackwomanrock #blackwomanintheworkplace #thursday #thursdayvibes

Don’t mistake the Vessel for The Source

Never mistake the Vessel for the Source

One of the reasons why we get stuck in toxic relationships, religions, jobs and dying businesses is that we mistake the Vessel for the Source

The illusion of separatedness from Source makes us mistake the Vessels through which Source brings our provision or abundance to us as THE source. As a result we fail to discern when the Vessel no longer provides that which nurtures and in fact has become poisonous

When you believe that it is through your religion that you get your blessings, you will blindly follow it even when it misleads you. A friend shared that he has a business idea that know will work but it’s against his religion. I told him he needs to reflect on whether his religion is still an enabler and empowerer or it has become a block.

When the person who brought good in your life, who may have rescued you from the worst and brought you to abundance has become toxic, you might stay cause you are on stuck on who they were and no longer are. Divorce maybe super painful and traumatic, however just like death it is part of the evolution of our journey and growth.

When you believe that the source of your provision is through your job, you will stick to it even when it no longer serves you. It may have been meant to serve you for a season and the season has ended. Don’t stretch it for too long because you are mistaking it for the source.

When you mistake your business with your purpose and destiny you will fail to pivot, when circumstances are clearly pointing to the fact that it is time to pivot

When you realise that the magic is with you. That you are not separate from the source. That your provision, your abundance is separate or different from the vessel through which it has been delivered in one season of your life from the next. Pivoting, leaving, outgrowth is not a crisis but a natural part of life.

If you are ready to leave that Soul Crushing Job; Sign up to our 5 day Leave Your Soul Crushing Job Challenge : https://blackwomenintheworkplace.com/5-day-challenge/

#business #growth #people #job #jobs #blackgirlsrock #saturdaythoughts

Can You Afford to Be Your Authentic Self at Work? 5 Strategies for Black Women.

Even though we seem to be seeing more and more images of Black Women appointed in senior leadership positions in the workplace, the default image of a competent business leader is still a White Male. Anyone who does not fit into that description experiences bias, i.e. they might be pre-judged as incompetent for leadership positions because they don’t fit the stereotype. Although many still argue that this is no longer the case due to well publicized appointments of Black Women being appointed for senior leadership roles from Takealot to Fortune 500 companies, the evidence shows a different picture. The Commission for Employment Equity report revealed that Black Women still only represent 5,7% of top leadership positions, even though they represent 36% of the economically active population. 

Conventional career advice given to women who aim for leadership positions is to act more like men. Women are told that their natural feminine behaviour does not inspire confidence in their competence to lead. Women are constantly advised that if they want to be taken seriously, they have to let go of some of their natural, or should I say conditioned feminine traits. I say “conditioned” because women and men are raised differently. Women are raised to nurture families, as supporters and caretakers, while men are raised for leadership and agency as future providers and winners in the public arena.   

Some of the areas where women experience the most criticizm are:

  • Communication: e.g. posing statements as questions, using language that is more accommodating and passive while waiting to be recognized before speaking in a meeting instead of just speaking up as men often do.
  • Confidence: not taking risks, that we only apply for a position we 100% qualify for, that we remain invisible by refusing to talk about our accomplishments and hoping that our work would speak for itself and hiding our ambitions hoping someone will notice us. 
  • Our Appearance: that wearing clothing that accentuates our femininity reduces us to sex objects; to be taken seriously our choice of clothing should be closer to the masculine as possible.
  • For Black Women, in particular, this expectation imposes that we not only assimilate to male characteristics but also White/western characteristics. Black women have been advised not to wear their hair naturally, to speak with an accent and behave in a way that is more acceptable or “professional” to (white) society.

Women have indicated that they feel like they have to be someone else as soon as they step into the office and they find this mentally exhausting. They feel they have to prove over and over again that they are worthy of the positions that they aspire to. Even when they have those positions, they still have to fight for their authority to be recognized. Black women have reported been mistaken for a help or an assistant in situations where they would be the most senior in the room.

There have been several articles indicating that some Black women do not want to go back to the office after working remotely during the COVID19 pandemic lockdown. nytimes.com, (June 23, 2021). They have indicated that working remotely is conducive to better mental health as they don’t have to deal with acts of micro-aggression and the need to pretend they are someone they are not . Micro-aggression is defined as a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group. (Merriam-Webster (2021))

Black women are simply exhausted due to the emotional labour that it takes to build a career. Every morning when they step out of their homes, they put on a mask and pretend to be who they are told to be to get ahead or keep their jobs. Black women are longing to be their authentic selves without risking their livelihoods. Some bravely step out as their authentic self, however, there is always a price to pay for authenticity.

For an example:

  • Research shows that black women who wear natural hair have fewer chances of being recruited for positions that require visibility compared to women who wear their hair straight. This includes black women who speak with a heavy vernacular accent.
  • Likeability Bias: Women pay the price if they are not likeable or warm, but when they are viewed as ‘too’ likeable they are considered too feminine and not coming across as competent enough to lead firmly.
  • Whistleblowers and women who report sexual harassment often pay the price with their careers.
  • Black women who speak up against microaggression at work that often disguises itself as attempts at friendliness are labelled angry black women who are not team players. 

The price of authenticity for black women is often too high to pay. Besides the strain on their mental health which can lead to physical illness and even deaths by suicide or sickness. There is also the strain on their financial resources. Black women are often the poorest of any population. Even those who earn more and have attained professional success, have to deal with high student loans debts, the weight of being first in the family, building from nothing, often being solely responsible for taking care of their family and extended family. This hinders them from building wealth and saving for a rainy day. Living from paycheque to paycheque means losing a job can have dire consequences within a very short period. 

Consequently, black women have found that they have to choose between pragmatism and authenticity. Pragmatism is defined as “a way of dealing with problems or situations that focuses on practical approaches and solutions—ones that will work in practice, as opposed to being ideal in theory. The word pragmatism is contrasted with the word idealism, which means based on or having high principles or ideals.” Dictionary.com (2021). Meaning that they either choose to assimilate at the risk of their mental health and at times their sense of self-respect, and behaving from an authentic self and paying the price with their careers. However, this does not have to be an all or nothing scenario. Change is slow but it is happening, while we are not where we want to be, we are not where we used to be. For an example, Hair discrimination policies have recently been banned in many workplaces in the US (cbsnews.com, November 30 2020) I know it may be appalling that we celebrate news like that in 2021, but that is the reality of things. 

While continuing to advocate for things to change, here are some strategies that one can employ to balance the need to be authentic and also pragmatic. 

  1. Define what you are willing and unwilling to change

This relies on knowing yourself and what behaviours from others you can stomach on a sustainable basis. If your office is the kind of environment that’s all about suits and heels and you are a free spirit who can’t think in a suit, maybe avoid workplaces like those. If you are already in such a workplace, you might have to bear it while looking for a position in a place that is more receptive to the kind of person you are.

2. Pace yourself – allow them to get to know you first

Rome was not built in a day. You might need to allow your colleagues to get to know you as a person before setting your Afro free or wearing that flat shoe, bringing that bit of colour to the boring black, brown and grey suit that is the culture in your company. I am using clothes here but this can apply to the other factors as well.

3. Pay your dues and make your mark.

Have you noticed that women appear more authentic when they are older and in senior positions of leadership? Sometimes you may have to pay your dues first before you can earn the right to not give a hoot what people think of you.

4. Be stronger in an area that is key, to compensate for the areas that you are not willing to compromise on.

Sometimes the best impediment against bias is effectiveness in areas that are considered key in that workplace. I am sure you’ve heard expressions like, so and so is maverick but he gets the job done or so and so might be rough around the edges but there is no one better at this and that than she is in this area. At times being effective in an area may cause ways that you don’t ‘fit in’ to get overlooked.

5. Keep strategically questioning the status quo in a way that does not alienate.

Often people who are in power do not like to be challenged. They may overlook your raising of issues that make them uncomfortable once or twice, however, once you get the label of the angry black woman or the militant activist in the workplace, you might get shut down in a way that keeps you from a seat at a table where you can influence change more effectively. We have to question the status quo to effect change, however how you do that is important as the saying goes ‘you can catch more bees using honey than vinegar’.

Bonus Tip: find a community where you can be your best self and have your cup filled.

The workplace has become a place where we look for fulfilment, purpose and recognition. While there is nothing wrong with that, it may be detrimental to your mental health to give one aspect of your life so much power. Find other ways to fulfil your needs. Find a community of like-minded professionals where you can vent and share tips and strategies, start a side hustle or a community project that fulfils you, practice self-care, invest in your professional development. All these will help give you the mental balance that you need to navigate the corporate world.

Click the link below for more career advice, executive coaching and various programs just for you. Join the community, we would love to be a part of building your dream career journey.
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Are you a people pleaser? 5 reasons why you are not getting promoted

Everyone likes you. You’re that nice girl at Accounts or is it HR? Always smiling, always ready to lend an ear or a hand. You always go the extra mile, you are the go-to girl when there’s an emergency, you dress for the job you want as ‘they’ said you should……. Why is the promotion not coming? Why are you so anxious, tired and overwhelmed but don’t have the job title and salary to match? Here are 5 clues that can help you put that puzzle together.

  1. Inability to Set Boundaries

Everyone loves a hard worker. Peers love a colleague who is always ready and willing to do take on the slack and never complains. Bosses love a subordinate who is always willing to take on a task without complaining. It is often easier to just give the work to the one who will not make a fuss. Your colleagues might love you for your inability to say no because it guarantees that there’s always someone who will do what they don’t want to do. But no one respects a walkover and leadership requires one who can govern. The first place one governs is their boundaries. Wondering why you keep getting passed over for promotions? No one respects you.

2. Fear of Making Mistakes

While producing quality work will certainly get you noticed. Obsessive-compulsive nit picking will hold you back. For one it will take you longer to finish any piece of work you are given. This might keep you so busy and you might come across as overwhelmed and unable to take on more responsibility. I have often noticed how men do less, often don’t sweat the details but still get ahead. There are limited hours in a day and as much as it is important to produce work of good quality and to always dazzle your audience; your fear of making mistakes might keep you from assessing what level of effort is required for tasks that come to your desk. There are limited hours in a day, if you want to make an impact, you have to manage how you spend them.

3. Fear of Criticism

Criticism is not easy for anyone to take. Very few people can see negative criticism as constructive. However, if you do anything of importance, people will have different views about it, some valid and some not so valid. If you fall apart every time you get criticized, you might come across as fragile and your colleagues may withhold criticism that might be constructive. Research shows that male bosses often hold back criticism from their female subordinates because of the fear that they can’t handle it. Of course, this is bias. However, most people don’t like to be disagreeable, if you come across as fragile, people will treat you that way. You won’t inspire confidence to be trusted with more responsibility. There goes your promotion.

4. No Backbone

People pleasers often find that it is hard to be disagreeable. They may pretend to agree with anyone who has their ear in the name of politeness. Although this might earn them brownie points with whoever is listening, they can come across as phoney. If there are two sides to a conflict, people who are friendly with both sides are often viewed with suspicion. You need to be agreeable might come across to others as someone who doesn’t have any conviction and therefore cannot be trusted with responsibility or loyalty.

5. Fear of Disapproval

The fear of the disapproval of other people can be debilitating. One of the criticisms that are often levelled against women at work is not using their voice, especially in meetings. The fear of disapproval can make you second guess yourself and fail to communicate with confidence. 

It is also a weakness when one has subordinates. Fear of giving negative feedback, delegating and calling out one of your team members if their behaviour is unacceptable might break down the morale of the whole team, especially those who do their best. Leadership requires one to make unpopular decisions, if you have a fear of disapproval you will have difficulty in this area.

Positioning yourself for leadership will require you to show ambition and be willing to toot your own horn. These are traditional traits that women are often punished for demonstrating and can invite jealousy from others. If you have a fear of disapproval, you might shrink yourself to avoid disapproval. That guarantees that you will stay the best-kept secret, in the same position year after year.

In Conclusion

People-pleasing may guarantee that you are well-liked. Research shows that likability is an imposed standard for women at work, becoming one of the unfair biases which women have to contend with. However, to position yourself as a serious contender for strategic leadership positions; you need to command respect more than likability.

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Do Women Make More Toxic Bosses Than Men?

Women are often at the receiving end of abusive superiors. Challenges that women, and specifically Black Women, face in the workplace are well documented; Gender and racial bias, sexual harassment, unequal pay, bullying, lack of access to mentors/sponsors and more. What happens when the power shifts and the women are in the leadership role? Do women make more toxic bosses than men?

  1. Women Are Judged More Harshly Than Men

I once posed this question to our Black Women in the Workplace Facebook community, and an interesting hypothesis came up. We often experience women as more toxic because we expect them to be nice. Research shows that behaviour that is acceptable and even laudable in men is often considered offensive when it is demonstrated by women. What is deemed as ambition, firmness and passion, might be interpreted as forward, mean and emotional if you’re a woman. Both genders are not judged by the same standards.

The Lean in/ Mckenzie Annual Women in the workplace report cited the ‘likability bias’ as one of the challenges women have to contend with. The likability bias refers to the fact that women are expected to be likeable. However, being nice can also be associated with the inability to lead. As a result, women find themselves in this double-bind, where they are expected and also punished for being nice; required and punished for displaying leadership qualities like firmness. 

Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa Naspers first Black female CEO narrates an incident when she was still an intern. She approached this executive that was the only black woman in the leadership of that company and asked to be mentored. When the executive refused she was surprised and, on reflection, she realised that she had assumed that the woman should help her because she is a black woman. She had stereotyped her.

Could it be that women are not necessarily more toxic but they are judged more harshly than men? because they are expected to be likeable?

2. The Pressure to Prove Their Leadership Competence.

As a result of the historical exclusion of women and other races in corporate spaces; the stereotypical picture of corporate competent leadership is white and male. Women often find their competence doubted at best, this is compounded when they have to contend with racial bias as well as is the case for black women . Women in these positions find themselves under pressure to prove not only their competence to be in the position but their authority as well. Some women have opted to assimilate to masculine behaviours that are widely accepted as leadership qualities. They might decide to take on the tough stance as a way to protect themselves from being perceived as weak. Conventional advice on how women should behave in the workplace has evolved to allow for more authenticity, more displays of feminine behaviour, dressing, etc. however, that has not always been the case. Women often felt like they have to behave like one of the ‘boys’ to make it.

3. Women on Women Jealousy

We would like to believe that all women are matured and professional human beings who are so confident in themselves that they never feel jealous. However, the truth is jealousy is a human emotion, which is often a masked admiration for someone else’s qualities or achievements. We all feel jealous, even if it is for a moment before we remind ourselves to walk our own journey, stay grateful and that someone else’s win is not our loss. 

In the case of women, we are often conditioned to be in competition with other women for the attention of men. I suppose this comes from the olden days where a girl child had to be married for economic survival. The chosen one, or one who displayed qualities – mainly looks, that made her more likely to be chosen over others was the one to be envied. Even in the workplace, there are often situations where female bosses have bullied their female subordinates just because of jealousy and embarrassingly of superficial qualities like beauty, youth and male attention. Women who have been victims of such abuse would prefer to work for men and would therefore consider women bosses as more toxic than men.

4. Generational Jealousy

Generational jealousy is a term that I heard for the first time during the ‘Fees must fall’ student protest. The term refers to older generations’ jealousy towards the younger generation for achieving what they had failed to achieve. Older women might feel jealous of younger women not only because of their youth and beauty but their perception of how easy it is for them to get ahead quickly in the workplace. They might feel that they had to work much harder and longer. The perception is that the younger women have had it too easy and have not paid their dues. This might be compounded by the younger women’s seemingly better understanding of the current market, their ease with the digital world might make these older women bosses feel like they are slowly becoming redundant.

5. Women are Human 

Women are human and come in as many different personality types kinds as men do. Just as there are toxic, narcissistic, bullies who are men, the same applies to women. Women are often framed as motherly, people pleasers, emotional and/or weak at work. One often forgets that women can be just as mean as the meanest of men. Women can sometimes bring the high school mean girl stereotype to the workplace.

Please share your thoughts, check out our free resources – a free career map workbook and free discovery call. Join our Facebook community and let’s keep the discussion going.

To The Little Girl, I Once Was

Thank you for your dreams; they shape my reality.
Thank you for not allowing the smallness of your beginnings
to determine the reach of your imagination.

To the Little girl, I once was
Many times life seeks to tell me who I am
Who I should be, based on where I came from
It tells me that where I belong, what defines me
That no matter how hard I work, that’s where I will end up
There are many days when I am tempted to believe this……

Then I am reminded that where I came from is royalty
My origins are not the ghetto, that’s where apartheid drove my people to
My origins are the vast green fields of nature, where women walk around practically naked and unashamed, on the contrary – proud
My origins are a proud people, The great Zulu nation. Part of the even greater African nation.
Where beauty, celebration, abundance and Ubuntu reigned supreme
Where being born is enough to determine my worth.
Where there is no unemployment, illiteracy and unworthiness

To the little girl, I once was.
I have tried to assimilate to what they told me I should be if I want a bright future
Sometimes I win and it almost feels like I belong
But then there are times when my name, my hair and my imperfect command of the language of assimilation betrays my origins, once again I am the ‘other’
Despised, feared, tolerated, not because of anything that I have done
But because I am a reminder of the guilt of their ancestors,
I remind them that they come from a people who could be that cruel,
That they are still reaping the benefits of that cruelty

Just when the impostor syndrome is kicking in
I remember that I am an African in Africa, I belong
I am worthy because I am,
I might be different, maybe have a lot more to learn but definitely never inferior
I am reminded that I too am worthy of a seat at the table

To the little girl I once was, sometimes when life has kicked me to the ground
When I have faced another rejection, another closed door
Reminded of the words that were said to you in anger,
by those who were meant to protect and nurture you
‘You will never amount to anything they said
In those moments I am almost tempted to believe them
Then I am reminded that even they do not have the power to define me

I remember that you always knew you were meant for greatness, even though your circumstances dictated otherwise
Even though you were more often the poor among the poor, yet you still carried yourself like you knew you were somebody
To the little girl I once was, your dreams are my reality
I lean on your blind faith.

5 Ways Black Women Give Their Power Away In The Workplace

In our quest as Black women to level up in the workplace, we need to ensure that we are not sabotaging our success by marking the following mistakes.

  1. Working Too Hard

Working hard is still the surest way to success. However, overworking yourself may not give you the results that you think it will. As you move higher in leadership, it stops being so much about how hard you work but about the actual impact you make, especially within your team. It stops being about the output but more the effectiveness of what you do and how it affects the long term results of the organisation.

As Black women, we are conditioned to be “good girls” who follow the rules, and as a result, we often find ourselves struggling to be strategic about how we approach certain things in our lives. Our education system and societies conditioning have created workhorses out of us. This may get us ahead for a while but it does not sustain our upward trajectory. Not only that, it leads to overwhelm and burn out. When you set yourself as the go-to employee to getting things done, more and more work will be given to you. It may become unsustainable to continuously produce at the same rate if you do not set the boundaries.

Effective productivity is not just about getting things done but about prioritising the right things to get done first. It’s about understanding what the priority is, what is more impactful, and focusing on those. You do not want to be known so much as the one is who reliable but more importantly as the effective one. Reliable people are given everything that needs to be done but effective people are given work that creates an impact. Sift through the rabble and focus on the effective first.

2. Not Taking The Time to Understand “how things work around here.”

When you are a new employee, it is easy to fall into the trap of being the new broom that sweeps too clean for everyone liking. You might impress the powers that be but at the risk of breaking valuable relationships that you might need in the future. You will likely frustrate yourself when met with resistance. The most effective way to be impactful in a new place is by pacing yourself and taking the time to understand the company, the rhythm, power dynamics, the real culture and values, not just what is on the website. Your performance will be more effective when you know what’s what.

3. Needing to Be Perfect

Quality work is commendable, it certainly gets you noticed and keeps you on an upward trajectory. However, obsessing over ensuring that every minor detail is perfect is not only going to lead to burnout quickly but seriously hold you back. It is easier to ensure that every minute detail is perfect when the output relies on only yourself. However, when you need to collaborate on results, your need to perfect every detail may lead to a reputation of being too focused on minors details and not strategic enough.

The trick is to manage the balance of producing work that you can take pride in. and getting things done effectively. Perfection can also lead to the fear of delegating work because you do not trust that people will do things right or at least done your way. It can also lead to you holding yourself from taking risks in projects that you are not completely sure you can produce a perfect output of.

4. Inability to Delegate

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to a new leader is the inability to delegate. When are you are fresh out of a specialist role where you were used to relying on yourself to getting the job done, relying on others to get work done might become a challenge. When you are raised to be a typical strong Black woman who cannot rely on anyone to help them, you might find it especially challenging to let others do the work and have to rely on their output. This might be compounded by people-pleasing tendencies if you have been raised in a home where pleasing was the way you got approval. Asserting your leadership by delegating work might feel too uncomfortable for a people pleaser. 

Not only will this burn you out but it disempowers your authority and keeps you from fulfilling your leadership role as someone responsible for developing their subordinates. You are taking away development opportunities from your subordinates. You are also are going to be so busy that you are not available to fulfil the role of coaching, mentoring and support to your subordinates. And are also missing out on an opportunity to build a team that collaborates and achieves the departmental objectives as a collective.

5. Failing to Be Strategic

The other danger is that you will miss the trees for the forest, i.e. if your head is constantly buried in work, you miss your key leadership function of assessing and setting the strategic direction of your department. Even if you are still in a non-leadership position, you have to be strategic about your career trajectory. You have to balance performance with the bigger plan, the bigger objective of your career map. You have to constantly check in with where you are in your career plan and if you are still on the right track or you have fallen into the trap of getting stuff done because you are obligated. No one wakes up thinking about making your life better; it is up to you to do that. Keep your eye on the strategic plan while you take care of the day today.

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Take Advantage Of The First 90 Days Of Your New Job – Apply These 5 Tips

Congratulations on getting your job. Having gone through all the hoops of application, interview, contract negotiation, you have landed yourself right here. A new job is an opportunity to redefine your brand, especially in a new workplace. You can define who you want to be and be that person in a new place without the baggage of people who expect you to act a certain way. It is an opportunity to correct the mistakes you might have made in your previous job (such as not setting boundaries, playing small, etc.)

  1. Be intentional

The first thing that you need to remember is to be intentional about what you are doing in this job and how this job fits into your overall career path. If you have not yet created that plan, I will link the free career roadmap to help you map out what you want your career path to look. Assuming that you have already mapped out the plan, you fully grasp which stage your current role plays in your overall career path. It might be the ultimate job that leads to your retirement or a stepping stone to your dream job, or a role that helps you can transition to an industry of your choice. 

Having clarity about why you are in that role will help you when the job gets tough. The newness of the job fades, your expenses swallow the increases in your salary, and your colleagues are showing their true colours. When you start wondering if this was the right choice and start disengaging from the job, it will help to know precisely why you are there. 

2. Set a time frame

It helps to define how many years it will take to achieve the career objective that you have set for this job and future jobs along your career path. In my opinion, between 3 to 5 years is the longest a person should stay in a position. Otherwise, one stops learning and becomes stagnant, unless the industry you are in keeps changing and allows you to keep learning and growing. The 3-to-5-years rule does not include toxic environments that negatively impact your mental health. If you are in a toxic workplace and have done what you can to try and resolve that situation, please make a plan and leave.

3. Be a brand

The next thing to remember is that you are a brand. View yourself more like a service provider than just an employee. A service provider in the sense that you are servicing a client and you care about your output. Show that you strive to live up to your brand and live up to the brand values. This attitude will also help you when disillusionment with the company sets in. You are going to remember that no matter how you feel, you have to ensure that you are true to the brand that you have defined for yourself. 

4. Learn, learn, learn

Your first few months are a time to immerse yourself in learning and understanding the company. You will start with the macro analysis, then the industry, the actual company, the culture, the power structures, your departmental mandate, company policies and procedures. You want to understand what is crucial for your department, for the CEO and the board. This knowledge will broaden your impact and influence in the company quickly. Understanding the culture and the power dynamics will keep you from making mistakes that new people make. You do want to impress, but you do not want to go against the workplace culture too much before you understand it and are intentional about what you are doing and why you are doing it.

5. Put in the time and set your boundaries

Never forget that getting to a workplace, you might have to work a lot harder than you usually would because you are trying to catch up on your understanding of the company, the workflow and your colleagues. You are building relationships and creating trust. However, be careful not to pitch yourself as an over performer who doesn’t have boundaries. As much as you want to impress, you don’t want to set yourself up as someone who takes on everything and is willing to work crazy hours to get the job done. Better to under-promise and over-deliver than set yourself up as a miracle worker, unless that appeals to you. 

The pandemic has shown us all that burnout is a real challenge that has emphasized the importance of sustaining our mental health. As black women we have to be careful to not let the stereotypes of the ‘StrongBlackwoman’ and the ‘GoodGirlSyndrome’ trap us into overworking and burning ourselves out to prove we are worthy of a seat on the table . 

Click below for a free copy of the Career Roadmap Workbook to help define your career journey: https://blackwomenintheworkplace.ck.page/d0d516aa48