Have you ever been told that there’s no room in the budget for you to attend an industry conference, but somehow your colleagues are going?
Have you ever asked yourself why Joe over there always gets promoted even though he seems to have no idea what he’s doing? Meanwhile you’re constantly working late and not getting noticed?
I’ve definitely experienced this. I’ve been told I don’t have seniority. And I didn’t know how to get seniority without getting my hands on the relevant experience that would qualify me for senior roles. Not to mention when would I even find the time?
That was my problem right there.
An inordinate amount of time was being spent on tasks that would not move my career forward. I was wrestling with Excel and prettying PowerPoints. I thought that my image was more important than the substance. I thought no one would listen to me if I had typos on my documents or used pastels on my presentations.
And then I met a colleague who broke a lot of rules that I followed.
She created presentations with little to no regard for the corporate colors and branding and instead used her favorite colors – which included hot pink.
She was bubbly and giggly and wore a nose ring and wasn’t afraid to express confusion when she didn’t understand something.
Sure enough, she told me some of her colleagues made snide remarks about her personal style. She was upset when she was passed over for projects that she would have been perfect for.
And I thought to myself – it’s the way you act, it’s your pink.
Stop doing that and you’ll soar.
She didn’t. In fact, she kept going.
She created projects she wasn’t even asked to do to help solve problems she knew their clients and colleagues had. She created the documentation and presented it as a gift – with no ego.
The senior leadership took notice.
She was making their life easy, doing her job well and she was fun to be around. She got promoted too.
The difference between her and me?
She was having fun and being creative.
I was stuck trying to fit into someone else’s idea of who I should be.
I wasn’t following my own rules – I was trying to follow someone else’s.
The ideas we have around how we are supposed to behave at work are generated from a human’s perspective. And since we are humans and not robots – everyone’s perspective is different.
We all want to stand out at work – how do we do that if we’re always trying to fit in?
Are you ready to take that leap to be yourself and to make your best qualities work for you? Reach out and let’s talk about how to make that happen!