3 Tips To Help You Compete in a Man’s World

Are you accidentally sabotaging your chances for a promotion? Find out…


There’s an old saying that women have to work twice as hard as men to get half as much. While this may have some truth to it, there are things that you may be doing –without realizing it– that limit your upward mobility at work.

3 Tips To Help You Compete in a Man’s World

Women have come a long way in the workplace. We have fought for the right to work alongside men, the right to be paid the same as them and the right to be treated with respect. There’s no reason why we can’t compete like a man. The question is: why don’t we?

3 Tips To Help You Compete in a Man’s World

Part of the answer lies in the fact that women unknowingly undermine their credibility and sabotage their careers. In other words, it’s not just the men in HR ruining our chance for a promotion; we do it to ourselves too.

If you find yourself repeatedly being skipped over for a promotion, the following top three mistakes that women make at work might help:

Working too hard

Women often complain that they do more work compared to other people. The truth is no one was ever promoted by hard work alone. According to Frankel, likeability, networking skills, and strategic thinking are some of the other factors needed to grow into a successful career. Instead of working hard all day, skipping lunch and breaks, give yourself permission to “waste” a little time. Spend at least five percent of your day building relationships.

3 Tips To Help You Compete in a Man’s World

Doing the work of others

Women tend to take responsibility for not only their work, but also the work of others. There’s only one problem with this: while we’re busy doing the grunt work, men are busy building their careers. Promotions are rewarded for a job done, not doing the job. Stop volunteering for low profile assignments. They won’t only zap your time, but also won’t improve your career. Try not to let others delegate their work to you. Practice saying “I’d love to, but I’m just swamped.” There’s no need to explain further. It’s their job, not yours.

3 Tips To Help You Compete in a Man’s World

Failing to capitalize on relationships

Men rely on relationships to open doors for them. Women view it as taking advantage of a friendship or business partner. You’d trust a referral from one of your business associates, then why wouldn’t the door swing the other way? When in doubt, ask permission to use a colleague’s name. For example, “I’m trying to set up a meeting with George Smith. Would it be all right if I mention that I know you?” See how easy that was?

Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 167 Comments

  1. Avatar of Tina Scott

    Tina Scott

    OMG! I was thinking about this, and damn, this is all right.

  2. Avatar of Kimberly Henderson

    Kimberly Henderson

    It’s worthless if you study hard, and you will just live your life like what most men want you to live it. It is your life, and don’t let men underestimate your capabilities.

  3. Avatar of Carol Clark

    Carol Clark

    Wow. I didn’t know that I am missing a lot of chances because I am stuck doing someone’s job.

  4. Avatar of Jennifer Martin

    Jennifer Martin

    For me, working with men is great. They treat me as one of them, but they still respect me as a woman. When it comes to work, we are just fine. We do our job, and that’s it. If someone gets promoted, we celebrate.

  5. Avatar of Ann Phillips

    Ann Phillips

    Haha! I remember the time when I was just starting my career in the corporate world. I was young and dumb. whenever they tell me to do their job, I grab it because why not? Maybe my boss will notice me, but I realized that I was a fool. My co-workers are getting their promotions, while I am stuck in my position. Luckily, a friend of mine gave me a piece of advice. Never ever get someone’s work because it is their job, and the credits will be theirs.

  6. Avatar of Andrea Wright

    Andrea Wright

    It means I should use my relationship to others? Is it too much? Will I use someone for my own sake?

  7. Avatar of Patricia Butler

    Patricia Butler

    Thank for the tips, Urbanette! I am aiming for a promotion, and this will be helpful!

  8. Avatar of Betty Young

    Betty Young

    The reason why I don’t do someone’s work. Hello? It is their job, and not mine. ?

  9. Avatar of Irene Evans

    Irene Evans

    We don’t need to work twice as hard as men because there are things that women are better than men.

  10. Avatar of Susan Cook

    Susan Cook

    Great tips for people who are aiming for promotions! Yay!

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