If you are an ambitious corporate women who wants to climb the career ladder then there are some things that you need to STOP doing.

We women have some ingrained behaviours that do not help us on our career path. Some of these may make you feel uncomfortable, but you need to stop doing all of them if you want to end up being a senior leader.

  1. Being perfect

Nothing is ever perfect neither does it need to be. Your work does not need to be perfect, it just needs to be good enough. Your skills do not need to be perfect, they just need to be good enough to do the job.

Perfectionism is holding you back and it actually turns into procrastination because it stops you doing some things. You think what you do wont be perfect and so you don’t even start but without starting it will never be done.

So whatever you are stopping doing, just get started. It’s ok for work to be average as long as it meets the basic needs of the objective.

Done is better than perfect.


  1. Being negative

We get dragged into pity party’s and group whinging which make us feel dissatisfied and unhappy at work. We focus on the bad things that happen in a day or week and let them overwhelm us.

This needs to stop.

The influential people in your organisation need to see positive people who are keen to support the vision and who are willing to get involved to deliver services.

No one like s a negative Nellie.

Negative people drag everyone else down and no one wants to work with them.

Stopping being actively negative has two benefits:

Firstly you will feel better about your job. If you start to notice all the good things whether it’s the regular salary, the flexible hours, its local location or your lovely colleagues there are so many good things to like. This boosts your happy hormones and you will start to enjoy your job more. (Unless you are in a toxic environment and then you must leave)

Secondly, you will open yourself up to be someone people want to work with. You will get known as the positive, willing colleague and this will help you when opportunities arise.


  1. Working so hard

It is a common belief amongst women that working hard will get you promoted but this is very far from the truth. Excelling at this job is not what will get you the next-level job.

Working hard keeps you chained to your current role. When you are excellent at your job people won’t want to lose you. You are only developing the skills you need to do a better job at THIS job.

You are spending so much time and energy on doing a great job you are not allowing any time and energy to learn what you need for the next job.

So stop working so hard at this job and give yourself time to develop yourself and your career.

  1. Focussing on this job

This follows directly on from point 3. You are focussing on doing a great job and it is very likely that you are doing an amazing job. But you are not focussing on your CAREER.

You need to stop thinking about this job and start thinking about the next job now.

The skills you need for the next-level job will be very different to the skills you have now. So, what can you learn now to help you develop the skills for the next role?

What is the next step, have you taken any time to really think about what happens next?

Schedule in some quality time to sit and work out what you want your career to look like.


  1. Hiding at your desk

You need to stop hiding and get out there. You need to make the time to meet other people, understand the bigger picture because this will help you find new opportunities.

If no one knows who you are and what you are capable of you will never be proactively approached for projects, secondments, or promotion.

Stop keeping your head down and look up once in a while, get away from your desk and get involved in something that will move your career forward.


  1. Being influenced by others

Make your own decisions about your career, don’t be rail roaded by others. Use other people for advice and support but have the courage to make your own decision.

Get to know yourself and what it is you want so that you create strong desires about what you want to achieve.


  1. Saying no to opportunities

Sometimes we say no to taking on something new due to a few reasons.

It might be that you are way too busy to take on something else.

It may be that you feel you should be paid to take on your managers task.

It might be that you fear you will mess it up.

None of these are good reasons.

You should never be too busy to take on a new opportunity that will help you develop your skills, find the time.

You need to accept that in order to develop your skills and show that you can do bigger tasks that you will have to do them without any financial reward. The reward you are getting is the chance to learn something that will help your career.

You might mess it up, but that’s ok. Making mistakes is the best way to learn, so accept the taskm ask for direction and support and then give it a go.

Just to say here this is not about being shafted and taken advantage of. This is about saying yes to opportunities that will help you develop into the next-level role.


  1. Prioritising others

Stop thinking about everyone ese before yourself. Please!

I see this a lot with women due to our people pleasing nature but it has to stop. If you want to get promoted and climb the career ladder you need to focus on your own health and wellbeing first.

Being the best version of you only happens by looking after yourself.

Being the best version of you will improve your focus, your energy and your performance plus it will put you in a better place to support others.


  1. Thinking you are not good enough

You are smart enough, young enough, old enough, experienced enough, strong enough – GOOD ENOUGH.

You must stop believing that you are not good enough because you are.

Look at all of the things you do well, notice all of your great work and tell yourself how amazing you are.


  1. Believing you need to know everything

You think you need to know everything before you get promoted or apply for that next-level role but that’s not the case.

You need to know you could do the job with some training. No one knows how to do everything for the next-level job, otherwise it wouldn’t be the next-level!

You also do not need to meet 100% of the criteria of the JD. I know you’re thinking this and its stopped you applying but again it’s just your mindset keeping you safe.

Find a job you really want and go for it anyway.

  1. Dwelling on the past

Your past is not your future and whatever has happened it does need to impact on your future success, unless you let it.

Take any mistakes or poor experiences and learn from them but do not dwell. Things often go wrong in life and at work, but you must see them as lessons.

Spending your energy reliving the past is a waste of time and only impacts on you, so find a way to move on.

  1. Being too busy to notice your success

Stop being so busy that you don’t see what is going well. Life is such a rush and work is so hectic that we almost run on autopilot.

You have so many successes but that doesn’t help if you don’t remember what they are.

In order to be able to perform well in an interview you need to be clear on your achievements. So, start making a note every day of what went well.

The other benefit of this is that you will start to realise how capable you are and you will start to believe in yourself.


I hope these tips have been useful. It is not always about what we need to start doing that helps us succeed. It is often just as important to look at what we need to STOP doing.

The first step is to take a breathe and notice it. Notice how you act, think, believe. Then you can start to STOP doing the things that are not supporting your future career success.