Case Studies and bedtime stories

The EMBABE Diaries

Work Your Magic

This month’s work tip comes from the HBR Blog Network, courtesy of my lovely friend and study group colleague Ana, a fantastically smart and scarily organised New Yorker/Portuguese (it’s a long, but fascinating story!) who is incidentally also the mother of the greatest brother-sister dancing duo LBS has ever seen. The article, written by Whitney Johnson and Tara Mohr, urges women to wake up to the fact that “work isn’t school”. It turns out that, while we have been very adept at figuring out how to succeed academically, including in business school, most of us are not quite as skilled at leaving behind those old habits that were helpful in school, but may prove counterproductive in the workplace.

So how do we make the leap from teacher’s pet to female powerhouse? The authors suggest that we use the weapon of disruption and depart from our usual ways in five key ways:

  1. We need to learn to challenge and influence authority
  2. Without forgetting to prepare, we must also learn to improvise
  3. We need to find effective ways to promote ourselves, which are likely to be subtler than those which work for men (yeah, I know that’s unfair but think about it – the authors do have a point)
  4. We must learn to embrace unusual career paths and be less afraid to do things our own way instead of doing what’s expected
  5. Finally, we need to let go of our desire to be liked by everyone and aim for being respected instead.

The full article, well worth a read, is available here.

Missed last months’ tip? Here it is.


« The EMBABE’s Survival Kit

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