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Key traps for women in the workplace

7 traps we fall into -- and how to avoid them

by Lisa Quast  |  2426 views  |  0 comments  |      Rate this now! 

A friend just handed me the July/August 2008 issue of Seattle Woman magazine and showed me a great article written by Dede Henley: “7 Deadly Traps for Women at Work.”  It did a terrrific job at highlighting key areas women need to think about in their careers. I’ve summarized her seven areas below:

Trap 1: Trying to be one of the boys. Strive to be your authentic self without trying to look and act like you’re male. Even though it may feel like after all these years we’ve finally been “invited into the boys’ clubhouse” we don’t need to dress and act like males to be successful in our own right. Wear a skirt suit and be proud to be female!

Trap 2: Saying ‘I’ll do it myself.’ As women, we have a tendency to take on work and try to handle everything by ourselves. But we need to understand that it’s OK to speak up and ask for help. “Allow others to contribute to your success and [you] to theirs.”

Trap 3: Feeling that we have no voice and no choice. Try to approach situations by analyzing what is happening and proactively determining a plan of action. Avoid “casting yourself as a victim.”

Trap 4: Waiting to be rescued. There are no shortcuts when it comes to career success and, while we might wish life were a fairy tale with Prince Charming, you must be the one who takes control of your career. Stop waiting, start doing.

Trap 5: Wanting peace at any price. Women often tend to put themselves into the role of peacemaker; however, “pleasing others, regardless of the cost, holds us back.” Remember, it’s OK to “rock the boat.”

Trap 6: Hurrying, always hurrying. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is slow down, especially in this fast-paced world of email, voicemail, and cell phones. Take the time to enjoy the present and get organized for the future.

Trap 7: Surviving at all costs. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by everything you need to accomplish. Break overwhelming tasks into smaller, more doable pieces. Move from “surviving to thriving” and life will become much more enjoyable.

I couldn’t agree more with Dede’s words of advice! Feel free to share any of your key female traps in the comments section of this article.

About the Author

Lisa Quast is CEO and President of Career Woman, Inc. (

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