With so much on my plate – work, family, managing a household, exercise, dog – I pride myself on being ultra-efficient. I mean, what’s the alternative? In fact, with a type-A personality, this mindset really hasn’t been a problem for me. Make list, prioritize, execute, and check! Haaa, that feels good!
But – you had to know there was a “but” coming – with this insane schedule and constant desire to power through the to-do’s, it has come to my attention that my laser-focus on execution may not benefit my career.
Companies love people who execute, yes. But if you want to be on the radar for prime positions, including promotions, you need to spend a fair amount of time building relationships in the office. That equates to lunches, coffee breaks, informational meetings, PR sessions on yourself … hmmm, note to self, need to find a way to invent a 26-hour day.
This news wasn’t a revelation to me, but I did receive a gentle reminder from a very knowledgable, savvy senior female leader that building relationships simply needs to become a part of my job. According to her, and several other esteemed corporate women, men tend to do this much better. You would think women would excel in building relationships, but nope, we’re too busy working with our heads down to notice the guys stealing our thunder.
And let’s face it, when a working mom does have a minute to spare during her lunch break, she’s probably coordinating schedules for her family or picking up that birthday gift for the party on Saturday (did Matthew want a beyblade or lego set??? Crap, must email Matthew’s mom to find out!).
So note to self, and to all women with career aspirations, schedule time into your Outlook calendar for networking, building those relationships and reminding your organization about all of the amazing things you’ve been ticking off your list. No one else is going to tell your story.
And if you are one of those rare working moms who has already figured this out, share how you fit this into your already insane schedule. I’d love some tips.