Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office?



When I was in the corporate world (it seems like years ago now, but it was only 34 days ago), occasionally some of my coworkers would sit around, and a conversation could go like this:

Person A: “Did you see so and so kissing up to his boss the other day?”

Person B (Angrily): “I know! I can’t believe he did that! I know that is why he got the promotion last year. I did a much better job than he did. But the big boss promoted him.”

Person A: “No way! This is so unfair. Why couldn’t the big boss just notice and evaluate based on the great work? You need to talk to him.”

Person B: “I tried. But they are buddy-buddy. He knows how to play politics and I don’t. I even helped that person to do all his work! He never gave me any credit. I am sure he did not bring it up to the big boss. I worked my ass off for that project.”

Person C: “I wouldn’t deal with politics if I were you. Don’t waste your time. Just keep doing what you are doing. They will notice.”

Person A (Disappointedly): “People here just don’t know where they are missing…. You are doing great!”

Person C: “Nice girls never get the corner office anyway. Forget it!”

I hate this kind of conversation. Why? I hate it because this dialogue is absolutely useless and is of no benefit to Persons A, B, nor C. Person A felt she was being treated unfairly, and instead of trying to identify the true reasons why she didn’t get the promotion. Persons B & C started blaming other people. Is that the real reason?

  • Why did the boss notice the other person and not you?
  • Why were you doing all the work and taking no credit?
  • Exactly what was your value add for the project? Was it busy work or work that people don’t really value?
  • Why is it the other person’s fault that YOU didn’t get promoted?

Do you see where I am going? It is so easy to blame others for your misfortune. It is your responsibility to make your boss take notice of you. It is you who needs to claim your own credit. It is you who needs to understand what it takes to go to the next level. No one will fight for you but you. You need to take responsibility for your life.

Corporate hierarchy was created because people were too lazy to figure out the differences between each and every individual. People don’t have enough time! The hierarchy was established so managers can take less time to figure out at what their people are really good at doing. People who take control of their own life and career know that. How about you? What should you do instead?

Here are a few simple suggestions you can implement right away:

  • Take your boss out for lunch on a regular basis. Get to know him or her!
  • Understand what is really important to you boss or your boss’s boss or to your company. Don’t assume anything.
  • If you truly deserve it, just ask for the promotion. Practice talking about your accomplishments. You should be proud of what you did!
  • Watch and emulate other successful people at work. What are they doing that you are not?
  • Stop complaining!

Until next time….Live your dream!

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2 Responses to “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office?”

  1. on 15 May 2007 at 1:37 pm

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  2. edith on 17 May 2007 at 7:44 am

    This article is also featured on “Carnival of careers in middle age”
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