here comes the moment in a woman’s career when you realize: being good isn’t good enough.
Maybe you get passed over. Or you discover that the departmental fool is earning as much as you. (I remember that one.) You’re feeling underappreciated, perhaps even invisible. Despite the outstanding outcomes, the extra miles, the collegial contributions, your career has stalled.
The thing is, there are job skills, and there are career skills. Being good—even great—at your job doesn’t guarantee that your career will advance. As a career coach for women, I see the same pattern over and over again: the smart woman learns very early in life to put her head down and earn her “A.” That strategy works well while we’re in school, and even for the first several years in the workplace.
But sooner or later, the “gold star” isn’t enough to distinguish you or advance your career. That’s when I receive the pained phone call from a rising star who doesn’t understand why she’s in career free-fall.
As much as you’ve honed your job skills to a fine point, you need to do the same with your career advancement skills. After years helping smart, ambitious women get their careers back on the fast track, I’ve identified the five essential career accelerator skills. I’m sorry to say, there is no silver bullet. Career advancement is a matter of deploying these five basic capacities. But how hard can that be for the smartest woman in the room?