The Broad Experience: Guilt at work holds you back

 

woman work job
The energy you use saying “sorry” can better serve you in other areas.

If you’re female, chances are you’ve felt guilty about something work-related lately. Maybe you’re convinced you said the wrong thing during a meeting, or perhaps you’ve had to miss a soccer game or parent/teacher conference because you were on the job. Women do guilt really well. Many of us say “sorry” repeatedly and obsess over minor mistakes.

The trouble with guilt is that it’s a wasted emotion. It doesn’t propel you forward; it holds you back. Instead of wallowing in regret, you could actually be using that energy to get something done.

The reason many women feel so much guilt is that, at our core, many of us believe we’re screwing up if we’re not meeting the stereotype of the ideal woman. You know her: She looks great, she does everything perfectly (at home and at work), she’s a great mother, and she’s really nice.

Jodi Detjen, co-author of “The Orange Line – A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family and Life,” says women have imbibed centuries’ worth of rules about how we should behave, and sticking to them is harming our careers.

“We only feel guilt because we believe we’re breaking a rule,” says Detjen. She urges women to question those age-old assumptions. Only when they do that, she says, will more women free themselves up to excel in the workplace.

“Why do we feel guilty if we’re dropping our kid off at day care? We should feel good about making money for our family,” she says. We suffer, of course, because society has had ideas about a “woman’s job” since, well, forever.

How to overcome guilt:

• Ask yourself why you’re feeling guilty. It’s likely you’re seeing your life through what Detjen calls “the feminine filter” — an outdated lens that dictates what a woman should be. Have the strength to question it. Why should you “be” anything?

• Negotiate to determine household and career duties with your partner if and when you can. Detjen was miserable for years after she put her career aside, raising two boys, telling herself motherhood was more important. Then, she realized her career was vital to her — and her household’s — happiness. She and her husband negotiate a lot about who will be where, when.

• If you feel you have upset someone at work, or made an error, apologize once, then move on. Being “nice” doesn’t require self-flagellation and multiple apologies.

Ashley Milne-Tyte is a radio producer and reporter based in New York City. She hosts a bi-monthly podcast called “The Broad Experience” about women in the workplace. Listen to how an expert CEO manages her personal and private lives on”The Broad Experience” by clicking below.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.