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 It’s likely you’re seeing your life through what Detjen calls “the feminine filter” — an outdated lens that dictates what a woman should be.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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…