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The 5 Most Common Mistakes Women Make in Their Careers

So, we all know that women have made a lot of strides in the workplace, but they still face some unique hurdles that men do not. As a Career Coach for women, I get inside on these challenges and mistakes that can derail their careers. In a few years, I compiled a most common list of mistakes that I see women make.

In this article, I will give you the five most common mistakes that women make in their careers and how you can avoid them.

So get ready to improve just by changing a few things that you do.

Here is the list:

  • Not speaking up.

It's tough being a woman in the workplace sometimes. Society has this weird thing where they teach us to be less confident than men, and that can make it really hard to speak up in meetings or ask for what we deserve - like raises or better working conditions. It's a bummer, but it's good to be aware of it so we can work on improving it! Tell your employer up front about your expectations, and when the time comes, don’t expect someone to remember that they had to pay you more. Go and ask for it again. Don’t forget to provide them with proof of why they have to pay you more money. I get clients who say, "I didn't get a raise for years. I feel like I deserve to be paid more." My first question always is, “Did you ask for a raise?”, I usually hear, "No".

So why are we, as women afraid to ask to get paid more? It made me feel like a majority of us women are some kind of charity act. I know we were brought into this world to serve others, and you are right to feel fulfilled and happy at your job. But it is also right to be paid for it and to be paid what you deserve.

  • Not networking.

Networking is essential for career advancement. It's a way to meet new people, learn about job opportunities, and build relationships that can help you get ahead. Unfortunately, studies have shown that women tend to network less than men. This is a mistake, as networking can be a powerful tool. The right connection may change your life forever. You could be at the ground level of your journey, but the right connection may take you straight to the top floor. So go and meet people. Talk to others, listen, become interested in what they want to share with you, and remember their names. (If you know me, this sentence probably makes you laugh—I am horrible at remembering names. I have to repeat a name at least five times before I remember it. But I am trying out this new habit: when I meet someone, I will repeat their name several times in the first few minutes. I try to do it in conversation so I don’t look too weird, but sometimes I still do by repeating it to myself before the person leaves my sight!)

  • Not taking risks.

Have you noticed that women often play it safe when it comes to taking risks? This can hold them back from trying new things or moving up in their careers. Many clients of mine stayed in the same career for years because they feel safe, they know what will happen tomorrow, and it is their comfort zone. They are afraid to get out of it and even imagine what could happen if they change something. I'm not saying we should be reckless or anything, but being open to stepping out of a comfort zone and trying new stuff can lead to some amazing opportunities. So here I would love to share with you my favorite rule:

Show Up Rule

The rule is very simple, and any time I use it, it takes my confidence further. Then when you feel lazy and your brain tries to find 100 excuses (The weather is bad, I am tired, I can go next time), tell yourself, All I need to do is show up at my best in this specific moment.

  • Not believing in themselves.

Have you ever felt like you weren't good enough? It's actually pretty common for a lot of women to doubt themselves in the workplace and other places and feel like they don't deserve the same opportunities as men. But here's the thing - you absolutely do deserve those opportunities! It's important to believe in yourself. Don't sell yourself short or settle for less than you deserve.

I want to share my little story here:

I remember my first scheduled podcast recording. I was anxious and had a mix of different feelings, good and bad. Yes, I could cancel, and that would be it. Pressure’s off. But I chose to show up. In my opinion, it went great at the time. I don’t know now. I might listen to it today and think it was horrible, but on the day, I showed up and did my best, and it was enough. For you too, a day will come, and your confidence will stand as tall as you or possibly even taller. All you need to do is show up.

Showing up and believing in yourself will help you with consistency, and that, as I said, will give you the results you want.

  • Not asking for help.

Women are often reluctant to ask for help, even when they need it. Jesus said, “Ask, and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” in John 16:24. Similar statements are found in Matthew 7:7; 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9; and John 15:7.

I do truly believe that there is a higher power watching over us. When we are in need of something, it will be given to us one way or another, but often when we do ask for it.

Asking for help can be a sign of strength, not weakness. It is okay to ask and accept help, especially if a person comes to you with an open heart and open hands and wants to give it to you. It's important for women to be open to asking for help when they need it. This doesn't mean being dependent on others, but it does mean knowing when to reach out for support.


I am sure you got the point. So, don't be shy about expressing your goals and expectations. Networking can be a big help - try joining some professional organizations, going to industry events, and connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn. Another thing to keep in mind is taking risks - don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. And most importantly, believe in yourself! Don't underestimate your abilities or let self-doubt hold you back. And hey, if you ever need help, my consultation is free!

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