Think Like a Man!
Be less feminine and more successful. How to get ahead in the male dominated workplace. [SATIRE!!]
5 Steps to Getting the Recognition You Deserve
I had to think hard about whether I really wanted to write a post entitled “Think like a Man”. On the one hand, being a fan of satire, I thought that like minded souls would immediately sense the irony. On the other, the world seems like an increasingly humourless place these days, so perhaps I should add a health warning: THIS POST IS SATIRICAL. At least in part. It of course speaks to the underlying futility of fighting a battle of the sexes in a organisation that doesn’t even acknowledge that there is an ongoing war. But why the heck not have fun with it?! So here goes, my fool-proof guide to getting noticed in a male-dominated workplace in five simple steps.
Visualise, visualise, visualise. The key to getting to the top is imagining that you are already there.
Step One: Know EVERYTHING!
Now I am not suggesting that you need to actually know everything. That would be foolish! I am simply explaining that you must act as if you do. So when listening half-heartedly to a colleague’s presentation on a subject where there is a gap in your knowledge, do not raise your hand to ask questions. Heaven forbid, no! That would be showing your hand by exposing your ignorance and therefore weakness to the world. Instead, simply nod sagely, perhaps even throw in a thoughtful chin stroke and wait for some other poor sucker to seek clarity. You can pretend that you knew the answer all along, whilst learning something new at the same time. Win!
Step Two: No Excuses
Dog just died? Hard luck. Childcare let you down? Don’t even mention it. Having a heart attack? Pain is just weakness leaving the body! You. Are. A. Warrior. No more excuses, you have to show up on time, every time. We all know that absenteeism is a big problem from major corporations these days, don’t add to it. And don’t expect them to buy your excuses of making up the time later, because that is purely selfish. And for heaven’s sake do not talk about any health issues that you might have, unless they are sports related. Then you can have all the tea and sympathy in the world. Otherwise keep your C-section scarring and hormonal imbalances well and truly to yourself, you hear?
Step Three: Just because I like you, doesn’t make us friends
Listen up, you might have coffee with them at 10.45am every day without fail. You might even have a favourite lunch table or an in-joke about Barry in Accounts that leaves you in stitches. The colleagues who laugh together do not necessarily stay together. Never forget, they are not your friends, they are your competition. And as such, it is good to keep tabs on them up close, but if you have to ditch them to progress up that slippery slope, do not hesitate. That’s what this game is all about anyway, right? So it’s ok to care about them, but only in a way that leaves them in no doubt as to who is the alpha dog in the gang.
Step 4: Don’t be selfish, share your wisdom with the world!
You’ve been in the game long enough to know that they need you more than you need them. You have so much knowledge and experience to impart, particularly on your female co-workers, it is your duty to share it with them, whether they ask for it or not. So make sure that you are the last to speak during every thought provoking conversation. Drop them a truth bomb (not necessarily relevant) and then exit gracefully, leaving them to sit stunned, marvelled at your genius. You won’t regret it.
Step 5: Be the boss, even if you’re not
Visualise, visualise, visualise. The key to getting to the top is imagining that you are already there. So you need to walk tall, command the room like you are holding court. After all, you are the king (queen?), and the others are merely jesters. Do whatever you are doing, bigger, better and bolder. If they don’t need an explanation, then (wo)mansplain it to them anyway. That way you can demonstrate your superior knowledge. They will surely thank you for it.
Or, you could just ignore all of this and learn to be genuinely happy at work, if you want. Loser.
With over 15 years of management experience behind me I love to see women succeed at work and home. When I'm not doling out advice, I can be found sitting mute on the sofa watching tv with my husband or refereeing fights between my two kids.