Navigating the career advancement path requires taking charge of your choices and responses to opportunities and obstacles throughout the journey. One of the most effective ways to reach your career goals is to avoid the self-inflicted wounds of avoidable mistakes. By intentionally averting three of the biggest career missteps, you can significantly increase your chances of reaching your career goals.

Thinking Your Work Will Speak for Itself

One common career mistake that will stifle advancement is waiting around and hoping for someone to notice your work and offer you a promotion. If you are waiting for someone to notice your work, you can be assured that this will accomplish only one result–NOTHING!

Take control of your career destiny by never assuming that your work will speak for itself. You must learn to engage in the practice of speaking up! By unapologetically presenting your work and the value you bring to the organization, you will keep from leaving your career to the hoping, wishing, and waiting game of chance.

Taking Things Personally

Negative comments will inevitably occur in any career and these events can leave you feeling small, unappreciated, and overlooked. When this happens is precisely when another stumble tends to occur along a career path; the mistake of taking things personally.

Maybe you have been told that a project is too big for you, or you are not the right person for the job. You may have experienced a demoralizing performance review where the evaluator looked for ways to say horrible things about your work. To make matters worse, these comments may have been on items that were not even part of your original job description. As demoralizing as it is to hear harsh, and at times, unfounded criticism, it is imperative not to take it personally.

One way to avoid the mistake of taking things too personally is to learn to view yourself as a product. Instead of allowing words to put you into an emotional state of frustration, or even tears, learn to view the situation outside of yourself. By internalizing the situation, you run the risk of directing negative energy into your career, which often leads to a promising career placed on the back burner.

But by learning to view yourself as a product–you can address the unsettling words said toward you with newfound confidence. If your boss told you that you didn’t seem to have the qualifications for a job, be direct and ask what the qualifications are for the position. If you do not have them, go get them, and then come back and try a second time for the job. The quicker you realize that taking things personally hurts only one person–you–the quicker you can correct this mistake and work toward advancement. 

Failing to Reframe Objections

If you are a woman, a minority, bold, creative, or outspoken, then get ready, objections are going to come your way, and when they do, this is precisely when you have to avoid the third mistake–failing to reframe an objection. You can learn to avoid this pitfall by being proactive and preparing for objections that could come your way. The trick is not to be caught off guard by the question and objections, but rather to be ready to reframe the objection–play offense, not defense.

So, what kind of objections should you expect? Anything in your career path that is atypical and doesn’t follow a career path’s typical algorithm. For example, you might hear–Why did you take a year off? Why did you change jobs after only a year? Why did you move? You are too young, or you are too old–anything that could come under question, be prepared to reframe.

The biggest triumph in Beate Chelette’s career occurred when she sold her stock photography licensing company. Beate went in with only 435 images when most partners were arriving with hundreds of thousands of images. When the big company laughed at the number of photos she brought, she reframed their objection. This was accomplished by asking them if they wanted thousands of images that would clog their database and never be purchased, or an exclusive collection of A-List images taken by some of the world’s best photographers, with photos of award-winning buildings and architects. Her subject-matter experts did not need to take hundreds of photos to get the perfect shot–they only needed to take one. By reframing their objection, she landed a business deal that changed her life.

Remember, objections, by design, make you feel small and cause you to doubt your value. Reclaim that power by skillfully reframing the objections and using them to showcase your strengths.


Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.

Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal, and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement, and corporate growth.

Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.

Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.

To book Beate to speak or train please connect here. Your Time Is Valuable!

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