Week 83: Problem Solving vs. Problem Preventing – #AlphaFemaleFriday
“ WEEK 83 / 133 – 133 WEEKS TO SUCCESS “
I was a bright-eyed student, fresh out of college and ready to take on my first big girl job in New York City. My aunt took me out to lunch when I was a few weeks into my new job, and we began to discuss what it mean to be a young woman starting out her career in this urban jungle. You’re excited and scared, looking forward to everything that lies ahead, but anxious to know that it could all just end like that tomorrow. It was time to seize every moment and take in each day as a learning opportunity.
As she sipped her black coffee, she paused, looked and me, and offered a piece of advice, “Never forget that in the workplace, men are seen as problem solvers while women are seen as problem preventers. Men see the problem once it’s already happening, take charge, and take credit of having saved the day. Women can tell that there’s going to be a problem before it even occurs, and since there was never any problem, tend not to take the credit. So take the credit for it.” It was a bizarre and stark piece of advice at the time. I wondered if this was really the case? What happened to the idea of teamwork?
In the same way that people will clean a house and may not even get credit for it, but will be told when it’s dirty one day out of 365, we should continue to do our jobs—even if we don’t always get a pat on the back for doing so. If we see something that could be a potential problem, we should speak up, even when we don’t get credit. If we see a problem that is already occurring, we need to work together to fix it and we cannot stay silent.
Why do we speak up? Why do we solve problems? We may do so because we know it’s the right thing to do. We may also do so just because it makes us feel good. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do something because it makes us feel good, even though no one else knows what we did. Do it because it will make you happy, look at yourself in the mirror, and take the credit, even if no one else is watching.
@AlphaFemSociety tweets by @KellyRGonzales
Each week, I take a tip from Lois P. Frankel’s book, Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office, and explore how each of these tips affect myself and other women in similar positions on the road to becoming the women we want to be. There are far and few between who are a few steps behind me, and many more who are far advanced. I found that Lois P. Frankel’s advice applied to novice, intermediates, and experts alike. It helped me see that I was already doing right, served as a reminder to keep on doing what I was doing and how to keep that momentum going. The book also showed me areas where I could improve, and gave realistic tips to jump on board. There are a total of 133 tips, and explore one tip per week in a program I call: 133 Weeks to Success.
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