Women are more likely to be asked to do dead-end work

Posted July 26, 2022 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

And women are more likely to say yes!

It’s a mistake for any one – man or woman –  to take on too many “extra” assignments that are outside your job profile. These are things that are more busywork than important to your job’s focus. This includes things like attending luncheons for new hires or 60-minute meetings where you’re only involved in a ten-minute segment.

Taking on too much busywork is not smart for the obvious reason. Busywork eats up your time so you’re stressed or have to neglect some of the important things your career success depends on. You have to pick and choose, and bow out when the extra load is too much.

Granted, saying no isn’t easy. Women have a harder time saying no according to a study by Lise Vesterlund, an economist at the University of Pittsburgh reported by Rachel Feintzeig, “Just Say No to Busywork, The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2022.

Extra tasks like mentoring young employees can be extremely satisfying, as a colleague I’ll call Penny relayed to me. She didn’t feel that she could turn down requests to interview potential hires and mentor new employees. Penny felt mentoring was especially important during the pandemic when everyone was working from home to retain employees during the Great Recession. But the requests continued and Penny continued to say, “Yes.”

Unfortunately, when her annual review came around, Penny was criticized for not being more involved in big strategic initiatives as many colleagues were.

As Penny discovered, it’s important to set guidelines for how many “good to do” extra assignments you take on. You need to have time to do what counts most so you “brand” yourself as an essential employee who plays an important role in the company’s mission. #womensleadership #careersuccess