Being the "nice girl" at work has its perks — everyone gravitates toward you because you're always trying to please other people. However, in terms of getting what you want in your career and having your career progress at the rate you want it to, being too "nice" might hinder you. Lois Frankel, author of Nice Girls Just Don't Get It advises to "get outside your comfort zone and be willing to deal with other people's discomfort, because if you spend your life making other people comfortable, you may feel good, but you're not going to get what you really want."
To get ahead at work, you need to be more assertive, but you don't have to be too aggressive about it — there are ways to do it in a positive manner. Here are some tips Frankel has for women to drop the "nice" act:
- Leverage Your Relationships: If you have cultivated a great network and relationships, don't feel bad about reaching out to someone for help. Many "nice girls" feel bad asking others for help, but they need to get over that and take advantage of the relationships they worked hard to build.
- Don't Say Yes All the Time: Pick and choose what you'll say yes to, and be sure to "manage people's expectations" by stating your limitations about the project and what you'll realistically be able to get done.
- Use Less Words: Instead of talking too much, try to make your messages succinct and to the point. Frankel says, "Women tend to use more words than men because they either feel as if they have to compensate for something or prove themselves." Use less words and gestures. Be sure to be mindful of filler words such as "like" and "uh-huh" as well.