Working with men can be a challenge to say the least, but even nowadays, the reality is, you’ll not only work with them, you’ll report to them. Only 17% of high positions are filled by women in the US, and outside the US that number falls to just 11%. What to do, learn how to hold your own and work with them. While your skill set is important, confidence is a bigger asset when it comes to dealing with the male ego in the workplace.
Be One of the Crew
Be one of the guys, learn how to talk about guy things, take out the emotion and use your brain. Guys like to bond over things that challenge manliness – don’t talk about your new purse, that great shade of lipstick you just bought or how you just broke your nail trying to open that package. Find common ground and keep your conversations top-line and surface. No guy wants to give their opinion on why another guy hasn’t text you back, but they sure as hell will talk about how much you can squat, what your macros are and your knowledge on things like who won the game last night. Not only will you gain much more respect you’ll find you’ll have much longer standing relationships with them when it comes to work.
And when I say take the emotion out – that means don’t cry in front of any guy you work with, especially an owner or your boss. They want to know that you’re strong and can handle any shit they throw at you, and if they feel you’re being too emotional they’ll think second about giving you lead on a project or even a promotion for fear you can’t handle the stress. Don’t let that happen, be strong, cry on your own time. Better yet think about the reason you think you need to cry – remember work is just work, if it’s too stressful you’re not cut out for working with men. #manthefuckup
Walk the Talk
When it comes to working with men, it’s all about who can beat their chest harder – who can smash their target, close the deal, you know who can be the bigger – tougher, stronger, smarter alpha male. There’s a bit of proving yourself involved – especially if you’re the sole female. You don’t ever want to look like you’re more of a man than the guys you work with, but you sure as hell don’t ever want to be seen as the push-over bimbo that they can use and abuse either.
In my first job as a supplement formulator, and consequently the only female, for a very male dominant company, I took my research knowledge to the only place I knew I could rough up their egos – the gym floor. By showing them I had a true passion for sports supplements and bodybuilding, could lift pound for pound more for my little size then them I earned respect immediately. I soon went from Lauren to LJ, one of the guys.
In fact many of the guys I worked with back then, I have continued to work with throughout my career – consulting on projects, writing and formulating. I developed a solid reputation as a researcher, product developer and writer among an industry that is typically ruled by alpha dogs.
Don’t Fuck Your Way to the Top
Just don’t. If you want the better job, the bigger office with the view, work for it. First point – remember most guys have no problem removing emotion from the sex equation. That means they have no problem fucking you and leaving you – giving you absolutely nothing in return. Sure at the start you might get a little more special attention, but soon that shiny new toy will get a bit dull. And something newer and more appealing than you, will soon be your replacement. Remember men function better on pursing something they haven’t had, then something they already fucked and used.
Secondly, let’s remember that most workplaces are full of people that talk – your reputation and credibility will automatically be on the line, people will eventually find out! You certainly won’t be making friends or allies at work by getting your promotion because of something you did with your brain, but rather because of something you did with your body. Use your sex appeal, dress the part, wear heels and lipstick, show your curves, flirt here and there, but don’t cross the line, you’ll not only get more respect, get further ahead in your career, you’ll ultimately feel better about it too.
Don’t Get Offended So Easily
Remember men can be rude, crude, don’t think always about what they say and will do things on purpose to get you going and test you. Play the game. Remove the emotion about what they’re saying; remember men often act like boys if they feel threatened by a woman.
Learn how to take a hit, and learn how to give them. I’ve sat many times surrounded by men. I’ve heard every sexist joke you can think of, been tested hard because of my pretty looks and ample chest size.
What to do, joke back, and back yourself up. Sure I walk the talk when it comes to my fit lifestyle but I also have a career background most guys would kill for, worked and trained with top professional bodybuilders, athletes and fighters, been published numerous times on major fitness websites worldwide and even competed internationally, I don’t let anyone offend or intimidate when it comes to my knowledge, my skills and my ability to kick ass. So, unless someone really crosses that line, forget about it, it’s not worth it. Have a back-bone and don’t take shit from anyone.
Build Your Confidence
One of the major reasons most women don’t get so far ahead when it comes to work is a lack of self belief. This is because you’re time at school really doesn’t prepare you for shit. It doesn’t teach you how to deal with people, how to play the game, just how to get good grades and study outdated information that you’ll never use in the real world anyway. Real confidence only comes from experiences in and out of the work place. If you want to get noticed at work you need to stand forward. Volunteer to take the lead on challenging projects, speak out at meetings with your opinion, attend events on behalf of your company. The more you do, the more experiences you’ll have and the more confidence you’ll gain.
But confidence doesn’t just come from work experiences. It comes from everything you do in life. Confidence can take years to build, not just your knowledge and experience in your job, but largely from activities you do that make you feel powerful and accomplished outside of work. During my time as a corporate climber, I was competing internationally – from ruling the boardroom to ruling the stage. I may not have won every show, but I gained unmatchable confidence, when it came to standing in front of a team of suits to give my quarterly results. Experiences build character and power. Take any opportunities you get to challenge yourself mentally and physically.
Read more, talk more, ask questions, find a mentor. Get physical, lift heavy weights, take a martial art, learn how to fight, diet harder, compete with yourself and others. Travel the world and explore. Experiences will build your confidence and propel you to the next level.
Until Next Time,
Be Fierce & Rule the World,