5 Ways Thinking Like a Man in the Workplace Can Boost Your Career

by Dalila Thomas By now, we’re all familiar with the phrase “think like a man” when it comes to relationships, but what about applying th...

by Dalila Thomas


By now, we’re all familiar with the phrase “think like a man” when it comes to relationships, but what about applying this logic to your career? There are many things that women do, or don’t do, that hinders their ability to move ahead in the workplace. By tweaking our attitudes and getting smart about how we play the game, we can set ourselves up for success and progress in our professional lives.


1. Lean In.

Get involved in your daily meetings. You are where you are for a reason. Your voice is necessary. Speak up. The feeling of hearing someone else blurt out your idea can be so disappointing, and the only person you can be disappointed in is yourself.

2. Take Credit.

You’re awesome at what you do, duh! Don’t be afraid of that. Too often, women are embarrassed when praised for their accomplishments, or downplay their achievements and skill sets; an action men do the exact opposite of. Studies have shown when applying for jobs, women tend to pass up on jobs they're more than qualified for, due to a phenomenon called impostor syndrome. Why are we afraid to be recognized for the hard work we’ve put in? Own your success. You deserve it!

3. Get a Firm Grip.

Before I was old enough to have a job, my dad taught me the importance of a firm handshake. This is an oldie but goodie tool that many women don’t take advantage of. Trust me, people remember a firm handshake. It represents power and esteem. What message are you giving off by the strength of your handshake?

4. Stop Saying Sorry.

This is a big one. I never realized how much I said sorry until I saw this Sorry Not Sorry campaign Pantene released, exemplifying how women simply say sorry unnecessarily. We’re all guilty of it, but have you ever noticed your male counterparts using that word so loosely? Yeah, they don’t. And the world doesn’t stop because they don’t. Try limiting your use of sorry’s in the workplace—whether it be in emails, phone calls, or face-to-face interactions.

5. Negotiate Like a Boss.

At the end of the day, it's all about the dough! Whether you’re in the final stages of accepting a new gig or a new role, money talks. Women often take jobs without negotiating, leaving them to make less money, on top of the gender wage gap we already have to fight against. And for Black women, the gender wage gap is even wider between us and our white male colleagues. There are a number of resources that provide information on the average salary of someone in your field, in your city, for your position. Why lose out on money by not asking for more? You know your worth, and if the company wants you bad enough they will give you what you deserve. It’s like the saying goes, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.”

At the end of the day, we aren’t just equal to men—hell, we’re better. We’re smart, understanding, hard-working, and give life to this ever so challenging world ( literally). So let’s use these tactics not be more like men, but to be better versions of our professional selves.

We owe ourselves that and so much more.

Photo: Shutterstock

Dalila Thomas is a regular contributor to For Harriet.

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