What I decided to write about today is something I’ve been encountering over the past years with so many women professionals (and business owners too!), incl. my clients, which is Cinderella complex, the issue named after the fairy tale character Cinderella. “It is based on the idea of femininity portrayed in that story, where a woman is beautiful, graceful, polite, supportive, hardworking, independent, and maligned by the females of her society, but she is not capable of changing her situations with her actions and must get help from an outside force, usually a male (i.e., the Prince)”; source: Wikipedia.
Working last week with my aspiring manager client, after digging dip it turned out she represents a Cinderella syndrome. She said: Alena, I feel that I work very hard, my projects come in on time, I have proper performance assessments and everything is going on just right. But over the past two years, I have been overlooked for promotion and overtaken by a younger, less experienced male colleague, imagine that! What’s wrong with me? Why is that? My client felt a bit angry that her worth is not recognized and rewarded, but in the end, she decided to surrender and get on with her job rather than pushing the issue… Do you resonate? If so, then you too might be a Cinderella.
My client is a perfect example of it – a mindset amongst women in the workplace who feel their hard work will be recognized and rewarded by others around them, and that therefore they do not need to “blow their own trumpet” (as it seems contrary to their values!). They show the attitude „I’m working hard so others will see my results.” Well, I tell you right away you need to take ownership of your career and acknowledge your ambitions, and achievements. YES! And you must look for growth opportunities and take on stretch roles even if it is uncomfortable. Some of us are lucky having been championed on the way by someone who saw their potential, helped them to see it as well, and given them opportunities to take on ‘stretch roles’ that have built their confidence over time. But it doesn’t happen very often!
I played Cinderella for a long time too until I realized that I need, like any other women who want to progress (go to the ball :-), to take care of my personal and professional growth MYSELF! Yes! Be visible, go out there and show up because your results in business depend on it!
I’m excited to give a training on that topic next week at Women’s Business Network for female students & alumni of management at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. I think that all ambitious young women need to learn how to deal with this kind of issue asap to be able to excel in their jobs and careers. Getting to the heart of the junior talent is where we need to be to make a real difference and create long-lasting inspiration.
Do you see yourself playing the Cinderella role? Are you longing for moving forward in your career/biz? If so, don’t hesitate to contact me for a complimentary 60min call – the link below.
I look forward to hearing your comments on that!
To your success,