SELF Magazine’s 7 Ways to Win at Work

What better way to start the New Year off then by learning from others’ successes? In the October 2015 issue, SELF Magazine shared 7 secrets of “SELF made” women that was intended to spark creative ideas and promote bold career moves. The CGS Team felt so motivated by the tips that we just had to share with the community! Continue reading to learn the 7 ways to win at work!

#1 Go Ahead and Jump

According to founder of Story, a paradigm-busting store in NYC, Rachel Shechtman, 38, states that “the best advice I ever got was to just stop with the ‘someday’ talk”. The value of said advice? “You will never ask yourself ‘What if’, “even if it doesn’t work out, you’re stronger for having taken the leap.”

Anne Kreamer, author of Risk/Reward says that risk taking is about initiative and experimentation. “Habitually taking small, calculated risks helps you develop emotional shock absorbers”, she adds. More importantly, science suggests that “near wins” (when victory is just out of your grasp), makes us hungrier for success and more likely to succeed the next time.

#2 Give Your Idea a Workout

Warm Up – “Sharing your idea with others helps you refine it,” says Negative Underwear cofounder Marissa Vasper, 30. She initially shared her minimalist lingerie idea off girlfriends.

Build Strength – While pursuing her own venture capital firm, Kirsten Green, 43, of Forerunner Ventures, networked throughout the industry. “I grew confident in knowing what a successful business looked like by talking to leaders at a variety of start-ups.”

Adjust Your Form – “It’s important not to say ‘Forget it’ if it didn’t work on the first try.” Says Adina Grigore, 31, founder of S.W. Basics. She began selling her natural skin care line on Etsy and it failed. Her fortunes turned when she launched an e-commerce site instead.

#3 Avoid the Perfectionism Trap

“Perfectionism stops people from completing their work – but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work. Perfectionists decide in advance that the end product is never going to be satisfactory, so they don’t even bother trying to be creative in the first place. We women must break this habit in ourselves.

At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is – if only so you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart.” As said by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic.

#4 Find a Workplace Wingwoman

A wingwoman at the office can help keep you accountable to your goals and be a form of solidarity in times of competition. Tiffany Dufu, 41, chief leadership officer at Levo League, a career-resources platform for women, relies on her “peer mentors” to keep her honest: “Women often get stuck because we have to be vulnerable enough to say, ‘This is where I want to go’ and ‘I need your help.’ Regular check-ins with them give me courage to speak up about what I really need.”

#5 Play to Your Strengths

Kim Azzarelli, coauthor of the new book Fast Forward: How Woman Can Achieve Power and Purpose, states “the most important thing you can do is learn about yourself: your strengths, your weaknesses, and what motivates you”, when you are growing into a new career role. She also says that “Nobody is good at everything, and if you can find other people to reinforce you, you’ll have a much better chance of success.” 

This is especially true for entrepreneurs who tend to do everything in the business. Rachel Shechtman, founder of Story, started out as the company’s creative chief, COO, graphic designer and social media chief. “My strength was being responsible for the vision, but it took me a lot longer to learn to ask for help and delegate.”

#6 HIIT Your Career

Excerpt from the book Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter shares how women can achieve the career they want. “Athletes have long understood that the best way to get into peak condition is to engage in interval training. Going 100 percent all the time never gives your body a chance to recover; you have to be strategic about when and how you ramp up and ramp down.

Life, and careers, can be approached the same way. Rather than picking a single professional ladder to climb, over the course of a 50-year career you’ll encounter many hierarchies in varies different jobs. Depending on your goals, you’ll want to put in the intense effort to climb at least some of those ladders, to do everything you can to make it to a certain level. But between periods of push, you’ll be able to plan intervals of less intensive and more flexible work, work that is much more compatible with starting a family or caring for aging parents.”

#7 Remember: Passion is a Slow Burn

“It’s great to turn a passion into a career, but figuring out how to meld the tow takes a lot of experimentation,” says Adina Grigore. Research indicates that the average worker doesn’t find her “true calling” until the middle of her career, in her 40s. “The more your experiment early on, the more likely you’ll make higher wages and have greater fulfillment,” states Henry Siu.

As Seen In: SELF Magazine, “Self Made Special: Win at Work”, October 2015

Related: Setting Goals for Your Career


What do you think of the career-boosting tips above? Do you think SELF Magazine is on to something? How do you plan to excel in your career this year? Are you contemplating starting a business? We want to hear what inspires you to succeed! Share your thoughts, goals, and motivational tips by leaving a comment below!

-The CGS Team



2 thoughts on “SELF Magazine’s 7 Ways to Win at Work”

  1. “Avoid the perfectionism trap” – I definitely need to learn to follow this rule! I have a tendency to want things to be perfect, but that isn’t always realistic (unfortunately)!

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