While the world of work remains chock-full of systemic biases that affect our career growth, an often overlooked element in career success is our internal biases that keep us stuck in an unfulfilling role.

Let’s start with a biggie and one I deal with regularly with my clients. 

🩵 Likeability Bias: This bias ensnares you in a double bind, where the pressure to be liked, agreeable and conforming to social norms clashes with the need to assert yourself and receive recognition for your achievements. As a result, you can find yourself boxed-in, resentful of your self-promoting colleagues and even question, dismiss or misjudge your accomplishments. Breaking free from this bind requires courage — to speak up, get visible and get comfortable with self-advocacy, regardless of whether it aligns with societal expectations of likability. 

💼 Sunk Cost Fallacy: You know you desire a change in your career, however, the thought of abandoning all those years of investment and effort is hard, so you continue hoping things will improve. But you can’t get the years you’ve spent back (they’re sunk costs) and by continuing you’re just wasting more. You need to be self-aware enough to be able to identify when your preference for a certain career is for good reason and when it’s just because of past commitments.

🔎 Confirmation Bias: You might believe that having your own business or getting a flexible leadership position is not viable for you, so you seek out information that confirms what you already believe, ignoring anything that challenges your views. Get curious, ask yourself “what’s the one small thing I can do to find out more about ….?”

🌧️ Negativity Bias: You may be dwelling on career setbacks that are then preventing you from seeing the opportunities ahead. You’re stuck in the stories you keep telling yourself about what has and will go wrong. That’s human nature, we are hard-wired to go to the negative.  It takes work to rewire our default thinking and it begins with being aware of it first.  As a starting point, write down all that could be ‘positive’ about a situation.

‘What If’ Bias: Fear of the unknown can keep you stuck in your comfort zones. Your fear is based on what you can measure from what you already know or have experienced.  Reframing your perspective to view uncertainty as an opportunity for growth will give you a bias for action.

📆 Recency Bias: You may have a narrow view of what you can do beyond the role you are in today because of this bias. Any feedback or career conversations reflect recent situations but not overall reality. My clients often find it hard to think beyond where they are at.  Find a space to dream, visualise and write down what a dream role would look like.

Anchor Bias: This is where you are over-reliant on the first piece of information you see/hear. This can play out in a salary negotiation, where whoever makes the first offer establishes a range of possibilities in each person’s mind. This figure may not be a reflection of your experience, capabilities and potential, impacting the final decision, potentially underestimating your value and worth. Work that self-advocacy muscle and start high in a negotiation, ensuring that where you land is a true reflection of your impact and value.

🚫 Zero Risk Bias: This bias can limit career advancement opportunities, due to the fear of failure, resulting in missed chances for promotion and skill development. We’ve been conditioned to seek approval which has heightened our fear of failure.  Like with the confirmation bias example, what is one small thing you can do/find out to get you taking small risks and moving forward in your career?

🌟A career coach can help you break free from these biases and keep you accountable in taking action towards a more impactful and fulfilling future that aligns with your aspirations and values. 🌟

I’d love to have a ‘no-obligation’ chat with you about why you’re stuck in your career and what you could do to no longer languish.