The One Thing You Can Do To Boss Up At Work

By: Ericka Spradley

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I have a hard time accepting the unfortunate reality that women are making the same mistakes in 2019 that I made from 1995–2005. I could and did interview successfully for many years, but what I didn’t have was a career plan; a strategic approach to career success and goal achievement. To be totally honest, I dressed the part but lacked the strategy necessary to achieve the growth I desired. What I now know is managing your career like a business is a non-negotiable and one of the best ways to boss up.

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • I felt stuck in my career (40% of my clients feel stuck in their career).
  • I didn’t have a development plan in place (70% of my clients don’t have a development plan in place).
  • I didn’t have a career strategy (80% of my clients don’t have a career strategy).

[Related: ​What’s Really Weighing You Down and Keeping You Stuck?]​

It’s time to boss up at work which will require a different approach and perspective. Employers are running a business which means you’ll need to think about your career as if it were a business, with you being the product or service. Companies are attracted to women like us who possess a keen sense of self-awareness to create value, who make an impact and who will take the organization to the next level.

One solution for strategically thinking about your career is to perform a SWOT Analysis (a framework used to evaluate your competitive position by identifying your unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). #BOSSUP

[Related: ​Back to Basics: Do You Know Your Mission and Vision?]

Making power moves in your career includes competency and capability, but you can’t afford to neglect clarity and the ability to communicate your competitive advantage. Knowing who you are, what your value is and what you bring to the table eliminates mental chaos so you can focus, better manage your career and execute with precision.

Going forward, understand your:

Strengths: Internal attributes, expertise and resources that support your ​career success.

Weaknesses: Internal attributes, limitations and skillsets that work against your career success.

Opportunities: External factors you can capitalize on or use to your advantage.

Threats: External factors that could jeopardize your career success.

This is the information I had to learn the hard way; the information that many women such as myself didn’t have access to. That is of course until I decided to not only play the game to win, but to be in a position to change the game for women and how they navigate their career. I’m on a mission to equip, empower and encourage women along their journey to career success because I believe that you should not only excel at work, but you should also have the information necessary to understand your worth.

Ericka Spradley is the Chief PowHer Officer/Founder of Confident Career Woman which is the premier consulting firm for corporations and the mid-career professional woman who wants to advance, better manage her career, and go further faster. Ericka is an advocate who partners with clients to help women ditch perfection, play bigger and make PowHer Moves by: identifying their next role, creating a career strategy, offering ongoing career guidance, and coaching clients to master interviews. For additional information, visit:

Previously published on

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