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Why Your Britishness Might Be Killing Your Career

A Pitman Training survey has highlighted the hidden reason you might be struggling to promote yourself in the workplace.


You're quite possibly too British, old chap.


As you can see in Pitman's "Britishness in the Workplace" graphic, the odds are uncomfortably high that you're too modest, not showing enough self-confidence and unlikely to ask for an award or promotion (even when you should).


It gets especially bad the younger you are and if you're female.


So the ‘stiff upper lip’ still exists in modern British workplaces and it seems to be unfairly influencing workers espousing traditional British values of modesty and self-deprecation.


In fact, the statistics worked out like this:


• 37% of Brits surveyed admitted to having left an achievement out of their CV
• 19% of those asked would never self-promote in a workplace
• 17% of Brits would never ask for a promotion.


Since there are nearly 30 million people in the workforce, that means there are literally millions of people afflicted with these career-crippling problems.


Including maybe you too. Here's how to tell:


Are you ...


Waiting for your boss or your colleagues to deem you worthy of a new project or promotion at work?

Genuinely believing that change is scary?

Not taking pride in your appearance and hoping not to get noticed?


Also, if you're constantly hiding or stifling your feelings, they're likely to show up physically. Do you feel anxious or overwhelmed by what you have to do at work?


If so, these kinds of disappointments and frustrations often appear as back, neck, shoulder or head pain. You'll feel unusually tired all the time. Your sleep will be disrupted too.


None of that is good, of course.


And as I've pointed out already, this is far more likely to be happening if you're part of a younger generation and female.

  • In fact, the younger generation has been shown to be more influenced by traditional British values than their older colleagues: 33% of younger workers aged 25-34 agree that with Britishness comes modesty, compared to 26% of 45-54 year olds.
  • And almost a third (32%) of respondents who associate Britishness with modesty have indicated they aren't chasing their dreams as they should be.


Claire Lister, MD at Pitman Training Group has commented: “For people who are not comfortable recognising their achievements there is a direct correlation between lack of progression and lack of fulfilment. It’s important for us to encourage the younger generation to be proud and not prudish when it comes to highlighting their impact in the workplace”.


Fortunately there are solutions at hand.


Start believing that change is good. Make a commitment to changing your career starting today.


  • Take a moment to think of three things to improve in your daily tasks, and then do this consistently on a weekly basis.
  • Make being around you a more pleasant experience by learning to love all your good and bad points, reaching out to someone in need and showing your work colleagues that you really can be counted upon.


Take on training to raise your own skills, knowledge and energy levels too.


Career Consultants is now working in collaboration with Pitman Training.


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