How being a ‘people pleaser’ can affect your career

How being a ‘people pleaser’ can affect your career

Learn to say ‘no’ (in a meaningful, constructive way).

BY Tory Archbold, 4 min READ

We all want to achieve our career goals, but being a ‘people pleaser’ won’t help you reach your potential. It can actually de-value your skills, create more stress and leave you feeling unhappy at work.

Think about the top entrepreneurs and leaders in the world. Now ask yourself, have any of them achieved greatness by saying ‘yes’ all the time? In order to step into your true power and become a success story, you must first learn to empower others by saying ‘no’ in a meaningful, constructive way. By being a truth seeker and not being afraid of change will allow you to achieve the best possible outcome for the company you represent or the board you may report to.

It’s human nature to want acceptance of your workplace peers, however people pleasing is an unhealthy trait. It can place you under enormous amounts of pressure, de-value your skill set and leave you in a position where you no longer have control over the outcome. As Steve Jobs once said ‘focus is about saying no’. To say ‘yes’ and just implement the next steps without questioning the outcome showcases poor leadership and team management skills. In business, you must always speak the truth. It builds trust and integrity with clients and colleagues, leads to referrals and future leadership roles in high-impact global companies.

When I started my business 19 years ago, I quickly learnt that you should never take on clients or projects you don’t believe in. TORSTAR is a communications leader, partnering with global retailers who trust us to deliver exceptional outcomes for their businesses. We are in this position because we have mastered the art of saying ‘no’. No because we can do better, achieve more and drive category growth by having constructive debates on what is the best possible pathway to success.

Those who consistently seek validation and acceptance might find themselves stuck in a ‘people-pleasing’ rut. On the contrary, those who use their voice and are able to be assertive will find themselves seeking out greater opportunities and partnering with like-minded people.

My top three methods for success in business and life are:

  1. When you vibrate on a high level you attract the same vibration in return. The message is clear – you must take powerful steps into who you want to be and the rest will fall into place. It’s the classic law of attraction.
  2. You’re only as good as your last job. It’s up to you to show people your ability. Don’t be afraid of hard work and always be a team player. Word of mouth is key for referrals. You want others to sing your praises.
  3. Great things never come from comfort zones. Challenges teach us resilience and self-belief so seek out the right opportunities to achieve success in your life.


Tory Archbold is a Premium member, CEO of Torstar and the founder of Powerful Steps – a platform that offers personalised mentoring and workshops designed to inspire, encourage and empower women. She represents a range of brands including Victoria’s Secret, Steve Madden and Flower Beauty by Drew Barrymore.

Connect with Tory here. 

Image: The Glitter Guide 

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