Wright Team | March 31, 2021

How to Get Ahead by Being a Bitch at Work

What comes to mind when you think of being a bitch at work? Does it sound exhilarating? Powerful? Frightening?


Ready to get ahead at work? This woman knows the best way to claim her power and get ahead is by being a good bitch at work.


When you hear the word ‘bitch,’ you probably think back to one of the popular girls in high school who called you names or that one coworker you couldn’t stand. But many women are taking back the word ‘bitch’ and repurposing it as a way of describing a woman who is a fierce, powerful, and fearless leader—we could even call her a boss bitch.

If the word bitch and its current meaning make you wince, try keeping an open mind. Being a bitch at work can be a great way to get ahead in your career. It’s all about channeling that inner confidence and strength (and letting go of some of those not-so-nice connotations). Here’s what you need to know to embrace your inner bitch and use her to keep you moving forward.

Good Bitches vs. Bad Bitches

When we think of women who get called “bitches.” We probably think of villains in a story. By now, most of us have seen the play Wicked or read the book it’s based on. In the story, the “Wicked Witch” (of the Wizard of Oz fame) actually has a nuanced background with lots of experiences that have shaped her into being perceived as a “wicked witch.” As we start to understand her and learn her truths, we realize there’s more to this wicked witch …is she really the villain?

Believe it or not, like “wicked witches in the story,” there are two types of bitches: good bitches and bad bitches. Now, sometimes “bad bitch” and “boss bitch” can also hold positive meanings, but we’ll go with the traditional definition of the word bad for the sake of description.

There’s no need to associate a gender with the word bitch either—there’s an inner bitch in everyone, both men and women! Our inner bad bitch is a complaining, selfish or nasty person that brings around negative energy. In other words, not the bitch you want to be to get ahead in your career.

Bad bitches thrive on and invite drama. As Dr. Stephen Karpman describes, they engage in the drama triangle; they play the victim, sometimes the persecutor (and sometimes the rescuer). They stir the pot and pit people against each other. They’re passive-aggressive. Being a bad bitch isn’t exactly ideal in the workplace.

Good bitches, on the other hand, are the type of people who bitch and complain with a purpose. They identify issues and call them out, even if the opinion isn’t popular. They take on every task no matter how hard it is and whether others cast doubt on their ability to complete it. They’re tough, confident, and direct.

The good bitch is happy and assured with her choices, even if she isn’t everyone’s best friend at work. She doesn’t shy away from expressing her needs or wants. She isn’t afraid of conflict. A good bitch’s goal is to do her job, be a leader, and most importantly: be a go-getter.

While good bitches may not always be the office favorite, they’re well respected for their leadership, dedication, and loyalty. They don’t need everyone’s approval because they approve of themselves.

How to be a Good Bitch at Work

Suggesting someone should “harness their bitch powers” to get ahead at work may sound a bit strange or counterintuitive at first. The trick is knowing how to harness the strength and the good qualities of your “inner bitch.”

Here are three essential qualities of the bitches who get ahead at work.

1. Have a Bigger Mission & Purpose

Good bitches are bitching for a reason; they want to get ahead, and they have a clear goal in mind of where they want to end up. Without a bigger “why” in your life, you risk turning into one of those other less-ideal bitches who complain and spins her wheels.

Ask yourself what your career aims and goals are—not just your company’s objectives but your own desires as well. To find more purpose in your work, find the areas where your personal mission aligns with your company’s. Where do your goals match up with your boss’s? How can you meet his or her expectations and challenge yourself to take them further? How can you focus on these congruencies to get MORE out of your work?

2. Have Increased Self-Awareness

Good bitches are self-aware and have the social and emotional intelligence they need to better interact and communicate with the world around them. This may mean getting honest with yourself about your personality and its flaws. Good bitches have done the work to learn about the deeper whys of their actions. They aren’t afraid of their emotions, but instead, they embrace them (even those less comfortable ones like anger and hurt).

Ensure you’re authentic with yourself and others and that you’re not adding drama to your surroundings. Are you making the situation better by being proactive and powerful, or are you making the situation worse by whining or playing the role of the victim? If someone criticizes you for being a bitch, figure out if you were a good bitch or bad bitch, then follow up with the appropriate response (which might require an attitude adjustment on your part)!

3. Exercise Their Assertion Muscles

Good bitches get it! They know when it’s time to speak up and when it’s time to put their foot down—and they do both with expertise. They are attuned to those around them, and they can upregulate or downregulate accordingly. This means ensuring you’re not too shy but also not too over the top. You don’t want to be a drill sergeant, but you need to command respect.

Essentially, it’s crucial to balance the forces within you to find your power and your voice when you need it most. Luckily, everyone can develop social and emotional intelligence skills. You’ll learn to keep your personal power in your tool belt for everyday use—and you’ll have it right on hand for those especially tough times when you need to be the best and most effective bitch possible.

Do I Really Want to Be a Bitch at Work?

Absolutely! The key is to be the right kind of bitch: a good bitch who’s a fierce and respected leader. Expressing your needs and wants is a way of tapping into your personal power. Many of us have varying ideas about power and what it means to be powerful, but the truth is we all deserve to feel powerful and in control of our lives.

All of us have strong desires or yearnings—longings for respect, admiration, appreciation, to be seen, heard, and more. When you tap into your inner power (or tap into your inner bitch), you’ll start moving toward getting those yearnings met. In the words of Tina Fey, “Bitches get stuff done.”

Those who whine and complain but don’t take action, who “bitch and moan” about each task, who don’t have a clear mission, won’t be as successful as good bitches. If we want to get ahead at work (and get more out of our career), we need to take responsibility for our situation. That means speaking up, engaging in conflict, and expressing our feelings!

Remember your “why” and be self-aware enough to know what kind of bitch you’re being at any given moment. Don’t forget to assert and balance your personal power to boost your career and personal life.

Are you expressing your feelings to your partner? Are you honest in your friendships? Do you establish boundaries and stand up for your wants and needs? Whether or not these actions come naturally to you, you can start to experiment with your power.

What’s the worst that can happen if you say you don’t like something your partner does? What if you tell your friend where you want to go for lunch? What if you call out your concerns in the team meeting and point out the gaps you see in the project plan? Or what if you held the floor when you spoke, even when a coworker tries to talk over you?

Try these “what ifs” as an experiment. See what happens when you go for it. Do people get upset? In many cases, you may be surprised that people WANT to give you precisely what you really want and need. All you need to do is speak up and ask.

Keep your authentic inner bitch alive, and you can make great strides in your career—just remember to keep those bad bitch tendencies at bay.

For more ways to embrace your personal power, explore our array of personal development courses and webinars at Wright Now. Start moving ahead in your career and your relationships as you ignite your world and go for the life you want—a life of MORE!


Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.