"SOME women feel that they have to be perfect in everything they do at work. They want all of their work and all of their ideas to be brilliant," reports Carol Deutsch, a communications consultant in Asheville, North Carolina in the United States.

Particularly in a new job, Ms Deutsch adds, women often hold themselves up to an impossibly high standard of performance.

New jobs - especially when they are the result of a promotion - can be overwhelming and often cause women to doubt their abilities to perform well. "So much to learn. So much expected. Maybe I made the wrong decision," they often lament.

"The person in a new position may interpret her lack of knowledge about the role to mean that she isn't qualified to perform," acknowledges Dr Joan Harvey, in her book, If I'm So Successful, Why Do I feel Like a Fake?

"She might even begin to believe she has misled her employer about her abilities. These feelings of being incompetent cause the person to try to be perfectionist. She doesn't want to make one little mistake because she thinks that will be people's clue to her tragic flaw."

The best way to avoid the perfectionist trap? Expect to make mistakes, and forgive yourself when you do. Also, do not be afraid or reluctant - as women often are - to ask for help or advice.

"When you move into a new position, seek advice from two types of people: those who have many years' experience in a job like the one you will be taking, and those who have recently made the transition," recommends Ms Donna Hansen, former police chief of Fort Myers in Florida.

"The best advice I got came from a police chief who told me, 'Go with your own style.' No one can really tell you to do this or that - you have to be true to yourself and do things at your own speed. Moreover, it's important not to model behaviours you don't like or that don't feel right, because that's what ultimately ends up giving us ulcers and heart attacks."

In summary, don't expect too much too soon - either of yourself or your employees. Take time to take charge. Get to know the people you will be working with. And realise that you will make mistakes, and they will not necessarily stain your reputation or dash your career aspirations.

By handling top-priority tasks well and getting the word out to the right people, your occasional missteps will be overlooked. Learn to live with the mistakes you have made ... and learn to move on!