Career Corner | Q & A, no. 2

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Any advice on advocating for yourself and negotiating for yourself in the workplace?

Know your worth, then add tax.

It’s always frustrating to me to see women in the workplace not advocating for themselves. I would assume that you work hard, are, generally, a decent person, and deserve to move upward because of the work you’ve put in. Know your worth, make a plan, make an argument for what you need.

I say make and argument instead of asking for what you need or what you want because I think that asking implies satisfaction with a yes or no answer. Make an argument. Know your worth and go in there ready to fight for yourself if need be. Every time i have wanted or needed something in a work place – from physical location to a raise – I’ve gone in prepared with an argument. I have facts and data to back it up, and I’m generally poised to initially get a “no” from a male boss.

Now hear this: Being prepared to make an argument for something you feel you need to be more effective in your job or something you feel you have earned is different than walking into your boss’ office to whine about what you don’t have or what you feel you’re entitled to.

Chances are, you’re not taking a big enough chance on yourself. But the key is preparation.

Have a specific example? Leave it in the comments below or email me if you prefer to discuss privately.

 

What is something you find important to invest your time in?

I have found it’s been most important to invest in self help and education. I’m constantly trying to learn new things to become a better version of myself. Whether that’s doing online research, reading books, networking, or taking classes, I’m always interested in learning something new.

Self help can come in many forms; Whether it’s therapy, knowing your limits and when to say no, being a constructive part of thriving relationships, being able to structure your work day for maximum output and so on. I actively engage in self help so, again, I can be the best version of myself. We take out cars in for routine maintenance, we schedule dental cleanings every 6 months, even our laptops need a little TLC every once in awhile – we need to prioritize doing the same for ourselves: body and mind.

The best investment is the one you make in yourself.

 

What daily mantra drives your work?

Put simply: Be better. Be better than you were last year. Be better than you were yesterday. Be better than they think you can be. Be better than you know you can be. Be better than not getting a workout in. Be better in business. Be better in your relationships and in your friendships. Be better.

 

How do I deal with bitchy female employees?

My professional, diplomatic answer: Be the bigger person and do as Michelle Obama would do. “When they go low, we go high.”

But my actual answer is to tell them to %*^$ off.

Don’t work in an environment where the latter is acceptable? Stick with professionalism and diplomacy and be the best version of yourself in the situation. Go to bed at night knowing that you handled the encounter with as much grace as possible, without being walked on.

I will ever understand women who don’t empower other women. Their issues are exclusively about them and have nothing to do with you. But Monday rolls around and you’re still dealing with their attitude, right? I’ve encountered my fair share of “bitchy” coworkers, male and female, and my solution has always been to confront it head on. Not necessarily in an aggressive way, but confront it nonetheless so you can shut it down. “Thanks so much for that contribution Sharon however, I don’t particularly care for your tone or what you’re implying. If you’d like to discuss this I’d be more than happy to do so, privately.” Call them out. If someone is being an ass to you in front of other people, call them out. Kindly offer to continue the conversation in private. 9 times out of 10 they’ll be so embarrassed they’ll drop it and never speak to you like that again. They treat coworkers (and probably humans in general) like this because they know they can get away with it.

Shut it down.

 

That’s a wrap for our first installment of the Career Corner Q & A!

HAVE A QUESTION? SUBMIT IT BELOW IN THE COMMENTS!

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1 Comment

  1. Sarah
    November 16, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    This is up there with one of the best career articles I have seen. The advice and jumping off points for how to be a productive contributing person are potentially effective rather than the usual fluff of office etiquette and that rarely has any real insight or direction.

    Thank you.