Something I have always struggled with at any place I’ve worked was learning to take some space and advocate for myself when needed. I think it this can be tough in your place of work because oftentimes, you report to a boss and don’t want to disrupt the existing flow. You may also have a fear that you may be fired for speaking up. But when does going along to get along interfere with your time at work and when should you speak up?
I know we don’t always get to do the things we want to do at work and that each day might not be sunshine and rainbows; but it’s still important to vote for yourself. After-all, if you’re not feeling happy and centered within, there’s no way that you’ll feel capable to operate on all cylinders for very long before reaching your personal threshold.
According to this article from Bustle, here are 7 ways in which you can advocate for yourself in the workplace:
- Believe you deserve what you’re asking for.
- Think of ways to make your request a reality.
- Try to separate your emotions from it.
- Customize your request for the person you’re asking.
- Don’t under-deliver your request; ask for exactly what you want.
- Be specific on when you’d like these conditions to be met.
- If your request or issue is denied, keep pushing forward, don’t simply give up.
My own translation to all of this is that if something doesn’t feel right, you’re probably right, and it is totally okay for you to speak up. Coming from my own perspective as a woman, I often feel that women in particular struggle more so with this because we’ve been taught to be more reserved and silent and even physically take up less space in a room. For me, I often struggle to speak up for fear of disrupting the flow and in fear of being perceived as controlling, ungrateful or even bitchy. But what I have learned is that in order for anything to change, I need to set the example I wish to see; and yes, this can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But the reward of knowing I did what was needed to feel better and seeing the results as an outcome of my actions is far greater than any fear I may have initially had about speaking up.
So, speak up and don’t be afraid to take up space! Your ideas and strengths have value. If you fear that someone is not willing to make room for you, then you need to clear a space for yourself.