Being a woman in the world of business and a self-advocate do not always go hand in hand. Often, even successful women set unspoken limits to their own success because they do not advocate for themselves despite being able to advocate for others, or for the common good. This skill is learned and deliberate, and incredibly necessary for any woman entering or already a part of the business world today.
Here are some easy and quick tips to put into practice in order to become your own advocate no matter what position or title you hold.
Speak Up Immediately
Don’t wait to share your feelings, ideas, or thoughts about projects, your role, or any other input you might have. Instead, speak up immediately. Co-workers, managers, and partners take note of people that are able to communicate ideas clearly, quickly, and freely with the team. Doing this will ensure that your ideas are not only considered immediately but that you get credit for them.
Everything in business is negotiable. Anytime there is anything on the table that comes with an offer, or where you know there is room for improvement, negotiate. Every offer made should be considered just that, an offer, and open to review, consideration, and negotiating. Take a cue from negotiations that take place around you in the office every day and use those same skills to get what you think you are really worth.
Build Your Self Confidence
Before you can even begin self-advocating for yourself and demanding your worth, you need to believe in yourself. Self-confidence is a challenging thing to build, requiring constant and deep personal reflection. Take stock of your personal feeling about yourself and discover where you might need to challenge years of self-doubt. Doing this will improve your self-confidence and help you demand what you want out of your career.
Women are great at advocating for others, so join forces with other women in your industry to encourage each other to reach your career goals. Knowing there are others in the industry that have been able to negotiate and progress in their fields is encouraging. Soon, you will be in a position to mentor someone yourself.