Today’s practical tips of self-confidence (if you missed the previous ones, check HERE the job interview and HERE the first date) is about being self-confident at work from a female’s perspective. Though I strongly believe that sexism shall not exist at work, unfortunately it still does so there is quite much to talk about. This was a topic we covered recently during my weekly live show (in Hungarian unfortunately but you can find it HERE) with my guest Edit Szabó, writer.
A few thoughts on how to present (and sell) yourself confidently at work:
1. Ask and you will be given
Officially there is no wage difference for the same position whether it is filled by a male or a female however the sad truth differs and it is partly because of us, women. Before you would come at me, let me explain. A male usually approaches things rationally with less emotions, including asking for a salary (raise). He knows his worth and not afraid to ask for it. On the contrary, women tend to be more shy and struggle with such inner dialogues as “what if I look greedy” or “what if they reject, that would be so humiliating”. However remember one thing: if you don’t ask for it, the answer will be always NO. Judge yourself realistically and don’t be afraid to ask your worth because you set your price. In a figurative sense (=value) and literally (=salary).
2. Say NO!
You can’t please everyone but you can break yourself into million pieces which will affect negatively not only your work but your soul, too. Saying no is a hard lesson to learn but to sum it up in one sentence why you shall learn it: saying NO to others is often saying YES to yourself. Because then you can focus on your own tasks (instead of doing favors for others); because then you can prove to be a determined and dutiful person with her work as priority; because you also have 24 hours a day and doing extra hours at work won’t make you more valuable or loveable. Do your work but if you feel reluctant to agree on anything extra or you would do it just to put a better light on yourself, stop for a minute and think it over!
3. Stand up for your opinion!
Mostly due to reasons at 2. above, as women want to be Nutella aka loved by everyone, many times we avoid conflicts at work. We are socially wired to belong to a group, to be part of a tribe which is the key to survive. However if you disagree with one or more persons you can still speak up and voice your opinion. It is not personal, it is business so act accordingly. No need to throw a tantrum but stand up for your opinion even if it differs from what the others think (especially if there is no such thing as right or wrong answer). It won’t devalue you but on the contrary: you will be the one with “balls” who is true to herself.
4. Just do it!
Has it ever happened to you that during a meeting your boss asked for a complicated task and while you were contemplating about it, a male colleague just jumped in and took it? Risk tolerance of men is usually higher because they don’t take an optional negative outcome personally or emotionally. This may result in them being more adventurous and taking the risks of completing a more difficult job. Avoiding failure may make you uncertain so next time think about it like this: of course you can do it and if you fail, it is a lesson, not a failure. Just do it and don’t be afraid of the “what if”-s.
5. The scale
Not the one weighing your pounds but the one to check in with your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your abilities and personality is essential not only in your private life but at work as well. If you know what you are good at, you can showcase those and about your weaknesses? Time to improve them! Not good at working with excel tables? So do not be the first to jump in at a complex excel task but ask for help and practice. Love giving presentations? Put your hands up high the next time when your boss wants to dedicate such a task and show what you got. Knowing yourself affect your work territory too so start the process to discover who you are!
If you need more help on the topic, search for help, read, reach out for specialists, coaches or ask my help for one-on-one sessions. Self-confidence is essential, at your work place too!