It’s not through an easy breezy time do you learn the hard lessons. It’s through those challenging moments where it takes everything you’ve got….
And for many of us (stubborn folks like myself) the best way to learn is through trial and error. And I’ve had a lot of…you know…errors. There are so many things I would say if I could talk to the younger version of me. I hope that other women don’t have to wait around until they figure out the answers the hard way.
What I want to say to the younger version of myself about pushing back
There are so many roadblocks in the corporate world and in life. The most successful people are constantly figuring out ways to overcome those challenges, despite how uncomfortable that can be.
There will be no shortage of people who tell you 1. you can’t do that 2. here are all the hard rules why we won’t let you do that.
As a young woman at a job in a big city, when I did make leaps in my career–many times it was by throwing out the standard rules within the corporation. The biggest jumps in my career were through pushing back.
I asked for opportunities I wasn’t perfectly qualified for, I negotiated my salary when I found out about people with the same role making more than me, and I jumped departments to the chagrin of my bosses.
I didn’t have a fallback plan. I was alone in NYC. No trust fund, no husband, no desire to go live with my parents.
I’m currently reading the book Pushback by Selena Rezvani which talks about all the ways women shortchange themselves at work. It also provides some powerful tools for women on how to be better negotiators.
I’ve been listening to a lot of my female friends lately who complain about their situations at work.
They are very unhappy and can’t change the situation because of X, Y and Z. They tell me if they push back they could be fired. Their boss would be mad if they mentioned being disgruntled about salary…and so on and so forth.
I want to inspire women to get angry about the fact that is it possible these women wouldn’t be treated this way if they were male. I want to stress the point here that I don’t hate men, and I don’t believe men are without their share of challenges at work. However I see the stat that women make 77.8 cents to the dollar earned by men in the U.S. Then I hear my friends tell me how unhappy they are, and all the reasons they can’t make the change they want to see in their lives. So many rules, I don’t want to offend so and so, I don’t want to get fired….
Women have recently told me they don’t want to offend their bosses by questioning their pay although they know men with a similar role who get paid tens of thousands more than them. I don’t hear about a lot of men being told they need to be more likeable at work.
[Again I will emphasize that I don't hate men, and I don't think they don't have their own challenges. Just ask my boyfriend Jacob.]
The only thing that stops women from getting what they want are themselves.
We need to stop following these “hard rules.” These rules are not so hard once you start to scratch the surface. You reading this blog–you are talented, you are valuable, and you are worthy. So do your homework, keep track of your accomplishments and start telling yourself and the people around you a different story. One of worth.
Women don’t push back enough. Research in the book Pushback proves that a woman’s ability to push back has an astonishingly direct correlation to her success.
That means women who ask for what they want get what they want.
From experience I can tell you you’ll have to be prepared to leave, but most times if you ask for what you want you won’t have to leave. You’ll find that by figuring out your own negotiation style people will respect you more. Here’s what the book had to say:
“What caught my attention most in analyzing my data was the answer to a numerical question. I asked women leaders, “Assuming a woman’s career success equals 100 percent what percentage is accounted for by her effectiveness in negotiating and pushing back?….The executives I met with felt, on average, that a full 60 percent of a woman’s career success hinges on her pushback skills.”
I am telling you, THIS IS YOUR LIFE. We don’t know what happens after this life. As far as science tells us this is YOUR ONE KNOWN SHOT to design your life into the most amazing experience possible. Seize the day.
That means you (ladies) need to take the reins of your life. You are directing the show. This is YOUR time to take control of YOUR LIFE and make the changes you want to see.
Turn off that Disney reel in your head. A man will not come in on a horse and buggy and take you off to cindarella-land.
The higher-ups at work don’t go to sleep at night thinking of how they can improve your quality of life. This is up to YOU!
Go get it girl. Make it happen!
And if you want to join my community join other women who are navigating the same journey at Project Enough!