In the workplace, there is a standard way to conduct yourself, a culture to adhere, to and expectations to meet, which is all well and dandy. However, even with these things in place, there are certain work standards that I have learned (and am still continuing to learn) to expect and set for myself, unapologetically.
See where I’m coming from below:
1. Requesting the Salary I Deserve
Too often, we accept positions that offer lower salaries, because we are too afraid speak up and request what we feel weâ€™re worth.
Not I, says Safon. Even if I am unable to receive what I request, I will go on record for having asked and attempting to negotiate, so you will know that I am someone who sees high value in the work I produce and what I bring to the table.
2. Remaining True to My Character, Despite the Opinions of Others
One thingâ€™s for sure, you canâ€™t please everybody all of the timeâ€”so stop trying.
Iâ€™ve learnedâ€”the hard wayâ€”that intentions donâ€™t necessarily match interpretations. Interpretation is far beyond my control. Now, I will not apologize for your misunderstanding if I am confident, secure, and happy with the character that I exhibit. I may make an attempt to understand and empathize, but I certainly wonâ€™t be apologizing.
3. Not Answering Emails After 5:30 p.m.
Itâ€™ll just have to wait until tomorrowâ€”life is happening.
4. Claiming Whatâ€™s Rightfully Mine
If Iâ€™ve done work that Iâ€™m proud of, I will no longer cower away from letting you know that Iâ€™ve done it, Iâ€™m proud, and I donâ€™t mind taking credit for it, too.
This has been a tough one for me, as I tend to shy away from compliments. But, Iâ€™m learning to embrace that I do sometimes get things right.
5. Taking Vacation Days
I have always felt guilty about taking my vacation days. Taking days would make me feel like â€śthe manâ€ť would assume I was lazy, not dedicated, uncommitted, losing interest, or off-task.
Iâ€™ve gotten over that (see reason two). These are my days, and I will gladly, unapologetically take them whenever to do whatever.
6. Quality of My Work
If I completed it, and I submitted itâ€”I believe in it.
7. Preserving My Livelihood
I wonâ€™t allow a working environment to steal my joy, harden my spirit, or dull my light. I will, instead, very actively, preserve the livelihood I have, even if it means disrupting the culture a bit. Just because there is a cloud in the building, doesnâ€™t mean I have to shy away from my corner of sunshineâ€”in fact, I will always seek to embrace it. Youâ€™re welcome to join me, as well.
8. Stating My Expectations
If there is something I need to do more effectively at my job, I need to be forthcoming with that information. There was a point in my career where I would shy away from soliciting help, resources, or more information, as I thought it would translate and read as me being inadequate.
But, not anymore. Now, I state what I want, to get whatâ€™s needed to help me deliver the best outcome. That way, we all win.
On the flip-side, if I am overwhelmed, stressed, or overworked, I state that, too. Though Iâ€™m magical, Iâ€™m not superwoman. I wonâ€™t apologize for letting you know that Iâ€™m human.
Iâ€™ve grown to find great value in my opinion. Iâ€™ve also grown to know that opinions, especially conflicting ones, must be supported. If I am confident in my opinion, and I feel that it can add value to the conversation, I state it, even if itâ€™s unpopular. I wonâ€™t apologize for you not accepting my point of view. I will, however, wholeheartedly apologize for withholding my point of view. The growth that can come from a healthy disagreement wonâ€™t be denied on my watch. Letâ€™s discuss.
What wonâ€™t you apologize for? Stand in your conviction and share!
Safon Floyd is the digital editor at Black Enterprise. Follow her @accordingtofon.