2018 is the year of the woman! And, that means it is time to ask for what you want. As women are coming together to speak out about issues like #MeToo, #TimesUp, and the gender wage gap, it is equally as important for women to feel empowered to ask for what they want in the workplace. And, a good way women can practice is by partnering with a career coach.
For part three of the Yes, You Need a Career Coach series for the Women of Power Summit, Marsha Haygood, author and founder of StepWise Associates shares three ways to learn how to grow more comfortable with asking for what you want with a coach to enhance your career as you climb.
Practice by speaking up
For many women, asserting themselves can be tough, especially if they do not feel like they have the authority or a safe space to speak up. With the help of a coach, women can implement strategies to speak and eventually begin to ask for that they want.
One thing that Haygood stresses to women is to be advocates for themselves. Whether you are in the boardroom or having a meeting with your manager, your opinion matters and that’s why you need to speak up. “If someone needs help asserting themselves, as a coach I would give them an assignment to do so that they feel more comfortable speaking up in meetings. And, I’ll follow up with them to make sure that they’re doing so,” says Haygood. The assignments could include acting out different scenarios. Remember, no one can bring what you do to the table and a part of keeping your seat requires you to speak up and know your value.
Know your value
In The Little Black Book of Success workbook, Haygood and her co-authors share that it is important for women to know their worth. They write why it is key to not get your self-worth and your net worth confused. As a professional, career coaches can help you build your confidence. All that requires is an openness to exploring who you are personally so that you can yield different result in the workplace and throughout your career. In the book they also share that, “Another way to acknowledge your self-value is to actively try to increase it.” You were hired because you add value to where you are. Work with a coach to find ways to understand your worth so that you can feel confident in the workplace.
Everything is negotiable even when it doesn’t seem like it is. While it may feel daunting to ask for what you want, it’s essential to muster up enough confidence to do so even when you are unsure of how asking for something will be received. Haygood says, “Just ask.”
“Ask for what you want so that you can get what you need. Don’t assume that someone knows something if they’re not saying it.”
There are multiple layers to being a black woman in the workplace. There are gender, race, and wage complexities. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, black women only make 64 cents of the same dollar as their white male counterparts although they are more educated and are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States.
Ladies, it is time to ask for what you want. Well, it’s been time. Now that you have this information, get ready to learn how to yield the best return after investing in a career coach for part four of the series.