Advocating For Yourself & Stand up for your future successes!🚀
Advocate (v): to support or argue for (a cause, a policy): to plead in favor of.
This is the definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. In business, when we use the verb to advocate, we usually refer to speaking up for, and in many cases, we say advocate for yourself. When we refer to this verb in this way, we are opening up a conversation about what we have done for ourselves regarding a specific matter, and we do it when we want something. For us. In particular, I like Forbes’ definition for this verb: to stand up for your future successes.
Think back to the last time you had a talk about your career with your boss:
* Did you advocate for yourself?
* Did you ask your boss for a raise, for a promotion, for new responsibilities?
* Did you ask if you could lead a new project or become a new colleague’s buddy or mentor? Did you actually ask?
I recently had an informal chat with a member of my team, and she was upset about some opportunities another team member had had in the recent past.
Did you ask [our boss] about that opportunity, I asked? Does [the boss] know you’re interested? No and no, were her answers. Well then, why don’t you schedule a call and let [the boss] know? It’s a great first step. Unfortunately, he does not have a crystal ball, and cannot guess what you want.
My questions were meant to guide her to thinking about what she wants, whether it’s this job or another one.
So, how can we get started on advocating for ourselves? Below are some suggestions.
1. You define your own career. You own it, it’s up to you to decide where you want to go, and how. You may, of course, suffer some re-directions from time to time, but it’s really up to you to decide this. Own your life, own your career path!
2. Let others know about your successes. I’m sure you can look back at the last year and point out at least 3 things you’ve done at work that you’re proud of. Try it, try stuff! And let others know, especially your boss. This comes hand in hand with the next item.
3. Know your worth. My discussion with my colleague revolved around how much value she was giving herself. Know what you have done, how good you are, and share this with others.
4. Build your network. In the working from home/remotely era, it is still very important to network. This will allow you to get to know others, let others know you are interested in new opportunities, and get feedback and mentorship.
5. Speak up for yourself. Like you should share your successes, let others know who you are and where you want to go. Nobody can guess by just staring at a name in a Teams organizational chart. Be vocal about it, talk to your leaders and your network.
6. Trust yourself. You know what you like to do, and what you are capable of doing. You also know when a cycle needs to be closed, you feel the timing. Take ownership of your career, you can do this.
Of course, you can also reach out to me for coaching sessions and deciding, with guidance, what to do next.