I don’t pee on planes. Usually. Not because I hate the bathrooms or anything like that. Well, I don’t love them, but that’s not why.
I feel bad making the people next to me get up. Yet, for some reason, I always book a window seat. Probably because I optimistically think I might be able to sneak a nap in, which almost never happens. But what almost always happens is I end up spending 3 hours squirming and trying to will the people next to me to have to go too so I can get up. Weird… I know.
I don’t send back food. I feel bad. I also don’t care for spit sandwiches. I don’t have any food allergies so anything I’d send back would be just a preference thing, and luckily I’ve never been served anything unsafe like raw chicken. It’s not that big of a deal to me to eat something not made exactly to my liking versus inconveniencing the staff to fix it or make me a new one.
I’m sure there are more examples, but I think you get the point. Judging by many of my daily actions, I’m a pushover and probably a wuss. I’m willing to eat a steak not cooked exactly to my liking. I’m willing to torture my bladder (though I should probably stop doing this – it definitely isn’t good for you). I’m willing to make small concessions throughout my day so as not to inconvenience others or be a nag.
But when it comes to my career, my family, my hard earned cash – I’m not willing to concede. I know my worth, and it’s enough to inconvenience someone for when it’s not being properly represented. I’m not willing to risk losing out on a great opportunity. I’m not willing to stay in a place where I’m unhappy because I feel bad. I’m not willing to accept less than I deserve because I don’t want to rock the boat. And neither should you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with someone who is receiving a lower compensation package than they’re worth because they don’t want to come across cocky or ungrateful or make someone jump through hoops. Or how many times people tell me they are staying in a job they dislike and where they feel unappreciated because they feel guilty leaving their team. I completely understand and empathize with the twinge of guilt. But I also know there are certain times when you have to look out for yourself, your pocketbook, your career, your life.
I’m not advising anyone to eat an undercooked food or hold their pee for 2,500 miles. I am, however, advising you to also stand up for yourself when it really truly matters. The small stuff I leave to your discretion. As for the big stuff, it’s time that you come first.
This week’s challenge
Think of an aspect of your life where you haven’t been putting yourself first but think maybe it’s time to. Take one step forward toward doing so. Maybe it’s telling your team that you will be unreachable during certain hours. Maybe it’s asking your partner to help out with a certain household chore. Maybe it’s doing some research to prepare for a compensation discussion. Whatever it is, commit to it this week. You can do this!
Struggling to work up the courage or want some support helping you plan the conversation?
We know you want to learn more. Here are some of our favorite additional resources:
- Go along and order: You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life
- All about the Benjamins: How to ask for the raise you deserve
- If you’re changing careers: Download our comprehensive career transition guide complete with tips for negotiating your offer