240 Tristan’s Tip : Advocating for Yourself in the Workplace

On the seventieth installment of Tristan’s Tips, our amazing host Tristan Layfield talks about advocating for yourself in the workplace. With everything going on in the world, many professionals are trying to find a way to make their voice heard, whether it be on the discomfort returning to the office during COVID-19 or challenging systemic issues linked to racism. It’s difficult to speak up, especially when you depend on your job so you can pay your bills and live your life. Remember, no one knows you better than you. It’s necessary that you speak up for yourself, your ideas, and your concerns!

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TRANSCRIPT

Tristan: What’s going on Living Corporate? It’s Tristan back again to bring you another career tip. This week I want to talk about advocating for yourself in the workplace.

Many Black, Indigenous, and other professionals of color don’t often speak up for themselves or the injustices they see within the workplace out of fear of retribution. But with everything going on in the world, many professionals are trying to find a way to make their voice heard whether it be on the discomfort returning to the office during COVID-19 or challenging systemic issues linked to racism. It’s difficult to speak up, especially when you depend on your job so you can pay your bills and live your life. So I wanted to provide some tips on how to begin advocating in the workplace.

The first thing to remember is that advocacy starts with you. I mean this in a couple of different ways. You first have to believe in yourself, your cause, and the fact that you deserve to be advocated for because if you aren’t firm in that belief, others won’t take it seriously and your attempts to advocate will be in vain. The second way I mean this is that you can’t advocate for others if you don’t know how to advocate for yourself. Before you start trying to advocate for others, take the time to learn how to do so for yourself. This will allow you to practice, boost your confidence, and help your find your advocacy voice.

The first step in advocating is getting very clear on what the issue is. Remember that no one is a mind reader and oftentimes, people who aren’t affected by the issue have a hard time spotting it so it’s necessary to get clear on what is working and what isn’t. The next step is to develop potential solutions and present them alongside the issue. Don’t expect your boss to do the leg work because when you rely on someone else to develop solutions you could end up waiting a long time or they could also move forward with actions that don’t actually solve your problem. A major tip here is never, and I mean NEVER, ask for less in order to increase your chances of getting a yes. When you do this your boss isn’t actually aware that you are asking for less so you really only end up cheating yourself. Lastly, if you get denied don’t let that get you down. Figure out how to reframe your request or tailor it so you can build a better case.

Remember no one knows you better than you. It’s necessary that you speak up for yourself, your ideas, and your concerns.

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