The climate of current work environments and the demands that often arise from employers have created a lot of room for us all to be more vocal about the stressors that seem to have no end date. Whether it’s discussing the gender pay gap, lack of professional development or the decrease of internal promotions; there’s one thing in common: communication. Here are a few ways to be your own advocate while empowering others to do the same.
Discuss unconscious bias in the workplace
Believe it or not, we all have adapted social stereotypes about certain groups of people that are formed outside of our conscious awareness. Various news channels, articles, think-pieces and social media have a very distinct way to showcase half-truths. To shed light on the various biases and micro aggressions, it’s important to have these difficult conversations with coworkers at every level including management. Most people tend to shy away from these conversations in fear of judgment or retaliation. However, the more we’re able to understand one another, the better organizations can be overall. An integral part of being your own ally is creating the spaces for you to thrive an individual first, then employee.
Have candid conversations with Human Resources and management
Performance evaluations twice a year aren’t the only time you can discuss salary increases with management. Speaking about compensation regularly will not only make you more comfortable with discussing what’s personally desirable for you; it makes management aware you’re vested in your own professional growth. Make sure to periodically research your specific job title, location and current salary market rates. In doing so you’ll have a benchmark with data points to support your request. Other items such as training, continuous education, certifications or attending a conference within your field will also contribute to your professional development.
Document and quantify all work responsibilities
Quantifying your tasks and work responsibilities equals increased value. The more you’re able to sell your achievements, the better position you’re in to negotiate salary, raises, bonuses and other employee-related perks. Keeping these things handy equips you for the much-needed conversations when it comes to your career.
The key to being your own ally first lies within you – remain vocal and professional while communicating your concerns. Be confident in who you are and your contributions to making any workplace in better shape than it was found.