To feel empowered and confident at your job, you must learn the importance of self-advocacy. You’re an essential cog in your company’s machine, and you deserve a healthy work environment. Learn how to advocate for yourself in the workplace and you’ll set yourself up for success in the long term.
Know Your Value
You contribute valuable work and insight to your team! Your individual strengths and weaknesses are essential to your company’s success, and your confidence in that fact can drive you to advocate for your needs. During performance reviews, be ready to list off your strengths and how you’ve improved in your work. You know what you’re worth, and that trust in yourself will help you greatly during salary negotiations.
Develop a Reputation
Walk into work every morning with a sunny disposition and a can-do attitude. Even if you have off days sometimes, present yourself as a team player. Get used to speaking up when you need guidance or support, and self-advocacy will become more natural. Your supervisors will trust you to be open and honest.
Who are the other advocates in your workplace? Who else has your back? Get to know the human resources department at your company and familiarize yourself with their policies. Talk to supervisors about the workplace culture. It’s much easier to advocate for yourself if you know where to go for help.
Be a team player—but don’t let your colleagues and supervisors walk all over you or treat you poorly. Advocate for your free time by keeping your work and your personal life separate. And don’t take any mistreatment lying down! If a colleague is sexually harassing you, make it clear that you will report that harassment if it continues.
Your workplace is full of different people with varying personalities. Not everybody is going to mesh with your strong and self-assured stance—and that’s okay. Focus on respecting and advocating for yourself instead of compromising your values just because a few people don’t care for you.
You are your own best friend and strongest advocate in the workplace. Practice standing up for yourself, even when it feels uncomfortable, and you’ll hone that skill into one that will serve you well in your career. Know how to advocate for yourself in the workplace and set a brilliant example for your colleagues.