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Learn To Stand Up For Yourself At Work

There are some unfortunate people who will never find the strength to stand up for themselves at work. The reasons are clear. If you have plenty of financial responsibilities and fear you have no prospects outside your current job, it’s easy to be scared of losing it. However, this meekness can play a huge role in just how much certain employers, superiors, and colleagues can take advantage of you. There’s risk involved, but learning to stand up for yourself is crucial to being treated with the worth and respect you deserve.

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Don’t tolerate abuse

First and foremost, if you’re being harassed or discriminated at work, start recording the specifics of the situation and using official channels to report it up the corporate chain. You are legally protected from both these kinds of abusive behavior and any retaliatory practices can put your employer in great danger. However, bullying is a more nebulous term and one you’re not always protected if you’re suffering from it. You have to learn how to deal with it. This includes not giving them the satisfaction by showing hurt feelings or when you’re upset. Instead, stand your ground, call your bluff, and get support from your coworkers when possible. Find a supervisor or leader you can trust when possible and make sure they’re made aware of the situation early with your documentation to help prove the truth of the matter.

Know your worth

Standing up for yourself isn’t all about dealing with negative treatment at work, either. Learning your worth, particularly when it comes to negotiating a pay rise, a salary, or a benefits package, is an essential skill for career-minded people. Specifically, it’s a crucial skill for women. We all know the reality of the gender pay gap, but one of the leading reasons researched is that women, on average, don’t represent themselves and ask for more as much as men do. If you feel you’re being undervalued, it’s on you to change the record and make sure that you’re not.

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Keep your credit

A big part of changing the record is by showing improving standards at work and the fact that you actually deserve what you’re asking for. But that can be difficult when you have others in the workplace who seem more than happy to steal your rightfully earned thunder. Be Leaderly shows that regardless of whether you’re concerned it might make you look petty, you should set the record straight as soon as possible. In fact, if you can do it at the very same meeting, it’s doubly effective. Someone trying to steal your credit is likely to back down from a very candid (but polite) clarification on what they’re trying to say. Beyond that, it’s best to preempt this bad habit if you know someone in the office has it by taking credit for your accomplishments as soon as you make them. Don’t be afraid to approach your colleague about this habit, either. Keep it respectful, keep it positive. Assert that you respect them and their work, but tell them you will keep telling the whole truth if they think about trying to steal your credit again.

Control your career

The process of being slowly painted into a corner can be easy to miss, sometimes. Employers can bulldoze over you, give you work that offers very little benefit to you, and in that way, hijack your career. Don’t let it happen. Do the work, but have a talk with them after about what kind of skills you want to learn and the kind of work you think you could both excel at and learn from. One of the biggest reasons for the fear of standing up for oneself is a lack of prospects outside the current job and the risk of losing it. Fight that risk by ensuring you’re constantly building yourself as an employee. A request with the boss can often help since they’ll more likely than not be glad to see you’re willing to become an employee of even more worth to them. But when in doubt, look to independently seeking out training from organizations such as BC Burleson Consulting. There are courses you can find for all kinds of skills and all kinds of careers. It means carving up more of your free time, yes, but you have to be truly willing to work at your career and sacrifice for it if you want to escape the risk of being cornered in a dead-end job.

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Stand up for your rights

We’ve already mentioned how bullying can lead to harassment and discrimination and how you’re legally protected from that kind of abuse. Simply knowing your rights can give you a lot more confidence to stand up for yourself. So, know those rights. Know that you’re entitled to workers’ comp if injured or disabled on the job and that, if you lose work because of a workplace injury, teams like Finkelstein, Meirowitz and Eidlisz can offer a lot of help. Know that you’re legally entitled to be paid fair compensation as to the letter of your employment contract and keep your boss accountable if your pay is late or hasn’t arrived yet. Most importantly, know that you’re protected from repercussions from your employer should you take legal action in securing any of these rights. Know the law. Know when it has your back. It can be a huge relief.

The other side of the coin

The truth is that if you feel like you’re not being treated with worth or like your opinion on your career matters, you have to be realistic and recognize when your own actions might have something to do with that. There are negligent, abusive, and unappreciative employers out there. But there are also employees who won’t take responsibility for their mistakes but will expect reward and recognition every time they do something good. Earn that respect and regard. Take credit for good work but make sure you don’t try dodge responsibility when you truly do mess up.

If you have the confidence to stand up for yourself in the workplace, you have the confidence to succeed elsewhere. It might sometimes feel like your current job is too crucial to risk, but you must always put your physical and emotional safety first.