One of the hardest things that you will ever have to face in the workplace is standing up for yourself. I’m not talking about office politics or watercooler chat; I am talking about when it comes to your employers. Business owners have a company to run and a bottom line to think about. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be intentionally dishonest, but if they can hire you and promote you internally without a difference to your salary or your benefits, they’re going to be getting a far better deal than you are. And most employees won’t think to stand up and say that this isn’t okay, and they won’t think about arguing against it, because they’ve just been promoted – why rock the boat?
Here’s the hard truth: unless you stand up and ask for what you know you deserve, you won’t get it. You should want to rock the boat. You’re the one who has to run your career. Yes, your workplace and your employer are going to have a hand in how well you are doing and how much you are going to progress, but they’re not the ones who are going to have to choose where to steer your career; that’s on you. Most people in the workplace aren’t looking out for you because they’re looking out for themselves. If you find that you’re being underpaid, or that you’re a victim of independent contractor misclassification, it’s going to be up to you to speak up. If you’re going to continue accepting the status quo at work, then things will never be different for you. When things aren’t fair, you have to stop accepting the unfair things and demand something better.
People in the workforce believe that they have to put up and shut up with being underpaid, underappreciated and overworked but there is a secret that I am going to let you in on. You do not have to accept anything that gives you what you don’t deserve. You don’t deserve to be working every hour for a pittance. You don’t deserve to not have your skills and your hard work ethic go unrecognised. You do deserve to be paid equally to others in your job role. You also deserve to work in an environment where you feel as if you can be open with your employers if you feel you are not being treated fairly. Your boss cannot read your mind, and unless you speak up and explain that you do not feel as if you are being treated in a manner that is appropriate, they will not be able to fix any issues that could arise.
Believe it or not, you could gain an awful lot of respect from the people that you work for if you stand up for yourself and ask for better than you receive. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you get told no, then you know it’s time to move on to another employer who would appreciate you.