I hate the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” but I have learned it rings true in the workplace every damn day. The reason my packages always go out on time? The mailroom dude adores me. The reason why I have my job? A personal relationship I cultivated through my college alumni group.
As a young career woman, I have been told to befriend those in power that can help me climb the ladder of success. Find a mentor. Discover a sponsor. But what about the woman sitting next to you?
A few weeks ago, I approached my Work Wife to learn how she was promoted from my title to the next level. I learned how she successfully shared with her boss (who is the same level as my boss) why she deserved a better title and a pay bump. It was incredibly helpful to have a candid conversation with someone who really gets what it’s like to ask for a promotion at your position, compared to a mentor or sponsor who may have forgotten what it’s like to be starting out.
If you wanna be a Mariah, sometimes you have to ask an Ariana how to get there before going to The Diva. All I want for Christmas is a promotion... but will settle for some tips in my stocking. Here they are gang!
1. Be prepared. Before meeting with your boss, have concrete examples that show why you're ready for the next level. Think of every little project or situation where you have shined like Mimi.
2. Timing is Everything. Is there a month where your account is rolling in dough? Has someone just left your team and there is an open position? As soon as the timing is right, let your boss know your promotion plan.
3. Know Your Worth. Ladies, we often believe we are worth less than what we truly deserve. Ask your Work Wife what she's making and do a little digging on the Internet. Do not just accept what is being offered. Raise your $tandards and your glass to that!
4. Follow-up. You may not receive the promo, no biggie. Make sure to make a career timeline and share with your boss following the meeting. Once you have a plan, you cannot fail!
There are lots and lots of words, questions and statements to avoid when dating, especially in your 20s and especially in New York City. Here are a few:
A few months ago, I went on a date that was as successful as Kanye’s VMA speech. The dude asked me lots and lots of questions, which made the date feel like an intense job interview for a job I really, really didn’t want. He asked me one straightforward question, “What do you do for fun?” I rattled off the usual white girl activities: working out, travelling, reading, and writing. I then added, “I am also very passionate about feminism.” His face quickly transformed from smiley “I-want-to-learn-more” to wide-eyed “holy-shit-this-girl-is-a-psycho-run-for-the-hills.” He openly shared with me that he thinks feminism is stupid and that women “do it to themselves trying to keep up with the Kardashians by buying fur jackets and jewelry.” I’m still unsure what fur jackets and jewelry have to do with feminism, perhaps he was saving that for the second date.
Needless to say, we weren’t matches made in millennial dating heaven and I never saw him again. The F-Word is just as startling as the L-Word. In college, I told a guy I was a feminist and he responded, “Can we still have sex?” I am deeply proud to be a feminist and consider it a part of my identity, it’s the same as saying, “I’m a Pisces” or “I’m Drake’s future girlfriend.”
Given my personal experiences, I’m fully aware that this word can bring about a negative or confused reaction. I usually wait a few dates before dropping the F-Word bomb because it’s annoying to explain that yes, I shave my legs and no, I don’t have daddy issues. But if I had waited to share this big part of who I am with this date, it would have been an even bigger disappointment. I knew within 30 minutes the dude wasn’t for me.
So, go ahead and say all the “bad” words on a first date. Your passions matter. Feminism matters. If your date isn’t about it, he’s not the guy you should pick fancy kitchenware at Pottery Barn with. Say the F-Word on the first date. I dare you.