It’s always important to stand up for yourself, no matter your situation. As business development professional Fahim Imam-Sadeque explains, this is especially true in business, where those who don’t stand up for themselves often fall behind.
You must demand respect not just from your colleagues but from those to whom you report. When you stand up for yourself, you also express your feelings, get heard and often earn respect from others.
Below are some of the main reasons why advocating for yourself in the workplace is so important.
When you advocate for yourself in the workplace, you’ll be improving your confidence. Speaking out is often one of the most challenging things for people, especially when communicating with a person in power.
Speaking up when you feel strongly about something helps you break through whatever walls you’ve set up and empowers you to act. This improved confidence will serve you well in all aspects of your job. It’ll help you be more decisive, not be afraid to fail and contribute to the team.
A big part of advocating for yourself is emphasising the value you bring to the organisation. The famous saying is that actions speak louder than words, but sometimes words are necessary, too. If your actions alone aren’t highlighting your value, then standing up for yourself might be what you need to do.
When you emphasise your value to others, you also engender a sense of respect in them. And, as before, this helps you in all other aspects of your job.
Respect is a big part of advocating for yourself. It helps you gain the respect of others. Those who speak up for themselves are often thought of much higher than those who are more timid, especially in the workplace.
When you increase your reputation by advocating for yourself, you help set clear boundaries. You make it easier for you to say no to others. You make it harder for others to steamroll you.
Your increased reputation will lead to more inclusivity, more trust being placed in you and, ultimately, the ability to climb the corporate ladder.
Speaking up for yourself raises awareness of the issues that you’re facing. If you don’t let others know how you feel about a situation, it will be tough for them to understand what you are going through.
It’s possible that even your supervisor won’t know what problems you’re facing at work and how they are affecting you. Raising awareness of your concerns is an integral part of not only being heard but of allowing other people to change behaviours that may be affecting you.
Someone else might be acting in a way that’s negatively affecting your performance, and they might not even realise it. If you don’t advocate for yourself and tell them how you feel, they may never have the opportunity to change.
Ultimately, advocating for yourself helps you reduce stress. As Fahim Imam-Sadeque explains, this is vital for peace and happiness in all aspects of your life.
It’s nearly impossible for work not to affect life outside the office and vice versa. So, while people search for that ultimate “work-life balance,” it’s unrealistic to be able to compartmentalise the two.
Not advocating for yourself at the office can easily lead to stress, which you then take home with you. In time, that may affect your life outside the office, including the relationships you care about the most.
So, advocate for yourself in the office. It will help you live a happier life.
About Fahim Imam-Sadeque
Fahim Imam-Sadeque is a business development professional with proven experience in the asset management industry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from the City University of London and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. Fahim’s top skills include asset management, hedge funds, investment management, sales, and consultant & client relationship management.