Take a Stand

by Mary Foley - Date: 2007-06-28 - Word Count: 728 Share This!

"Bodacious" means to be bold, outstanding, and remarkable. Take those attributes to work and you're on your way to building a fulfilling, bodacious career. Does having a bodacious career sound exciting to you? It is! After starting as an $8 an hour customer service rep, I rose through the ranks of AOL, accepting four promotions and surviving over six layoffs to become the head of corporate training for 12,000 employees. Along the way I learned I needed to be bodacious to achieve the career I wanted. Out of that experience I created my "cheat sheet" of ten essential Bodacious Career Builders. Here's number six: Take a Stand.

It's up to you to decide at what point you're going to put your foot down. No one can tell you exactly how or when. But you'll know where that point is, even if it means facing the possible consequence of putting your relationship with your employer at risk. You'll know when you're feeling violated. You'll know when you're feeling used. You'll know when it's time to push back. It might be just a small moment, but it's the moment when you change forever.

Work-wise, for me, that time came about six months after I was passed over for the promotion I wanted and the position was filled by a man from the outside. He also became my new boss. Distracted by several projects, he left me alone at first, allowing me to do what I had already been doing for several years before he came on board. One day, I sent out an e-mail to a round of colleagues asking for their input on a project. My boss, of course, was on the list.

I received some suggestions from others, but from my boss, I got an e-mail that felt like command and control. After six months of leaving me alone, suddenly he was in my e-mail box telling me what to do. I was just asking for input, but he was giving me orders. I knew a violation had happened, and I knew exactly what it was about.

The next morning we sat in my office for a previously scheduled meeting. I purposely jump started our conversation with, "You remember that e-mail you sent me last night? I've got to be honest, it sounded like you were telling me what to do. There's one thing I can't stand, and that's being told what to do."

If there was anyone in the world at that moment who had the right and mandate to tell me what to do, it was him. I accepted his positional power to do just that. But I also had years of autonomy, working for managers who recognized my ability to figure things out and take the initiative to get things done. So I added: "I've been in this role for several years now. And although you can tell me what to do and I will respect that, you should know that I will look for another situation to be in."

With a stunned look and defensive voice he responded, "But, I have strong opinions!" To which I replied, "That's fine, I welcome strong opinions. I want to hear your point of view. I definitely believe that with lots of input, I can create a more effective result. But, in the end, I'm responsible for what happens." He conceded, "Well, okay."

From that moment, he respected my ability and my need to work without a heavy hand. I felt proud that I put a line in the sand. One benefit was that I got the behavior I wanted. But the longer lasting benefit was that I learned yet again that while risk comes with dangers of losing a job, it also comes with rewards. The risk of taking a stand is often rewarded with actually being able to keep the job you love.

Taking a stand is one of the most bodacious actions you can take for you and your career. By simply saying, "This is what I believe to be true and how I want to be treated" you are creating a culture shift in your life that will ripple beyond your immediate goals in any area. And you're becoming the Bodacious Woman you want to be!

BODACIOUS CAREER BUILDER #6: Speak up for yourself; plan what you will say, how you say it, and anticipate responses. You and your career are worth it.

Related Tags: motivation, empowerment, job satisfaction, women in business, career building, bodacious, mary foley

Mary Foley, author of "Bodacious! Career: Outrageous Success for Working Women" inspires women to be courageously in charge of their lives, careers and businesses. You can be inspired, too! Get her free e-book "10 Bodacious Ways for a Bodacious Career today at http://www.GoBodacious.com/ebook . Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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