A lady best left unidentified here took me off the WWNH cruise and into the workplace. She verbalized so many complaints common to the female workforce that I use her complaints and address my response to all ladies employed outside the home.
I start with her personal appeals, make them sound more sour, and respond as if each reader complains the same. You can figure out how to use the info for yourself. (In the following, “I” and “she” are the unidentified lady and “you” is the reader.)
She asks for advice for “making wise professional choices.” You will make such choices when you without interruption act as professional or better than those around you. When you do that, others will want to help you make better choices. Adults grow professionally or get left behind. Ever hear of the Peter Principle? It says that eventually everyone gets promoted one level beyond their competence, which means that bosses eventually err in your favor.
She was ‘pushed’ into jobs “when I wasn’t ready” and into “accepting jobs that I could do but afterward realize that I didn’t really want to do or wanted to do in my time frame.” So, I ask: You accept management’s compliment of matching your skills with their needs and afterward begrudge them for your unhappiness doing that work?
Are you, perhaps, just finding fault with your work or expressing guilt over your efforts and blaming them to fit your self-image or ease self-pressure? Or, expecting more recognition than you’re getting? Or, … and the list could go on. The end result is this: You’re unhappy on the job, which means that you’re not grateful for the job, which means you’re not grateful for your managers and co-workers, which means they see far less potential in you than you actually possess, which makes you examine everything deeper until your unhappiness spirals downward into depression aka lack of control over the events in your life. There is a cure. Find a gazillion things related to your job that you’re grateful for—including yourself—and remind yourself every day and when you feel disappointed.
She claims, “men are still better at understanding workplace games.” To blame men is virtual admission that you game the system but not successfully enough. Bosses don’t get paid for playing games at work. When they game the system, it’s against bosses and competitive peers but not subordinates.
She seeks “advice regarding negotiating more money.” Okay, then do a better job at work or as you prepare for being hired, and your value will appear higher and those with the money will raise what they offer. Your merit and earned success as perceived by the bidder determine where the bidding starts for your services.
The first one to mention a number loses, which means that a boss’ ante gives you the advantage. The one loses who’s most fearful of losing the other. Again, if you’re a worthwhile employee that the boss fears to lose, you gain more advantage; you have the option to refuse boss’ offer or just leave.
You will lose more than just money at the negotiating table, if you expect to be paid for your value of yourself. Figure out the employer’s opinion of your value and moderate your self-worth with it. Expect to be respected according to company standards. If not respected to your standards, leave.
The unidentified lady also claims other women wish to know how to deal with “professional male dominance and confusing manipulation tactic….” To worry about such things is to waste time and mental effort. Male dominance is such a universal force in life that most women already know how to deal with it. Most women know they have three options. (1) The least assertive women accept victimization, lose the respect of people around them, and end up even more vulnerable. (2) The most feminist inspired and spiteful women drag men into admin and legal predicaments. It contaminates all women against masculine respect and antagonizes men, which brings out their natural and often nastiest side. (3) The smartest, kindliest, and most self-respecting women outwit men with feminine talent, professional skill, and guile, which earns the respect of others and keeps the nasty side of masculinity under wraps.
As for the “confusing manipulation tactic,” while not as universal as I make it sound here, men don’t manipulate unless they learn it in childhood trying to overcome poor parenting. Females are not nearly as free of urges to manipulate or suspecting others of it.
You can earn the respect of others by doing a better-than-good job no matter how challenging or mundane. If and when your decision-making authority increases, you have succeeded and greater company respect follows. If more pay doesn’t follow, your promise of greater responsibility and authority does, which means the company sees your capability with greater potential. (Not that you’ll ever be notified of such details except by promotions and some pay raises.) If pay is your exclusive or even primary motivator, the prime interests of your employer can’t be served because you’re not trusted enough to learn those prime interests, which limits your capability to move upward.
In the end, you have two options to increase success in the job market. Do both and success will follow.
- Gaming yourself provides the greatest job satisfaction. To do it, find gratitude in everything in your life on the job. Convert every ill thought about tasks and other people into gratitude about something and smother your grateful thoughts with smiles. Your job, boss, and life are only as bad as you let them become with disparaging thoughts that prevent you being grateful for them and yourself.
- There is a professional equivalent to gaming the system, because the system looks like this. You expect money to match your capability. Your company highly values your sense of responsibility and rewards you with more authority. It’s a big difference. You game the system best when you teach the company that your best capability is the assumption of greater responsibility and that you expect that money will follow commensurately. (In big companies especially, until you reach the executive level, don’t expect to have much negotiating leverage about compensation.)
Even greater success will follow if you simultaneously expand your job skills to deal better with people, broaden your business capabilities, show greater willingness to accept responsibility, and turn whatever authority you’re delegated into success for the employer. Get your mind straightened out for the business arena, and employment success will follow.