The “N” Word: Growing Up

​The “N” word is a huge lesson I learned ​coming out of my last work situation/clinical fellowship. I was straight out of grad school, and very eager to begin working. I was living off the last of my student loan money, and had enough rent money to last through July.
Luckily, I had a mentor open her home to me in over-priced thriving D.C. while I secured my Clinical Fellowship position. Still, I was more than impatient through the job hunt process. I can’t even call it a process. It was a one and done. I interviewed with one place and did not want to bother with other interviews, not even for compare/contrast purposes. Dumb. Inexperienced, I know. I was in a desperate situation, however, I now realize I put that pressure on myself.

Negotiation was somewhere in my thoughts, but it wasn’t a pressing matter. Paycheck made the #1 slot. Paycheck satisfied the short term/immediate gratification goal, but I definitely regretted taking that job after knowing that position and all its taxing glory.

..about 7% of women attempted to negotiate, while 57% of men did.
                                                                                              –Forbes Magazine
The quote is taken from an article written for Forbes magazine (via the Daily Muse), highlighting the work of author Linda Babcock who studied gender differences in salary and negotiation habits. 7% vs. 57%…ain’t that about a….? Read that article here. Negotiation is a scary word. It’s even scary to type it with its endless vowels. Not only to me, but to many women according to studies. I’m sure there’s historical reasons for this (*clears throat* institutional sexism) I’m sure there’s a psychological basis for it. I’m just trying to very purposely go against those factors that be.
“The other problem is that women have systematically lower expectations.”
                                                                                            –Forbes Magazine
Me, asking for what I think I’m worth? Me, advocating for myself? Little ol’ me with limited work experience? YES. Ask away, honey.
Even if you don’t get exactly what you asked for, did they budge a bit? Yes? No?
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
You get a “No.” Then you get to decide if that’s a place you’d want to work. If not, it’s as simple as “Thanks for your time.”
Gearing up for this conversation gives me anxiety. Prepping for this conversation involves a script (because really, the art is in the persuasion and I’m perfect for fumbling over words), some guts and some assurance in my voice. I want to remind myself that I’m not trying to get over on anyone, I BE WORTH what I am asking for. A perpetual state. But, sometimes it’s hard to speak up, and be effective in doing so.
We womens needs practice!
The mentality shift I want in my life is: I’m not taking the first offer. Call me greedy. Call me ungrateful. You’d be lying. I worked very hard to get to where I am. No matter if you’re a Clinical fellow, 20 years in the field, or on the brink of retirement. Not everyone that has tried, has succeeded at speech language pathology. So why wouldn’t I look out for me? Companies look out for themselves. Bottom line. No one questions that, that’s “duh.”
So if I’m making money for your company– damn right, I’m looking out for me FIRST.
Empowered,
She
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8 thoughts on “The “N” Word: Growing Up

  1. Loved this post. Actually, really liking the honesty permeating a lot of your post. Gonna look for my CFY soon – will keep this in mind!

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