Figuring out how to stand up for yourself at work might provoke anxiety in even the bravest of workers, but ensuring that you feel valued in the workplace is absolutely essential. Whether you’re only a few days, a few months, or even a few years into a role, you might find yourself confronting the office bully, your deskmate, or even your boss.
Standing Up For Yourself at Work
So, what are some of those appropriate moments that you should be standing up for yourself in the workplace? There are many instances where this could be happening, but some handy examples are:
- When you’re being assigned work by people who you don’t report to
- When your boss or coworkers are being emotionally abusive towards you
- When you feel like your ideas aren’t being heard or respected
- When you’re receiving more work than you can possibly complete
- When others are taking credit for the work that you have produced
These are all great reasons to stand up for yourself and to showcase the belief that you have in yourself and your abilities. After all, we can feel challenged, stressed, and maybe even tired at work, but nobody deserves to feel less than others.
So, how to stand up for yourself without making a scene? Here are some of the things you should keep in mind…
Chances are you’ve already rehearsed this confrontation in your head a million times, so why not put pen to paper and actually sketch out what you’re going to say and how you’re going to handle it? Standing up for yourself at work can often spiral if you let your emotions get in the way, so back your claims up with criticisms (without sounding petty), evidence of your work (or a coworker’s lack thereof), and statements that accurately reflect how you feel (and not just how you feel in heated moments). If you have something to say, back it up!
Keep Your Wits About You
It’s like the old saying goes: the first person to swear in an argument is the one who loses it. If you feel like you’re being pushed around at work, and you want to do something about it, you can’t let it happen in a fit of rage or by bursting into tears. While you might feel this deep inside, it is only going to work to discredit you. Instead, stay strong and think things through. Take a moment before you speak, and remain calm and collected the whole time.
Just Say No
Honestly, one of the best pieces of advice that you can get is learning the importance of being able to say no. Sure, we want to be able to say yes and to agree to everything that is asked of us, but sometimes that just isn’t practical. The ultimate trick is being able to say no, without saying the letters N-O. This means that if you’re receiving a whole bunch of work that you can’t possibly finish on time, there is no problem with saying “we need to establish a timeline for when I can get this done,” or “I have the following tasks to accomplish before I can get to this.” This way, you’re not just saying no outright, but you’re establishing expectations about when you can do your job and actually accomplish something.
Talk About It
If you’re getting railroaded by a boss, or if a colleague is taking credit for your work, sometimes the best thing you can do is talk about it. Bring it up with that person, your supervisor, or with someone else in the organization who can help. If you make it something worth talking about, you’re far more likely to have it solved. Most importantly, when you bring these things up at work you’re less likely to take them home with you – because a toxic work environment should never lead to a toxic home environment. If you feel like you need to stand up for yourself at work, it typically boils down to miscommunication. Start a conversation, and you’ll likely be a step closer to a resolution.
How to Stand Up For Yourself Today
Never forget that the value you bring to an organization is crucial and that employers don’t hire you in order to make you miserable. If you feel like you need to take a stand at work, do it. Just make sure that you do it in a way that is productive, that is evidential, that takes into account both yourself and the person you’re dealing with. Take all these into account, and you’ll be standing up for yourself in no time.