Feel More Confident When You Name Your Value At Work

Feel More Confident When You Name Your Value At Work

There’s a lot of great content about how to research your market value and understand your worth, but just having the data isn’t enough. You have to believe you’re worth it.

Many of us struggle with feelings of self-worth, asking ourselves, “Do I really deserve what I’m asking for?” Personally, it took me years to get comfortable naming my speaker fee without immediately discounting it.

Here are three key tools to get comfortable with naming your value:

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3 Tips to Make The Most Of Conferences (Without Feeling Awkward)

3 Tips to Make The Most Of Conferences (Without Feeling Awkward)

Going to a conference can feel a bit like the first day of high school. You’re nervous about what to wear, you expect to absorb a ton of new information, and you really hope people like you.

Whether I’m there to give a keynote or cover the event as a writer, a big part of my job is attending conferences. Fortunately, I like them.

I recently attended the National Speaker Association (NSA) Brand Lab in Phoenix, AZ and noted some of my favorite strategies to make the most of conferences and make them feel less awkward.

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Do You Suffer From The 'Need To Please Disease'?

Do You Suffer From The 'Need To Please Disease'?

A recurring theme at women’s conferences is the narrative that “women just need to be confident.”

If confidence were a switch in our brains that we could flip on, this well-intentioned advice would be transformative. Since it’s not exactly a binary system that we can activate – confident vs unconfident – it’s worth considering why women’s professional confidence might be a little shakier than our male counterparts’. (Hint: it’s not just you.)


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Why Success Is Not About Being A Superhero

Why Success Is Not About Being A Superhero

For 20 years, Jean Oelwang successfully climbed the corporate ladder and broke glass ceilings, but she says, “With each shattered ceiling, I felt more and more alone and less and less myself.”

Her life partner, Chris Waddell, is a world-champion mono-skier who set Paralympic history. As he achieved each new physical feat, though, he said there was a sense of isolation that kept him feeling separate and alone.

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2 Tools To Boost Your Resilience And Bounce Back After Failure

2 Tools To Boost Your Resilience And Bounce Back After Failure

The application I’d submitted to join a leadership development program was not accepted. Unfortunately, the rejection email had landed in my inbox a few hours before I was about to give a speech. While I wasn’t devastated, my confidence was a bit shaken. Rejection stings.

Here are two tools I’ve discovered to become more resilient and bounce back after failure. 

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People Who Have It All Together Share This Secret

People Who Have It All Together Share This Secret

Melissa Gibbs has many of the markers of professional success. She’s well-respected within her male-dominated industry (construction) and outside of it. She is regularly asked to sit on boards and commissions, and I generally consider her a powerhouse in business and civic engagement. 

At a recent conference speech to young professionals, Gibbs shared some of the more impressive aspects of her resume and said, “You may think I have it all together, that I have all the answers. I can see how it looks that way... I totally, absolutely, don’t. I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time."

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Reality Check: When You Don’t Hear Back, Maybe It’s Not About You

Reality Check: When You Don’t Hear Back, Maybe It’s Not About You

There’s a cartoon that’s often referenced in the literature on professional confidence for women. In it, a woman and a man are each putting on a pair of pants that is too small. The woman’s thought bubble says, “I must be gaining weight.” The man’s says, “There must be something wrong with these pants.”

Sound familiar? We take responsibility in situations that are out of our control to a much greater degree than men. We tend to internalize a lack of information as a negative, taking responsibility for something even though it may not have had a damn thing to do with us. It’s a classic feedback trap.

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Should You Change Your Appearance To Get Taken Seriously At Work?

Should You Change Your Appearance To Get Taken Seriously At Work?

In an effort to get taken seriously as a young female CEO, Eileen Carey dyed her blonde hair brown, switched to more androgynous clothing and ditched contacts for thick-frame glasses.

While Carey’s change in appearance was dramatic, aspects of her story echo the decisions of women across sectors and other demographics.

Research from Harvard Medical School shows that, based only on appearance, people evaluate your competence and trustworthiness in a quarter of a second. For women who face other biases surrounding their age, race, or gender presentation, this adds another level of complexity to achieving coveted “executive presence”.

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3 Ways People Judge Your Executive Presence When You're A Woman

3 Ways People Judge Your Executive Presence When You're A Woman

We know executive presence when we see it. It’s that feeling you get when a woman walks in poised and polished, with the presence of a leader. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about how she carries herself, which of course, seems effortless.

We all want it, but how do we get it? Until there is a Harry Potter-style magic potion for executive presence, there’s Jennifer Lee, a director of training and development and executive presence expert.

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How Not To Buy A Car: What I Learned From My Failed Negotiation

How Not To Buy A Car: What I Learned From My Failed Negotiation

When was the last time you negotiated?

According to researchers Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, most women say it’s been months. Some women I’ve worked with say they’ve never negotiated. One grad student told me the last time she negotiated was with her parents – to increase her allowance over a decade ago.

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Venture Capitalist Jillian Manus On 'The Pitch' And Why She Abhors 'Shark Tank'

Venture Capitalist Jillian Manus On 'The Pitch' And Why She Abhors 'Shark Tank'

Jillian Manus is something of a legend in the world of venture capitalists, and I can see why. Based on my time with her, she's exceedingly insightful, candid as hell, and downright hilarious.

Professionally, she's a managing partner at Structure Capital, a Silicon Valley early-stage venture capital firm, where she provides strategic support to founding teams, focusing on creating value in underutilized assets and excess capacity.

Photo curtesy of Gimlet Media

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Try This Mental Trick To Manage Impostor Syndrome

Try This Mental Trick To Manage Impostor Syndrome

Know that needling feeling at the back of your mind that you’re a fake, your success was good luck or an accident, and soon (maybe today!) everyone will discover your secret? Impostor syndrome is all too common among high-achieving women.

Actress Jodie Foster summed it up nicely, “When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back. They’d come to my house, knocking on the door, ‘Excuse me, we meant to give that to someone else. That was going to Meryl Streep.’“

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3 Easy-to-use Templates And Strategies For Effective Networking

3 Easy-to-use Templates And Strategies For Effective Networking

We constantly hear networking is important, but women can face negative consequences for perceived self-promotion. Plus, it can feel downright uncomfortable to make requests of your professional contacts, asking them to introduce you to others. Here are the strategies and templates I use to make e-introductions less painful and more effective for everyone involved.

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Being A Good Student Doesn't Always Lead To Professional Success, Here's Why

Being A Good Student Doesn't Always Lead To Professional Success, Here's Why

It was mid-afternoon when I got the email accepting my very first piece for publication. The email indicated they’d be paying me far more than I expected and asked me to make six fairly substantive changes to my piece…by the following morning.

I was so elated, I didn’t consider how long the edits would take or how full my afternoon already was. Instead, I responded enthusiastically, yes of course I will make all the changes right away!

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3 Strategies To Accept Positive Feedback And Own Your Successes

3 Strategies To Accept Positive Feedback And Own Your Successes

In planning a group trip to an exhibit that my friend curated, I sent her a draft email describing her as “the superstar curator who hand-selected each piece.”

Let's call this call this curator friend Cynthia. Cynthia wrote back, “Two other curators worked with me on this (and may join us!), so I can’t take full credit.” She asked that I instead reference her with the significantly less exciting descriptor, “one of the curators of this exhibition." She was understandably hesitant to get all the credit and wanted to make clear that there were other people involved with the exhibition. While accurate, the new version was far less descriptive and complimentary than what I’d suggested.

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