Image courtesy of Flickr.com

 

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 14 of 31- Ask Questions

Questions are more important than we give it credit. In the past I have accepted salary offerings and never once asked if there was room to go higher. My lack of confidence and inability to live with the temporary discomfort that would come as a result of asking for more money cost me thousands of dollars in earnings over the course of my career. A lack of questions is damaging as it  leads people to think we are satisfied or even happy with a set of circumstances when we aren’t questioning things. When I didn’t negotiate or ask for raises it gave my superiors a false sense of comfort that I was happy and even satisfied with my work and compensation. By the time, I went to have a serious discussion about my salary they were acted as if I ambushed them with my seemingly out-of-the-blue concerns. I have learned over the years that you get what you ask for. People who negotiate and ask for what they want-usually get it.

The real issue with asking questions isn’t necessarily the question itself, but the answer. There is a fear that the answer may not favor our initial intention of asking the question. No one wants to be seen as a fool or have a request rejected. As such, we sit in silence never knowing what could have been if we only had the courage to simply ask for what we want. When I finally learned the value of a question, things were revealed to me that I wouldn’t have known otherwise . This new knowledge helped me to drive decisions regarding my life and career. When I had enough guts to ask for what I wanted,  I was told “no” which pushed me to keep working towards my goals. However, in 50% or more of these instances, I got exactly what I asked for.

That journey to figuring out my purpose that I discussed earlier in the series has only been made possible because I have been asking lots and lots of questions of myself and others the past few years. I see questions as my foundation and the answers as the sails that are steering my ship.

 

What about you? What sorts of questions are you asking these days to evaluate your life, career, etc?

 

Czarina’s Lesson: Even if the answer is “no” there is something to be learned and/or gained from asking for what you want.

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