The Accountability of Advocating for Yourself

The immediate future looks bleak. 

We hear about it in the news, we feel it in our bones. As has happened many times before (depending on your generation), coming change and current stress offers an important reminder to think about how we are advocating for ourselves. 

I recognize it’s not something we typically think about. We see change happening, we get frustrated, we look externally at what others have or have not done, we blame and move on. And while many know that even more change is coming, few are taking steps to ensure that they can minimize the negative impact on their personal situation.

Everything is “done for us.” Technology makes everything easy; I often speak to clients or groups who speak of deferring to others, i.e. waiting for someone else to do things for us. 

The problem with this approach is multi-faceted - we can’t expect others to subscribe to our individual timelines and needs. Just because we find something important for us, others would see a different perspective more important to themselves. I think of people trying to buy houses today, frustrated that so many people have “bought the Airbnbs and jacked up the housing prices while lowering inventory.” 

It’s a problem vs. circumstance challenge: problems we can solve, circumstances we must respond to. And 99% of our “problems” are actually just circumstances. 

While there is a collective general sentiment and group need to accommodate a bigger picture, we still have an accountability to ourselves to ensure that we are doing what’s best for ourselves … and putting our best out there to get it. This requires us to be educated, be curious, do the work to establish what we believe, understand that beliefs don’t mean truths … and so much more. 

Advocating for yourself isn’t just screaming about what you want. It’s about asking good questions and making sure your questions are answered in a way that you can understand. We may not like the answers … but such is life. 

It’s also about being accountable to the fact that while the world may change beyond our control, it is still our responsibility to ensure that we are secure in our needs and continue to set ourselves up for success.

Yes, change is on the horizon. And while the workplace and world will continually evolve, so will our need to prepare and adapt. Finding your voice is an important first step. 

Related: Patience Pays off for Converting Prospects