You don’t know what you’re passing up.

In my youth I was somewhat shy and reserved, this was often misinterpreted as “snooty or above herself.” I would always wait to be asked to do things i.e. get up to sing or dance (both of which I love….) as I didn’t want to be seen as “pushy or a show-off.” I knew I could do these things it was just I didn’t know how to behave and I was scared of perception, I was a teenager and full of insecurities. I would get frustrated when I wasn’t praised, when things didn’t work or when I was passed over. “Couldn’t they see how wonderful I was?”

My attitude and approach changed in my early twenties when I was vying for promotion. I was working in the city of London when the proverbial “penny dropped.” In large organisations in the city decisions are often made in a senior huddle and unless the huddle knows of your existence you are doomed to the ranks. I was passed over a couple of times and I was frustrated and thought life was unfair. Luckily around this time I had a ballsy female boss and I also started dealing with a senior female MD who became my mentor, both advised me to work hard, promote my successes, be approachable and become an expert in my field.

I realised from them that you don’t necessarily get recognised for doing excellent work. You have to advertise how good you are and push yourself in front of groups of people. You have to be your own campaigner and promoter in life, others can help but nobody else can do it for you. Everyone is busy and has their own agenda so why would they be promoting your cause, especially if you are not even on their radar.

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Changing my approach and attitude, reduced my frustrations and has changed my life in many ways. I realised if I wanted something I had to ask for it and also have a clear case as to why I should get it. Sometimes you may have a great case and at other times maybe not but the main thing is that you ask, you never know…. Where you think something is unfair or wrong, rather than stewing and getting emotional, discuss the matter directly. Always prepare, wait for the right time to make your play. In my professional career I followed-up on opportunities and was given more responsibility and respect and rose through the ranks as a direct result.

I have coached and mentored on how to approach the city culture, work and life in general to get what you want and what you’re worth. I tell people not to whine or stew, to come up with a plan and to take action. I always find myself saying “If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” it’s true in your career or when you’re negotiating your insurance, your broadband deal or a new car. It’s amazing by asking, that you do get and often more than you expect. You work hard and you should make the most of what you have for a more fruitful life. So if there’s one thing you do this week if you are frustrated or think something is unfair or think you can do better…. just ASK ?

Originally published at on August 18, 2016.

Originally published at