Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Being a young entrepreneur is even harder. In fact, being in any workplace as a young person can be extremely challenging when working alongside professionals older than you.
A simple lack of experience can contribute to miscommunications, highlighted generational differences and barriers between collaborative projects. As a young female business owner, there are several things I realised over time that were holding me back in the workplace.
I strongly believe these lessons learned apply to any gender and also to any workplace type of careerist.
1. I spoke too fast.
I felt the need to word vomit all of my great ideas as quickly as possible. I realised I did this because I was afraid people would lose interest and turn away from me, not hearing the full scope of my thoughts.
Keep in mind that actions begin with thoughts and how you want to be treated and respected begins with how you treat and respect yourself. Crazy idea right? Slow down, speak easy and accentuate what it is that you want to say. If people aren’t giving you the time of day, maybe your thoughts aren’t organised in the best way possible.
It’s also possible that those around you feel threatened by your great ideas, and yes, this happens, especially in environments that may be competitive in nature. Pull them aside separately and let them know how you’re feeling, reiterating that your interest is in the success of the company.
Jessica Rowe, and the advice she would like to share with others. (Post continues after video.)
2. I didn’t stand up for myself.
I was finding myself in situations where clients were overstepping the scope of our agreed work and assigning me tasks that I was not being properly compensated for. With fear of losing them as a client and sounding lazy, I accepted. I quickly found myself overwhelmed and overworked.
Clients, fellow employees and even upper management can abuse the relationship they have with you. Every single relationship in your professional life should be tended to with respect and reverence. If you find yourself in situations where your work isn’t being valued, your time is being taken advantage of (not to be confused with putting in extra time and effort to get ahead, this is a great thing) and you are not being treated with the overall level of respect you feel you deserve, it’s time to do something about it.
Not speaking up in a professional way leaves you feeling resentful and unhappy and opens the door for your abuser to continue with no boundaries in sight.