Move Up In Your Career: Part 2


The fear of not speaking up to ask for what you want.

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the fear of saying ‘no’ because we are afraid of disappointing others. So, we say ‘yes’ out of obligation and may feel resentment. We think we have no choice and feel powerless. This next topic is a close cousin to the fear of saying ‘no’ because here we are not saying ‘YES!’ to our true self.

Generally at the root of not speaking up to ask for what you want is the fear of what others will think of you. See if one or more of the following are ways fear holds you back.

  • You assume others will see you as needy, demanding, weak, imposing, dependent or selfish. In an attempt to avoid being judged or to control your image, you stuff your feelings and suppress your desire.
  • Perhaps you’re not clear on what you need or haven’t given yourself permission to be honest about what you truly want.
  • Sadly, some of us think we don’t deserve what we want or fear we won’t get it anyway. Notice what you assume as you ‘pre-answer’ your request. You might be surprised how grateful others are to show you they care about you.
  • You worry you won’t use the ‘right’ words to control the outcome.

We certainly do heap on a lot of limiting beliefs!

Consider the following situations where speaking up can payoff for you and others. Holding back can result in missed opportunities.

As a job seeker, you know that today’s market is flooded with candidates. It is critical you ask your network of friends, colleagues, former co-workers and even total strangers on LinkedIn for introductions inside the organizations, industries or functions in which you want to work. Job seekers are often embarrassed to be unemployed. Ask others to help you help others!

For business owners who seek referrals and new customers, be confident in the value of your product or service and courageously invite prospects to speak with you to explore possibilities. They will thank you!

Many women approach career advancement by working hard and waiting to get noticed and promoted. Be proactive and share your long-term career interests with your boss. Ask how you can grow into that new role and acquire the necessary skills.

In our personal lives, we might break down and ask for help when it is something we cannot do on our own. Imagine if you asked for assistance on something you can do but where help would reduce overwhelm or give you extra time to take care of you!

Continue reading on the next page…


Pages — 1 2


About Gail Sussman Miller

Gail Sussman Miller, chief obstacle buster at Inspired Choice, is an expert at inspiring executives to take courageous action and be more effective in job search and career advancement by using a mission-driven emotionally intelligent approach. She also facilitates monthly networking meetings for Chicago executives in career transition for ExecuNet. Ms. Sussman Miller especially loves coaching women to more powerfully lead their careers and the world. She offers TCW readers her free eBook, 10 Secrets of Emotional Intelligence, to help you move through fear and boost career success at