“ The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude. ”
— Arnold Glasow
They Like Me, They Really Like Me
Some of the best career advice I ever received came from a magazine. In an archived issue of Cosmopolitan, Mika Brzezinski, Cosmo columnist and co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, suggested that women concerned about being liked at work, “should not give a damn if they like you”. Work as Brzezinski adds, “is not a popularity contest. It is however a respect contest”. It wasn’t until I was sitting in a performance review that I started to understand what she meant by her advice. People can like you for the person that you are and the work that you do but that doesn’t always translate into promotions, benefits, or raises. Sitting there in that office, I was fighting an internal battle and my career was losing BIG TIME! My fear of not being liked was keeping me from confidently asking pertinent questions regarding career progression and compensation. Would they still like me if I challenged the status quo? To this day, I still get embarrassed knowing I was so worried about being liked at such an important career crossroad. I decided to write this, because I know I am not alone and that is evident in my research of women, business, and money. I hope someone can learn from my experience.
Of course I want to be liked , everyone does, but not at the expense of losing sight of my financial and career goals. If you are a good person and you do exceptional work, then you shouldn’t have to worry about not being liked. Oprah once told me (dreaming BIG…let me try that sentence again). I attended the commencement ceremony of my alma mater, Spelman College, where Oprah was the speaker. She told the women to, “let excellence be your brand”. Others will respect you for being focus driven and being the best you can be, and hey, what’s not to like about that?
What’s More Important in the Workplace?
Being Liked or Respected?
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