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How to stand up for yourself without losing your job?

As an HR professional, we hear and see it all. We facilitate the entire employee life cycle, connect employees with the culture, improve employee engagement, and more. Now, what happens when you are overworked and stressed? There comes a point where you must stand up for yourself at work, enough is enough.


However, it is much easier said than done. How on earth do you tell your manager no?


1. Be confident and transparent - In order to get the message across fully, it must be delivered in a direct manner with full transparency. Do not leave any room for extra fluff or filler words - straight to the point. This must be done in a confident tone but not making sure to override your manager’s authority. Be open to a solution to the problem for the both of you.


2. Be observational and specific - When discussing the situation, focus on what you have seen/experienced. Do not fall into the trap of accusing and generalizing the situation. Odds are, you will be asked specific questions as a follow up anyways, have your facts prepared from the beginning. Additionally, come to the meeting with some ideas of some concrete solutions. Be willing to discuss these further and negotiate.


3. Stand firm with your message - This happens after you address the concern, be sure to stick to your guns. If you know something is not right, do not give in. If improvements are not being made, do not give up. Your battles are worth fighting for.


If you are living through full honesty and integrity and you decide to bring this to a superior - you are doing the absolute right thing. Do not let the fear of losing your job get in the way of your ethical responsibility. Ultimately, there is a productive and professional way to approach a concern - be transparent and confident, be observational and specific, and stand firm with your message. If you are not being taken seriously, do not give up. While fighting this battle, you are not only helping to bring light to deep rooted issues but you are also growing into your fullest potential in the workplace.