Tricia Karp Tricia Karp
30 October 2013

I know how to ask

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By Sarah Voigt

Last week I had the pleasure of joining one of Tricia’s workshops: How To Ask For What You Want.

The day was full of laughter, reflection and incredible support from the 17 other women in the room.  All of these women were absolutely radiant, and it caught me off guard that they felt they didn’t have the confidence to ask for what they wanted.  I thought I was the only one unsure of myself!

I realised that these women grew up in a different generation.  They were taught to work hard and be grateful for the opportunities they were given.

I’ve been taught the same thing but with one key difference: you have to make your own opportunities.  Some of these women, as hard-working and dedicated to their jobs as they were, didn’t feel they deserved to reach higher.

This changed with Tricia’s help. They came to realise they were worth it.  They worked hard, for lower pay rates than a lot of their co-workers, and were capable of so much more.  And they had to take ownership of this.

They had to ask.

As I’m only at the beginning of my career, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to ask.  I mean, I have so many questions, but where do I begin?  Tricia’s workshop had the remedy. We delved deep into what makes us tick.  Our hopes, successes and what makes us happy.

Being able to have these conversations confidently and calmly is a skill I’ll be grateful for throughout the rest of my career, no matter where I go or who I meet.

Here’s what I learned:

  • It’s not the answer or result of asking that really matters.  What matters most is that you ask.  If you have the courage to stand up and say ‘I want more’, regardless of the response, you’ve made progress.
  • Start early.  During the workshop I was surrounded by incredible, strong, resourceful women.  They all had a thing or two to say about starting a career.  The one thing they all had in common?  They told me to not make the same mistakes that they had, and begin asking early on.
  • Instigating difficult conversations isn’t just about you.   A conversation is just that. There’s more than one person, more than one perspective, and that person deserves respect, attention and a thoughtful reply.

If you could ask for anything, what would it be?

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