Women – we’re taught to apologise before we’re taught to exist. How many times have you said “I’m sorry” in a meeting when you were just putting your point across? How many times have you felt guilty for demanding something completely reasonable? We’re so deeply conditioned to feel bad for taking space that it feels rude to want to do completely normal things at work.
So, we’re here to remind you that it’s completely ok to do these things at work without apologising. If you’re wondering if your expectations are normal, continue reading.
10 Work-Related Things You Don’t Need To Apologise For
1. Having Differing Opinions
It’s acceptable to have opinions that don’t match the general consensus. It’s important to have different perspectives on a table and to disagree during a meeting or discussion.
To get your point across, make sure you have logical backing and proof, if necessary.
2. Asking Questions
Women are often seen as nags who tend not to ‘let the little things go’.
The only way to get rid of this assumption is to own it completely – there’s no shame in asking questions, especially if you don’t understand something. You’re just as important a part of the meeting as anyone else; if you’re unsure or confused about something, don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarity.
3. Something Completely Out Of Your Control
You’ve readied a pitch for a third party, made a presentation, set up a time with concerned teams, and reminded everyone to be there – only to see an email where the third party has cancelled the meeting at the last minute. None of this is your fault!
If you’ve done your job right and reached out wherever needed, you don’t need to apologise if things don’t go how they were supposed to.
Some things are beyond your control, which is normal.
4. Taking A Vacation
You have paid leaves for a reason – use them!
We’re so used to feeling guilty for taking a break that we often do it at the cost of our own well-being.
If you’ve completed a project and need a breather, take that holiday. And make sure not to do any work during that time. Don’t let anyone guilt you into feeling that you’re taking ‘too many’ leaves.
5. Not Being Passionate About Your Job
You don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t put #ilovemyjob on every Instagram post. Having a ‘job you love’ is highly overrated, and it can cause a ton of dissatisfaction if you’re still wondering what your ‘true purpose’ is.
As long as you enjoy the work you do, have a good boss and work culture, and are paid what you deserve, it’s ok to not be head-over-heels in love with your work.
(Continue reading below)
6. Prioritising Your Mental Health
Not all workplaces or bosses are created equal. You might have a toxic boss or a hectic job, or you simply need a day or two to let your mind rest. If your workplace doesn’t value your concerns or you’re simply not doing ok because your mental health is affected, it’s ok to take the necessary steps to prioritise it.
Organisations need to open up a conversation around mental health – don’t apologise for it!
7. Setting Boundaries
Many workplaces expect an employee to work after hours to show ‘dedication’. But with increasing stress and lack of a work-life balance, it’s important to draw those lines yourself. Don’t apologise for switching off your work phone after 7 pm.
Don’t apologise for refusing a project because you have a lot on your plate, or for asking your boss to adjust your schedule so you can work on it. How you value your time sets the tone for how others do it.
8. Asking For A Raise
If you truly believe you’re not getting paid enough for the kind of work you’re putting in, go ahead and speak to your boss about it! Don’t apologise for knowing your worth.
Do the research, make a detailed list of the tasks you’ve been doing, and make a case about why you deserve a raise. You deserve to get paid for your labour!
9. Being Upfront About An Unfair Work Situation
Don’t hesitate to speak up if your colleague is being interrupted during a meeting. If you’re facing harassment, bring it up with the concerned authorities.
There’s a fear instilled in us as women to not speak up because of the grave consequences we might face, but that must not deter us from confronting an uncomfortable situation.
10. Your Resume
You may not have the most impressive resume with big brands and big names under your belt, or you may be lacking in a skill or two. You may have taken a break – voluntarily or not – and it may reflect in your resume. But that doesn’t say anything about your calibre! A good boss will know how to gauge your skills and match it with the job requirements.
As long as you’re enthusiastic, willing to learn, and take charge, you don’t have to apologise for your resume.
We’re often discouraged to be ourselves in the workplace. But there are some things we must not feel apologetic about – this is where we start! What are you most unapologetic about in the workplace? Tell us in the comments below!
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