Lesson #2: Ask for More Money

Women are statistically less likely than their male counterparts to negotiate wages when offered a new job. Why? Because it’s not “nice” or “polite.” This social norm prolongs the unfair wage distribution between sexes, all because ladies think they should be grateful to have work (despite producing results equal to men’s but making up to thousands less to do so). 

I’ve done this only once – negotiated my pay after a job offer. Was it scary? Of course! But the worst that could happen would be them saying “no” and rescinding the offer. But what could be the best outcome? They say “yes” and I’d earn more. And reality would probably exist between those two poles (which is exactly what happened). 

This experience truly changed the way I thought about my work life. Instead of thinking that my employer got me for a song (one of the reasons I left my previous position), I knew I would be taken seriously, that my time and efforts would be valued. I still work in the non-profit world (woo, arts and humanities!) so I’m far from being a millionaire, but I’m slightly better off because I asked for more. 

Have you asked for more money? Did it work or backfire? If you haven’t asked for more, why not? 

Lesson #1: Wear (Red) Lipstick.

Bam. I’m throwing it out there as my very first lesson learned. Wear red lipstick.

Are you asking me why? Well. Here’s my reason.

This is my huge confession: I feel like a huge fraud half of my life. Despite having this blog and being an amateur blogger, I have a lot of days that I don’t think I dress well or interestingly enough to warrant doing this. I fumble through putting on makeup. And forget about hair: you really do not want to see me try to using a curling iron. I feel like the least naturally girly person in existence.

But for some reason, I swipe on some red lipstick and I feel like I hit the self-esteem lottery: suddenly I have my act together and I’m a bonafide lady-boss. It takes two seconds and makes me suddenly feel like I can handle my shit.

The first time I wore lipstick was my 28th birthday. I worked a job with a not-nice person who made me cry regularly, it was cold and I decided to wear the biggest, reddest hue possible because, well, it was my birthday! On your birthday, you can do whatever you want! That day, every single lady in the office commented on how much they loved it, and  (what I found more interesting) how they wished they could pull it off. I adored the attention and conversation it brought up, but also, how people thought I was confident and daring. There was some weird symbiotic magic that they thought I was brave, so I became suddenly it.

Six weeks after that fateful birthday, I dared to wear that same bold lip to my interview for my museum gig. Not that it scored me my job, but I did have several people comment after I started how memorable I was because of it. Now it’s like my trademark there — I can’t get enough! I wouldn’t say wearing red lipstick changed my life, but, well, it kind of did in a way.

So, my non-lipstick-wearing-loves, try it: find a shade — red, orange (DO IT!), purple, coral — and do it one day. See how you feel. Does it make you feel invincible? Or do you hate the attention it warrants?

T-Minus One Month: Birthday

I know, I know, dear ones, I keep disappearing. For that, I apologize. To make up for it, I’m planning on spending the next month regaling you with the top lessons I’ve learned in my “adult life” (HA!) before I turn 30. I’m endeavoring to thematically mix it up: fashion, professional, personal, etc. Some days will be quick anecdotes, others more intellectual thoughts — please feel free to drop in and read up.

Love y’all for joining me on this ride!