“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 
― Sheryl Sandberg

Asking For a Friend | Chapter Seven

Asking For a Friend | Chapter Seven

Advice from Babe to Babe

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1. Always ask. 2. Make sure you have the business case to back it up. As the teaching assistant for the graduate negotiations class during my MBA, I learned that people leave more than $1 million on the table over the course of their lifetime, by simply not asking for it. If you get a no, you’re no worse off, and you will never get what you don’t ask for. As for the ideal time frame and amount limit, that will 100 percent depend on your role, company and industry. Do some research into what average salary ranges are for your position by using tools like Glassdoor and Comparably. Talk with someone at the career center at your alma mater (or search their website) for the salary averages of recent grads. Look into what contributions you’ve made to impact the business. Cross-reference the skills you bring to the table and what the market demands for the future. Then, compile everything to tell a compelling story that leaves your company saying: “OMG! We needed to give her a raise, yesterday!” Think about things from their perspective and make it easy for them to give you what you’re asking for, but never be afraid to ask for it!


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If it’s a new gig, it’s easier to set up those boundaries right off the bat as you review the job description together. That’s a great opportunity to ask about working outside hours, etc.

If this is a ongoing runaway behavior, I think it’s best to set up a meeting and discuss how important keeping personal time personal is, and you feel that your time has been encroached on by (list actions/behaviors). From there, you should make it clear that any and all communication should happen via email, and you will respond to all emails during work hours. Phone calls and texts should happen in emergency situations only, and even that doesn’t mean you’re on-call or that an immediate response can be expected. In addition to setting up these boundaries, any hours you work outside of normal work hours should be counted as comp time, and should be able to be exchanged for personal time.

I’m big on setting up boundaries with my clients, and I give my employees the same courtesy. I use Boomerang for Gmail, so I can put my inbox on pause outside of office hours with a nice little note that says: “Thanks for your message. I’ll respond during office hours.” Now, I’m patiently waiting for that same tech for text messages (c’mon, Apple!).


If you’re working in a corporate environment as an hourly employee, make absolutely sure you mark the time spent responding to your boss on your time card, with detail. If it means overtime, then claim it. Don’t let the occasional favor or quick text become habit. Set an expectation and allow HR (and the law) to back you up, if needed. If your boss absolutely needs you to be available more than your scheduled hours, then she also needs to be able to compensate you accordingly.


This is always tricky if you've been with a company a while, but are starting to notice "the creep." I'd recommend first focusing on when you do go above and beyond outside of work, and what works best for you. Start by highlighting instances where your work on the weekend or late at night did move the needle, as opposed to working on arbitrary deadlines. Then, pivot to what works best for you. For example, my teams know I work best—and definitely write best—early in the morning, so I tend to tell folks I'll have things to them before they get to the office the next day, rather than EOD. That gives me time to review first thing in the morning and make sure my deliverables are as strong as they could be.


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I had to start over. I took an international trip and didn’t think about my business for a good seven days. Upon my return, I revised my vision, my mission, my brand and, this time around, took much more time and energy to develop exactly what I wanted for my future and the future of my business. I took my time finding talent, leveraging the people around me, utilizing my strengths and depending on others where I was weak. Attitude was everything, and it was at my lowest professional point that I was able to develop the most incredible business model and brand with a vision and mission I’m so proud to stand behind. Sometimes those lowest points push you to create something you didn’t even know was in you.



Until Next Week,



Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!

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