This is a funny one, I think especially as a woman who works in a business minded commercial industry. I have been called out a fair few times for being “outspoken” or laughed at because “Talie will have something to say” Something that when the men say similar or call out something that seems unfair – there’s a camaraderie action of laughter or shoulder patting.

But this isn’t really about the whole men vs women thing, especially as sometimes it doesn’t exist. It’s more about finding your footing in work and in life where sometimes I haven’t always felt comfortable.

I have grown up always feeling a bit apologetic for speaking out, or for “making a demand” such as a pay rise, even if I know I deserve one.

Recently I’ve been in the great situation to be offered three jobs, I say great and not lucky as I’m taking a moment of confidence to say I earned the offers, I went through hours of interviews, of presentations, of call backs to get those offers.

One of the jobs I turned down there and then as myself and the interviewer clearly did not gel and he would’ve been my future boss.

One of the jobs was for a company I would absolutely love to work for (and still would!), they are right there on my passion point, and as much as people will tell you to follow your heart you also have to be aware of what your negotiables are and indeed what your non negotiables are, and we didn’t agree on one of mine.

However,  I have felt so utterly guilty and apologetic every time I’ve pushed back on any of them. ‘The salary isn’t high enough‘ ‘The annual leave isn’t enough‘ and when I last emailed one of them –  I stopped for a second after sending a thanks but no thanks email that made me feel dreadful- The stop was a question – WHY?! Why am I feeling guilty? I hadn’t asked for anything ridiculous.

And I said sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, so many times – when in fact I am NOT truly sorry, it’s a caveat to justify your questions, but, a job is a partnership, yes they pay you, but in return for a service. A service I know I’m good at.

Yet even writing that, I’m wondering do I come across as obnoxious, as cocky?

I want to do less of that, I want to be more like a lot of men I know in business, I want to OWN my shit, I want to be less apologetic, and KNOW MY WORTH