Career Woman

You got this: They need my help

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

Question:  I work in a middle-sized business that includes an in-house graphic designer to layout our reports and other publications. And they are really good at layout and fonts, but they’re hopeless with cover images. I’m much better (and I’m not just saying that. I’ve got a degree in visual arts) and the couple of covers I’ve done are miles above what they turn out, which is usually far too close to the kind of graphic novel style they love. But it’s supposed to be their job, not mine. Soooo …. how can I take over the task without upsetting them? Adri

Adri,

I can’t speak for all women, but I can say that as for me and most of my friends, we often see a better way of doing things. There have been times this has worked in my favor and other times it was a disaster because I was more concerned about the work without thinking strategically to create a win.  The challenge is that in the workplace, we often take on roles that we are not being credited for or compensated well to do.  Your question to me involves a level of negotiation that I hope you will not miss as you move forward.

I have a lot of thoughts regarding your question:  Have you had a discussion with your supervisor about the possibility of taking over this task?  Will this increase your workload?  Is management satisfied with the current layout and have they expressed the desire for something different? Will you be compensated since you are taking over their responsibility?

The way you approach this situation will determine your future.  You must show your value by demonstrating the significance of the last covers.  Are you able to provide data to show an increase in revenue/sales because of the design?  Were there more comments than usual about the layout?  Otherwise, if they can’t see the value of what you bring, it won’t matter. If there has been silence on the matter, I wonder if management sees it as an issue.

Secondly, it is imperative that you negotiate financial compensation.  If you don’t lay the groundwork by asking for your worth, this will set the tone for future opportunities.  You are not a volunteer–you are an employee.  It is one thing to take on a project as a part of your job.  It is another to do someone else’s work all together.  If additional compensation isn’t an option, is it possible that you train your colleagues instead?  How can you create a new and enhanced opportunity for yourself at the company?  It’s all about framing, my friend!

Best wishes to you as you navigate this possibility.  I just hope that you will create a win for not just the company and your colleagues but for you as well.  Adri, You. Got. This.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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