October 29, 2010
October 26, 2010
October 20, 2010
Because let's face it: the time of sitting back demurely and expecting others to acknowledge us is over. If we don't request or, if need be, demand that our needs are met, that our talents are recognized, that our contributes are justly and equitably compensated, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
All this time, I kept my identity a secret. First, I didn't want the people I was asking to find out I was blogging, lest it change their attitudes. Perhaps they'd be more (or less) inclined to say yes, if they knew publicity was just around the corner. For the results of the year-long asking experiment to be somewhat reliable, I had to come across as a girl-on-the-street, asking like any of you might: Blog-free. Not keeping stats. Just asking. Second, I was worried that if my name got out there as The Daily Asker, if it got linked to this blog, it might hamper eventual negotiations. "She is The Daily Asker!?" a potential employer might think (I thought). "Well then we have to lowball, since she's obviously going to negotiate."
I bike to work as often as I can.
My dissertation was about something that had nothing to do with asking: the representation of balconies in painting and literature, from 1150 to 1912. My degree is from Harvard, so when I was writing about "back east" and Boston, I really meant Cambridge, Mass.
By the way, reporters also ask a lot of questions, but that's quite different from asking on behalf of yourself. When I'm doing an article, it's easy to ask hard questions because the public's benefit is on the line. What I needed to learn was if I could ask on behalf of little old me. Eventually, I discovered that I'm worth it, too. Every single one of us is.
As for this blog: It's not going anywhere!! I'm going to keep on asking, negotiating, and developing this space. I have a few regular features in mind, a resources section, recommended books. Basically, I'd like to keep this site as a destination for anyone interested in learning how to be a better asker. At the same time, I'm going to reach out to readers in other outlets -- Forbes, where I started blogging, and whatever other opportunities emerge.
Every time one of you left a comment or sent me an email, the knowledge that my adventure was impacting someone else totally made my day. Every time I read or heard about a woman negotiating for a raise or better starting salary, I smiled -- and then asked her how she did it so I could pass that on to you. And whenever I learned that The Daily Asker was helping someone shed a fear, identify a goal and get it, learn from my mishaps and successes, it made me itch to write the next post. That's what has kept me writing: knowing people out there find my exercises useful.
I thank you, gentle reader, for the offering me privilege of writing to you.
How being "out" affects my asking and blogging remains to be seen... but if I liked certainty, I never would have started this asking experiment in the first place. :)
October 19, 2010
Learning The Art Of 'Barguing'
Halfway between Naples and the island of Ischia, on a ferry speeding toward the mainland over the choppy Mediterranean, I was in the bathroom looping my thin black bra through my engagement ring. I figured the crevice closest to my heart was the safest place to hide it. If anyone reached for that region he'd have bigger problems to deal with than an attempted robbery. I'd heard too many stories about robberies in that city and had experienced my own share of bad luck on previous trips. I removed my earrings and watch too.
I was heading to a street market in Naples, willing to face those perils to gain access to some of the finest counterfeits in the world: Gucci, Fendi and Louis Vuitton bags, belts and wallets, possibly siphoned off from the local factories and sold at rock-bottom prices to she who knows how to negotiate. Retail started at $80 a purse, and these were vere finte, or "true fakes."