Are you getting what you deserve?

Get more by asking for it  

I still remember the day I got the call from the internal recruiter delivering the news. The job was mine! I was pleased as punch. It was a role I wanted at a company I was eager to work for as they had a strong reputation and I had already met the team. But when the recruiter told me the offer over the phone, I was bitterly disappointed. Why was it so low?  The story gets worse – I accepted it.

It was one of my worst salary negotiations. I literally felt cheated. And not by the company but by myself. I later learned they were surprised that I had come on board at that pay. Ugh.

All I can say is that you live, and you learn. I’m glad I made that mistake early enough in my career to recover.

Recently, on The Change Diaries podcast, I chatted with Jenny Ward, a career and transition coach who specializes in supporting women. She wasted no time in highlighting some of the struggles that women face – from not knowing their worth, to not negotiating for better compensation or failing to talk about their accomplishments.

Honestly, I believe this is the result of socialization, and long-standing systems of oppression. Both of which have done a number on us, and I am including myself here. I’ve already shared the mess I made of my early salary negotiations. Later, I also realized I simply didn’t know how to brag about my accomplishments. In fact, I would downplay them.

I recall handling a big change communications project several years ago. Now, if you’ve done this, you know there are several moving parts and a lot to get right with your company’s most senior leaders. Weeks of adrenalin culminated in carefully crafted messaging, along with team calls, and then an all-hands session. My GM was happy and when everyone had left, he gathered up his papers to leave, but not before turning to tell me:

“Arlene, you did a great job. Everything went really well. Thank you.”

Before the last words left his lips, I cut him off.

“No, no it was nothing.”

He literally blew a mini gasket and flung his hands up in frustration.

“Why can’t you just accept a compliment?”

Was that my reputation? Someone who wouldn’t accept a compliment.

It was an aha-moment for me. I felt a little bit sick because he was right. I was always judging myself so harshly that if someone complimented me, I was sure they were wrong. I couldn’t accept the praise because sooner or later they would find me out for the imposter that I was.

I discovered it was a skill I had to develop – learning to accept praise. From then on, I found myself practicing some variation of these words: “I worked hard on that. Thank you for noticing. I appreciate the recognition.”

In Jenny’s experience, I am not unique in this struggle. To support women who tend to shy away from bragging, she recommends having a ‘things I got done list’ every day to remind yourself of your accomplishments. It is critical to know your worth and practice talking about awesome you are.

Coincidentally, I recently came across an article entitled “Savvy Self-promotion”. If this is your challenge, after you listen to Jenny’s episode on The Change Diaries, you might also wish to give it a read. Take it seriously because this is a change worth making in your professional life.

On the matter of getting paid more, Jenny noted that women find it difficult to negotiate a pay increase while men go in with the attitude of ‘give it to me’. Women, she finds, are schooled to be humble while men are comfortable outright asking for it.

An interesting thing happened the week that I taped that show with Jenny. We were having dinner one evening and I made the kids an offer. If they helped me with some work, I’d pay them $50 bucks each. My son, who is twelve, did not miss a beat. He immediately said, “Pay me $70.” I noticed that his sister who is three years older didn’t ask for more.

Credit: Aris Amitirigala, created using Pixar

I waited a day or two before bringing it up with her. Are there any reasons why you think you should earn more than your brother? She pointed out her age, experience, speed, and ability to focus. All great answers yet it hadn’t occurred to her to demand greater compensation.

It was a live example of someone being better qualified yet hesitant to request more. At the end of our conversation, I asked her to repeat this to herself daily for the following week:

I deserve more.

I am convinced that those three words are part of the reason why some people land amazing compensation packages every single time. Yes, they are well-qualified, and certainly they have a great track record but, above all else, they know their worth and they believe they deserve more. This is what makes them ask for it and get it too.

To make this happen for you, I suggest honing your negotiation skills. If you aren’t accustomed to doing this, it takes practice. Perhaps even some rehearsal. Gather your accomplishments, do your research, and then role play with a friend.

Lastly, I highly recommend that you listen to Jenny and all the wonderful coaches featured during my first season of The Change Diaries. They offer great advice for both men and women.

Thank you for stopping by! Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Listen to my new podcast now available on Apple: The Change Diaries Podcast or you can also listen on Spotify.

And don’t forget to follow and share my blog. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.   

Lisa Soares Lewis – Be aware of your energy and manage it

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Lisa Soares Lewis, Certified Professional Coach, Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and designated Senior HR Professional. Lisa believes that all roads lead to leadership and that leaders are the first who need to change.

Lisa’s deep experience in coaching leaders comes to the fore as she discusses the triad of skills that underpin success in an unprecedented era of change. Listen to find out what they are and then get out of your own way and move forward.

Listen to the Change Diaries with Lisa Soares Lewis

Guest Bio

Lisa Soares Lewis is the Founder & CEO of Great People Solutions (G.P.S.) Ltd.

Based in Kingston, Jamaica, Lisa is a Certified Professional Coach, a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and a designated Senior HR Professional by the HR Certification Institute Society. Lisa has held several Executive and HR leadership positions at large companies including Diageo Red Stripe and Scotiabank and has led Executive workshops in C-suite roles.

She works seamlessly in the public, private and NGO sectors and is highly respected in the business community in Jamaica where she currently sits on several boards including JAMPRO (Jamaica’s investment & promotions agency), WISYNCO (Fast moving consumer goods), Sagicor Investments, UWI Mona School of Business & Management, the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Stock Exchange e-Campus. Lisa is also a member of the International Women’s Forum and previous Director of SERHA (Public Regional Health Authority) and Sagicor Bank.

In February 2020, Lisa was awarded in the “101 Most Fabulous GLOBAL Coaching Leaders” Category – World at the HRD Congress in Mumbai, India.

Lisa has an MBA with Distinction in Finance and Marketing from UWI and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering.

Her company, Great People Solutions (GPS), offers the full suite of HR Consulting, Advisory and Leadership Coaching Services.

Find Lisa at:

Website: greatpeoplesolutions.com

LinkedIn: Lisa Soares Lewis

Never miss an episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

April Miranda – With Energy and Intention You Can Heal

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with April Miranda, Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Reiki Master and Yoga Teacher. April uses the ancient wisdom of the Chakra system to help people discover the life they are worthy of living, and sparks a self-awakening process through asking, ‘How is your foundation?’.

April’s calming, holistic coaching style anchors this conversation, giving us greater hope in the possibility of changing our lives for the better. At the end, there is the gift of a complimentary guided meditation. Tune in and enjoy this conversation.

Guest Bio

April Miranda is a Toronto-based executive life coach, NLP practitioner, Reiki Master, and yoga teacher. She has been teaching movement for more than 17 years. April uses different healing modalities to support her clients’ healing from the inside out. Her kinesiology degree, performing arts background, along with other healing modalities, allow her to help her clients feel lighter physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically.

April was voted in the Top 50 Fitness Expert Entrepreneurs in the Greater Toronto Area with Sweat Equity Magazine. She is currently writing her first book: “MOVE with LOVE – Your Simple Guide to Revolutionize Your Life With Energy and Intention.”

April has also been featured in HOLR magazine and been interviewed on different podcasts such as The High Vibe Show and Sweat & Tonic. She lives downtown Toronto with her husband Chris, their daughter Bella Luna, and their puppy, House.

If you would like to find out more about April Miranda – get tips, Reiki training, and inspiration:

Find April at:

Instagram: @AprilMiranda

Website: AprilMiranda.com – get your free meditation here!

Move with Love – Join Move With Love Mastermind

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Abbi Buszard – Making space for people to think for themselves

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change, or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Abbi Buszard, Life Coach and former Commercial Director. She believes that the solutions to your biggest challenges are never quite as good unless they are yours and that change means growth.

Abbi brings her insightful style to this conversation, sharing advice on how to find the right coach for you, affordable options, and examples of successful transformation. It’s a practical conversation with great advice.

Guest Bio

Abbi Buszard is the founder of Grow Your Own Organic Learning. She is a qualified coach and former Commercial Director with a love of creative problem solving. She is also known as ‘mum, stepmum and wife/reluctant cycling buddy’. 

With extensive experience in all aspects of helping people to grow and develop, by challenging, supporting, managing, leading and mentoring, Abbi works with large organisations and ambitious individuals alike. With a postgraduate certificate in coaching from Henley Business School, Abbi believes making space for growth is both the hardest and most important thing for everyone to do to succeed. 

Before starting Grow Your Own, she spent fifteen years at Cadbury, Kraft and Diageo, working across sales, customer marketing and transformation and change. These days, Abbi works with a network of partners across a variety of specialisms, who enable Grow Your Own to deliver programmes to any scale, from large corporates to boutique brands. Grow Your Own has a social enterprise heart- every commercial programme is matched with pro-bono work for a charity partner.

Abbi considers her nosiness a superpower that can be used on self or others. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram and you can join in the reflection by following her daily questions and learning to change your world by building a growth habit in just 2 minutes a day!

Find her at:

LinkedIn: Abbi Buszard

Instagram: @AbbiBuszard

Website: www.growyourownlearning.com

Never miss an episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.    

The Change Diaries Podcast is Here!

I’m excited to launch The Change Diaries Podcast: Conversations to change your mind. Each season, different guests will explore themes related to embracing change, sparking change or simply being the change we want to see. My hope is that you will fill your backpack with knowledge and gain inspiration to try something new. 

It’s been a long time coming. I’ve wanted to start a podcast for many years but there was always a reason to put it off. Like for instance today. I didn’t think it was perfect and I started second guessing myself.

And then I read a quote that Greg Monaco of letsgomonaco.com shared this morning. It was from film director, George Lucas: Anybody that makes films knows the film is never finished. It’s abandoned or it’s ripped out of your hands, and it’s thrown into the marketplace, never finished. It’s a very rare experience where you find a filmmaker who says, “That’s exactly what I wanted. I got everything I needed. I made it just perfect. I’m going to put it out there.”

So here it is!

Check out this launch episode where I introduce you to The Change Diaries and share a short story of how I am navigating change and absorbing the lessons.

The first season is about How to spark a change in your life – do you need a life coach? I’m thrilled to have lined up some great guests from various corners of the globe for each episode. These life coaches will share stories about their own lives, and how they guide people in defining their goals and getting past what’s blocking them. You don’t want miss these thought-provoking conversations.

The first episode drops next week. Stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by and listening in. Please share your comments below, like, and hit ‘subscribe’. I update content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.