Get What You Want!
We go through life negotiating multiple times a day. However, very few of us have been taught the necessary skills to successfully manage every moment. Instead, we spend our waking life focusing on multiple things that might not help us reach our desired goals and experience restless nights still trying to solve issues from the day.
In The Art of Getting Everything , author Elizabeth Suárez equips the reader with the necessary tools to identify, endure, and achieve success in one's personal and professional life. She guides the reader through real-life examples and highlights specific issues common to professional millennials and then constructs a path for achieving the easy wins.
|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Elizabeth Suárez is an accomplished practitioner, management consultant and expert in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Leadership. She is highly regarded as an author, speaker, facilitator, coach, strategist, trainer and mediator. As a bicultural and bilingual strategist, Elizabeth is an expert in providing an amicable environment where difficult issues can be successfully addressed and resolved. Currently, she works with clients in the fields of Higher Education, Government and Business.
Elizabeth holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, and she completed the Executive Management Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is a graduate of the prestigious National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) program, as well as the Center for Creative Leadership and Leadership Denver. She received her mediation training from the Colorado Council of Mediators and the Colorado Bar Association. In addition, Elizabeth is a certified MBTI practitioner, and she has spent many years mentoring Latina professionals and serving on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations. She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter.
Read an Excerpt
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
I am amazed at how few of us take the time to figure out our path in life. I must admit, however, that I did not figure out my own path until I had spent more than a decade working for several companies in corporate America. To be able to negotiate your net worth — which refers to an individual's full package (career, family, and interests) — you need to know what you want because without knowing the goal there is no place for negotiation. Although I had a great education, as time went by, I found myself just struggling to figure out what direction my career should be taking, and how it could complement my life. After all, I was just focusing on having a job with good compensation and benefits. I never thought about other things in my life such as my own interests and how they should interact with my professional track. Due to this, I was not able to talk to my bosses about my short- and long-term interests and how they could possibly connect with my career trajectory.
My first job out of college was magnificent. I worked for a Fortune 100 company as an engineer providing my expertise to multiple manufacturing plants across the country. I was given managerial and budgetary responsibilities. It was a fascinating experience, and it was that job which prompted me to apply to business school and expand my horizons beyond engineering. Unfortunately, I was still lost during business school and forged ahead without direction like several others in my class. My goal, as well as that of my classmates, was to secure a high paying position. I came from a generation where the value of money and independence was very high. Therefore, I placed a strong focus on my career and education in order to secure high-paying positions.
As such, I spent a few years working with investment bankers who felt entitled to six-digit salaries in 1990, a year when the United States was experiencing a recession. After graduation, I also secured a six-digit salary and thought I had fulfilled my goals. In reality, I had no idea what I was doing to ensure I could have a great career as well as a fulfilling life. I remember my first day on the job as a graduate MBA professional. While it seemed like I had reached my goal, making over $100,000 and sitting in an office with a view, I did not feel anything. I wanted to make a difference and standing there I wondered if I was. I asked myself, "What is my amazing education going to do for me to make a difference not only in my professional life but also in my overall life?" How could I possibly be involved with interesting opportunities, such as community events, when I was working twelve-hour days? I sat in my chair wishing there was a guidebook for how to establish a realistic plan. Then I turned thirty, planned a wedding, days turned into months and months into years, not knowing why or what I was staying for. Inside the office, I was a professional woman not able to get what I wanted because I did not know how to negotiate for a full life where career, family, and interests were in unison. I began to worry about my future.
On January 1, 1995, I woke up and said to myself, "¡Basta, no más!" (Enough!). My husband and I spent the day figuring out what our future needed to be if we wanted to continue growing and evolving as a couple and family. After having very difficult discussions about what we really wanted, it was apparent that a path needed to be paved to ensure that we reached our goals. As a couple, we chose to work on our own individual paths. We ensured our paths complemented each other's and focused on our final goal as a couple: being happy and financially stable.
Our paths included personal and professional objectives, from expanding our family and taking care of our elders, to community involvement, developing stronger friendships, and leading a healthy lifestyle. It was on that New Year's Day that we decided there were many things that needed to change in our lives in order to reach our ultimate goals, both as individuals and as a couple. To get there, we both realized we needed to create a path. Although we had made important decisions and identified a long list of things to do, we understood this was not going to be accomplished in one day, a week, or even a month. This effort was going to be long-term and constantly updated. We realized that knowing what you want in your life is important because once you identify it, you can develop and negotiate your own path. This, in turn, provides you with your desired net worth.
When my husband and I figured out our own paths, we acknowledged the need to move to the western part of the country where it is easier to manage career and interests as a joint effort. We moved to the Denver Metro area, which is known for its outdoor lifestyle as well as friendly environment. My husband and I wanted to continue growing in our careers but also desired to have an active extracurricular life that included hobbies, such as hiking, biking, and skiing, as well as more time to spend with family and friends. We also enjoyed the performing arts scene where we could attend national touring performances and have access to a variety of galleries, museums, and dining venues. When I began working for a telecommunications firm as their business development executive, I was able to talk about my interests outside the workplace with my boss for the first time. At first, I thought he might not welcome this type of conversation, but it was the opposite. These conversations turned into discussing what I was passionate about in life and identifying networks and people I needed to reach out to to get connected. Although my husband had shifted his work to be a fulltime telecommuter for his East Coast employer, he also had the experience of discussing these important issues with new friends and colleagues he met in our new home.
My experience developing and implementing my own path has made it possible for me to coach several professionals during the past decade. I have had several clients who have stayed in their jobs and negotiated more balance into their lives, and I have had clients leave their work seeking a more balanced life. One client, a scientist for a large global pharmaceutical corporation, had never taken the time to even consider having a defined path. Instead, her focus was how long it would take her to get promoted to the next level. She did this so efficiently that she was getting promoted almost every eighteen months. Each promotion brought larger compensation, an amazing title, more responsibilities, and less time for fun. When I first sat down with her to discuss her interests, she broke down. She shared with me how she'd never taken the time to consider what she really wanted in life as a whole. Therefore, when I asked her to share what path she would take to reach her desired net worth, she became embarrassed and angry that she wasn't able to provide an answer. As an executive in a large global company, she thought she should have the answers to all the questions.
Similar to my client, my husband and I took the time to discuss and contemplate what our lives needed to look like for us to feel fulfilled and happy. During this time, we would often think about what stories we wanted to share with family once we were elderly. We certainly did not want to just speak about jobs. We wanted to be able to talk about the travel and adventures we lived, and how we met so many fascinating people throughout our lives. For this to happen, we first needed to create our path so we could then negotiate and advocate for it.CHAPTER 2
CREATE YOUR OWN PATH
Developing and implementing a path to navigate through life and determine your overall net worth is important. For starters, your net worth is not just dealing with financial status. It includes an array of elements that include: income, personal assets, knowledge, skills, family, community, health, and personal satisfaction/interests. I suppose you would agree that all of these points are important to be considered throughout our lives. During different phases of our lives, some will overshadow others. However, it is essential that while we grow as individuals we ensure all are being considered and addressed.
If managing our net worth is so important, you would think most of us would take more time to cultivate the individual elements. On the contrary, I would argue that very few of us have taken the time to create a path to effectively manage our own ideal and balanced life. We meet with advisors, mentors, and colleagues, and we are fully aware that it is our responsibility to manage our future. If we know this, why aren't we implementing this approach in our own lives? We must not be taking the time to figure out our goals in order to strive for something more. Let me state here that striving for more is an essential practice of any successful person. Nevertheless, it seems that people simply dream and forget to really create and execute a plan to make their dreams a reality. Being complacent does not produce opportunity and growth. It just meets the status quo. Sometimes status quo is all you want, but I bet any hard-working professional like you is always wanting and seeking for more. If that is the case, it is time to work on building your own path!
How do you build a successful path? Is there a realistic formula or method you can use? My answer to these questions is yes and no. Yes, because there are steps that any person can follow. No, because the steps are not the same for every individual. It requires work to customize and mold your own approach. Like building a neighborhood of houses, there is always a blueprint that a construction crew follows to build the homes. However, once the homes are sold to their respective owners, the houses take on a life of their own. They might have a different look due to a variety of paints, materials, and decorations. The homes were constructed based on a list of guidelines and instructions, but they ended up being different due to the people involved in the process. Everyone is different and these differences are what make the various paths a work of art. Borrowing somebody else's exact method might not get you to your end goal. Hence, it is imperative that we all take the time to assess our current and future needs and desires before we begin constructing our own paths.
To begin creating your path, you must first consider three pieces of your life on an equal basis: your professional career and ambitions, your family, and your interests or hobbies that fulfill your life. Ideally, these three pieces need to congeal and intertwine equally with each other as you map out your own path. On occasion, you might place stronger weight on one over the other, but as a whole you focus on making sure all pieces are considered and addressed throughout your life.
If a person focuses on just one of these pieces, they will lose sight of their larger goals. This is exactly what happened to Alexandra. After celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday, she felt the need to place a strong focus on her career. She began questioning why she was working at her current employer. She felt as if everyday was a drag and not fulfilling. She sensed she was not getting what she needed to succeed and become a better individual. However, if asked to define exactly what she needed, she couldn't offer a concrete response. Instead, she would find the negative in everything and everyone that surrounded her. When her supervisor decided to retire — a mentor that had taken an interest in her career — Alexandra felt it was another sign for her to leave the organization. It was at that time that she reached out to me for advice.
Our first meeting was full of energy, laughter, and stories. It had been several years since I had seen her, and there was a lot of catching up to do. The last time I had seen Alexandra, she was in the middle of college and moving to another state. The four or more years apart seemed to melt away as we shared our stories and experiences. It was during that encounter when I noticed Alexandra was very driven and wanted to succeed both personally and professionally. Additionally, I noticed she was acting like a lost child in a candy store; too many options available to her with no idea how to prioritize and choose. Our conversation jumped around from wondering about community leadership programs to figuring out the best negotiation techniques to asking for a raise or getting a new job. I encouraged Alexandra to segment her thinking into buckets where she could identify interests and prioritize between immediate and long-term needs and desires.
During our follow up conversations, the topic of discussion became more focused. Alexandra had decided to actively seek new employment that provided her with the opportunity to make a difference in her community while embracing different leadership prospects and learning about new fields, education, and non-profits. We spent the most time on subjects concerning her goals that related to the three pieces included in the method for building her path. She had recently gotten engaged, and now there was another person to consider in her goal setting and decision-making. This was yet another reason why she needed to focus on figuring out what needed to be included in her path.
With the experience of mentoring Alexandra as well as coaching multiple professional individuals, I have witnessed firsthand how long-term vision normally suffers during a decision point in somebody's life. For instance, imagine you are at a crossroads where you need to make a decision to stay with your current employer or pursue a different opportunity that has come your way. In Alexandra's case, the opportunity was to join a nine-month leadership program, which required several days of time-off from work. Similar to Alexandra's, the opportunity sounds challenging but fun, and it aligns with your interests. After all, you have been in the same position for over a year and you are becoming bored of the job and your colleagues. In addition, you have been wanting a raise or title change and nothing has materialized. It seems this new opportunity can provide you with access to a new network of leaders and potential future employers.
What should you do? Go for it, right? Not so fast! Before even inquiring about the opportunity, I suggest you assess where you are in your path. Have you taken the time to determine what type of path to build? Have you determined what is important now and how it can change in the future? If you are having difficulties answering these questions, I recommend you download an infographic from my website, elizabethsuarez.com, that addresses the three pieces to include in your path. This document will assist you in thinking about what really matters to you and the people you love. When I used the infographic with Alexandra, I provided her with a challenging task. She took a few days to really think about the answers and questions we discussed. To assist her with the task, I recommended she carry a journal with her at all times. That way, when an answer, thought, or idea came to mind, she would be able to write it down and remember it later when she had more time to focus. Most of Alexandra's ideas came when she was exercising on the treadmill. I am still trying to figure out the visuals on this one. Good news: she never fell while recording her thoughts. That was a relief!
Many times when we are seeking advice it is related to one of the three elements of path creation: career. We go through our life mostly involved with work and might take for granted the two other pieces: family and interests. Although most of us proclaim that family and interests are our top priorities, in reality, few of us can show how we spend the necessary quality time to nourish them. I was truly impressed with how Alexandra tried to work on all three pieces. She worked long hours, spent time with her fiancé and still found time to lead a healthy lifestyle. She was committed to these elements no matter the hours they required. I am not suggesting that you begin exercising at midnight; instead, focus on being flexible with your time when determining how to accomplish all of your items that contribute to path development. By being so passionate about fulfilling her interests, Alexandra was able to perform at higher standards and be viewed as an essential leader. She came across as an accomplished individual, one who knew how to balance it all. People who surrounded her felt the positive energy she emitted.
There are many times when our career must be a priority to allow us to reach our goals as well as to simply pay our bills. This does not mean that you should make a decision about a job without figuring out how it complements and/or affects the other two pieces of your net worth. I remember being recently married, living in the New York City metro area with an amazing job, a beautiful home, and a busy calendar of activities. Anybody that met me surely would have classified me as having it all. I had the husband, the career, the immediate family (two stepdaughters), a beautiful home in the suburbs, and two new cars. However, deep inside, I was miserable. What was going on? I would cry on my way to and from work. On weekends, I would spend the days just sleeping or watching senseless TV shows to pass the time, not engaging or thinking about my life. I dreaded Monday mornings since I knew it was the beginning of another week without direction. I had a work plan and was an excellent performer with outstanding reviews. Despite these glowing achievements, I had no idea what my job's purpose was and where it would ultimately take me, what I would gain from it, and why I was working so hard. I could not visualize the final goal.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Art of Getting Everything"
Copyright © 2017 Elizabeth Suarez.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I'm Ready, but Am I Truly Prepared?,
Chapter 1 Making a Difference,
Chapter 2 Create Your Own Path,
Chapter 3 Get Yourself in Order,
Chapter 4 Life Is All About Negotiating,
Chapter 5 Make Any Offer Work for You,
Chapter 6 Ensure Your Success in Ninety Days,
Chapter 7 Three Steps to Beat Conflict,
Chapter 8 Make Your Own Difference,
About the Author,
Thank You and Next Steps,