Sam DeMase is the founder of Power Mood, a Career Confidence Coach, and Self-Advocacy Expert. She helps her clients and TikTok audience of 200,000 followers land the job they want and confidently ask for what they’re worth. Sam’s also on a mission to destroy the patriarchy. Her motto is: You get what you’re worth!
Tune into my conversation with Sam to learn how to choose confidence on the Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
“Don’t they see me shining? Where’s my promotion, where’s my pay-raise?”
We assume that if we excel at work, we’ll be recognized and promoted. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.
“One of the [ideas] I’ve debunked is that, if you work hard, opportunities will come to you.”
Instead of waiting around, Sam stresses the importance of communicating your value. That means highlighting your achievements, like your ability to de-escalate a difficult customer or bring your team together tackle a difficult project.
“People are afraid to own their accomplish and own what their worth and celebrate that. That’s where I think the self-advocacy piece comes in, which is the foundation for all of my work.”
No matter the job, you can still uncover your strengths and key transferable skills. Recognizing how working as a server boosted your people skills and taught you to excel under pressure will help you better communicate your strengths.
And once you’re in the job, going to your boss when you’re ready for a raise or promotion is often the only way those opportunities become available. Showcasing your work and worth proactively can make all the difference.
Stop Saying Sorry
How many times in the past week have you used the words “I’m sorry,” and how many times was it necessary? Ask Sam DeMase, and she’ll tell you to stop apologizing so much, you really don’t need to. “I’m sorry” can be a disservice to you and your career.
“I think it’s like a go-to gut reaction to just be like ‘sorry, I didn’t mean to say that’, or ‘sorry, I’m so late’, or ‘sorry, I’m such a mess today.’”
For people in the workplace, sorry has become a default, and Sam has a solution that both maintains your agency and actually improves the workplace as a whole. Reframe sorry as a message of gratitude.
“[Instead of] ‘hey, sorry I’m late’, you can also throw in ‘thank you so much for waiting, I really appreciate you’ and that just takes it to a different place.”
“Instead of ‘sorry, I’m such a burden today and I have all of these questions’, [try] ‘thank you for answering my questions, you really helped me get this project to the next level.’”
This reframing still lets you get your point across without the unnecessary apology.
Sorry can absolutely be useful, but the vast majority of the time showing gratitude is a much better call. Grateful language makes the person feel appreciated and creates a more collaborative environment.
Sam also points out that this message is essential for women and minorities, since there’s a social pressure to always apologize. Thanking someone provides politeness, but allows you to retain agency and foster connections, which offers everyone greater long-term benefits.
So, the next time this week you find yourself feeling the need to apologize, express gratitude instead. And remember, whether you’re going for the job or promotion, choose confidence.
To hear more of Sam’s story and her advice on adapting your workplace interactions, download my podcast interview with her here on iTunes!