Here’s How To Be A Girlboss And Stand Up For Yourself At Work

Camila Coelho

We’ve all been there at one point or another in our career, when there comes a time when you will be unhappy with your job. It may come in the shape of a coworker who’s being unprofessional, a boss taking advantage of you or maybe you’re taking on more than you can chew. And it’s totally up to you to change it. One of the most important skills to develop in your professional life is knowing when and where to draw the line. Having a good sense of self-awareness and courage to speak up for yourself can dramatically change a bad experience at work.

Confrontation can be awkward, but is absolutely crucial to getting what you want out of your job when you’re in an unpleasant situation. If anything, people will respect you more for it. And if you’re scared of losing your job because you’re sticking up for yourself, you probably don’t want to work there anyway. Here are some tips for standing up for yourself in a sticky situation, whether it’s a conflict with your coworker, setting boundaries with your boss, and ultimately becoming more self-aware.

Know when to stand up for yourself

Whether you love your job or not (hopefully you do) there will be days when you feel that weird pang in your stomach, telling you that something isn’t right. Trust that feeling. It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes there are things we can change in our own attitude that can make our work and life more pleasant.

Changing your perspective on things can make a huge difference in how we experience things. Knowing where to draw the line is almost as important. If you feel uncomfortable with your workload, or how a coworker/boss is treating you, say something. You have every right to be happy at work. Being successful does involve a lot of work, however taking on other people’s work, or taking on so much work that you feel miserable is no way to live. No one can know how you are feeling unless you speak up for yourself. More times than not, if you express how you’re feeling in a constructive way, and offer a solution, people will understand.

Communication is key

Like most things in life, this is easier said than done. But if you can do it, and become a master at communicating your thoughts and feelings in a professional way, you’ll find that it gets easier over time and will improve your work experience and relationships. How we convey how we’re feeling in a tough situation without losing our cool can be tricky, but it can be done.

When confronting a coworker about an unpleasant situation, always be respectful and diplomatic. If you feel someone is treating you badly or even bullying you at work, this is most likely a reflection of how they’re feeling on the inside and has nothing to do with you. With that being said, let your coworker know you want to be treated with respect. Start your sentences by “I feel …” and do not accuse anyone. No one likes to feel like they’re being attacked. The way you communicate your thoughts and feelings are key to getting what you want.

Do what’s best for you

It can be difficult standing up to a boss, and that situation warrants more care. However, if you are working for someone who cannot take their employees thoughts and opinions into account, or has no interest in watching their employees do well and excel at their job. It might be time to look somewhere else! A good leader wants you to grow and take every opportunity to improve themselves.


Dress DVF, Sunglasses Dior, Boots Christian Louboutin


No one said being a girlboss was easy. But being able to be self-aware, communicate your feelings professionally, and set boundaries, are necessary skills to be successful and happy at work.


  • Danielle

    Love this. Such great advice. Needed this today. XO

  • Marina

    I’ve quit taking office jobs altogether because I simply couldn’t take the pressure. It’s like, no matter where I worked I found myself having to confront people nonstop. I once attented a meeting abotu not having anymore meetings. What? In the end I stood up for myself in the ultimate way – I’m a freelance, remote worker only. No more in-office visits or trainings and it’s so much better.

  • Ebony

    Love this site!

Get On The LIST



Join the CGD team for all things fashion, beauty, career and everything us CGD girls are up to!