#Adulting With Chinae Alexander
Our new advice columnist answers your questions on negotiating pay and moving in with a partner
It feels good to take those first steps towards adulthood – the first job, the first time you host a dinner party, the relationships (the sex)! But it’s not always as Insta perfect as we once thought it would be. Relationships can get confusing, social lives can become more stressful than social, and who hasn’t had that one boss from hell?
When we were originally thinking about which badass women we wanted to join our Restless rebellion and embrace our mission of empowering through informing, the obvious choice was Chinae Alexander, a woman who truly uses Instagram positively. An entrepreneur, wellness expert, lifestyle personality, and writer – she’s got a lot going on, and she does it all authentically. So when we pondered what we wanted her to write about, we realized that we couldn’t let the opportunity to discover her insights into all things #adulting – when things get a little less glamorous, and a lot more messy – to pass us by.
Below you can find the first installment in her new monthly advice column, #Adulting With Chinae Alexander.
We’ve all been here, that fun spot of either being treated unfairly or looking like a bitch. I’m here to remind you that there’s a third option….just being paid your fair portion and for the whole transaction to not be an indicator of your personality traits! Shocking, I know!
We have been conditioned to think that asking what we are deserving of is somehow a negative, so step one is ridding your brain of those thoughts. A good exercise to pump yourself up with an extra boost of confidence is to sit down and create a list of all the big wins you’ve had at work, all the extra responsibilities you’ve managed to take on, and your project list. This list is going to work two-fold for you. First, it’s going to remind you of how much you do and that you are deserving of that big fat raise. Sometimes we forget how much we’ve accomplished. Second, it’s going to help you feel ultra-prepared for a serious conversation with your boss about why you need to be making that schmoney.
Now that you’re armed with your list, make sure you give the meeting it’s full weight and seriousness by sending a formal email requesting a meeting to discuss pay. This isn’t something you wanna bring up while you wait for the Nespresso machine to heat up, it needs some priority. Not only will this lead to a more professional conversation, it’ll also prevent you from totally chickening out on having the chat! Then take your list (that you so expertly and confidently prepared…yes, you badass hardworking queen) and lay out exactly what you’ve been working on and what you’d like to do in the future. They may not even realize how much you’ve become responsible for, so it’s your time to remind them, gently but firmly.
Lastly, know what you want to ask for before you get in the room. Like…THE ACTUAL NUMBER. I know it’s scary to face potential rejection or coming off as greedy (we talked about this!!!!) but remember, this is business, not an emotional interaction.
If your boss says that your ask is too high, make sure to reiterate that that’s where you feel comfortable and have a conversation on what you can do to get to that level. This is a great opportunity to take constructive feedback, directing you to the path to getting exactly what you need financially. If they don’t give you a raise, or don’t provide clear direction on how you can get there, this might be a much-needed sign from the employment gods to take your accomplishment list and hard work to the next workplace that will value you at the level you deserve.
I feel this deep in my bones, ha! My boyfriend just moved in after 8 months of dating and as a fiercely independent woman…I know there’s a lot to unpack here. First, I would do a deep dive into why you’re not ready. Is it timing, independence, or are you just not really sure about him, the person?
Make sure you’re really honest about why you feel like living together doesn’t feel right, and communicate that back to him in the kindest but most straightforward way possible. So many times in relationships, we assume we need to decide our stance before we go into a conversation with our partner, when in reality, going into the conversation with an open-mind will be your best bet.
You are not in battle, you are in love.
Rinse and repeat.
Instead of dreading it, consider this to be a great opportunity to talk over any fears about the future, on both of your ends. You’re both allowed to have fear, but extending an opportunity to have him listen to you, offer support, and comfort any hesitations is a great way to bring you two closer together, whatever you decide.
The one thing I will say, is that you need to be prepared for the way that saying “I’m not ready”, might make him feel. He will likely need extra reassurance that you are still engaged in the relationship. Because of this, it will be hugely helpful for you to have a potential plan for the future so that he feels confident that you want to move forward, just on a timeline where you feel more comfortable.
Asking him “What would your ideal life together look like?” might ease some of your fears and will open the door to you being able to voice that you require more alone time or time to be with your friends, etc. We all need different levels of hang time with our person and it requires a ton of communication and compromise to find that perfect mix of grounding and independence so don’t freak if it doesn’t immediately gel! And remember, whether you live together or not, you’re still entitled to carve out your independence…it just might look a little different when you’re sharing a couch.
Want Chinae to help you sort through a problem you’ve been struggling with? Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a DM on Instagram