Cracking the Code: Just Say NO!

In one of my first associate positions, I was interested in doing trusts and estates, but the real estate market was booming and the trusts and estates work was not as busy. The managing partner of the firm assigned me to work in real estate. 

Although I did not like real estate work it did not occur to me that I could say no to the assignment.

Soon I was doing 12-15 condominium closings a day. The more work I did, the more work I got, but it still did not occur to me to say “no.” I soldiered on and found myself driving to the lending bank’s office every night at 9:00 on my way home from the office to drop off closing packages in a locked chute. I gained 10 pounds because I was always eating fast food on the fly and had to buy new clothes because I did not have time to do laundry.

That continued for six months. No one thanked me. No one gave me a raise or bonus and no one else had to work as hard. No one cared, but to be fair,

Why should they if I did not care enough to stick up for myself?

When I left that firm-not because of that experience but because there was not enough trust and estate work, which is what I wanted to do-the managing partner was shocked. “You had a tremendous future here,” he told me, “You are one of the best workers we have ever had!” (No kidding.)

Many women have a hard time saying “no” because of the manner in which we value relationships and the connections we create with others.

We worry that if we say “no,” we are letting someone down.

The reality is when we don’t say “no” in certain circumstances we are demonstrating a lack of self respect and letting ourselves down. 

Hand in hand with ‘Just Say No’ is that we all need to remember that we are our biggest asset-our minds and our time. We must remind ourselves of that, recognize it and take care of ourselves. 

Patricia Annino is a nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  For more visit:

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