Camille Styles

Living Kindly

The Secret to Asking For What You Want

January 18th, 2017

Last April I made a big career decision. After 12 years of working in PR as an entertainment publicist, I hung up my hat and left. But making that decision wasn’t easy. You see, being a publicist was a formative experience for me both personally and professionally. I met some of the most amazing people, worked on some of the coolest films, experienced many pinch-me worthy moments, and traveled the world. I learned to think quickly on my feet, speak confidently in public, and juggle multiple projects, all while producing massive events. Coming from a small town in Nebraska straight to tinseltown, I often heard the phrase, “Do you know how cool your job sounds?” And at times, even I was awe-struck.

But all cool events and moments aside, my heart wasn’t in it. And if I’d stayed, I’d not only be doing the company and my colleagues a disservice, I wouldn’t be living my most authentic life. Arriving to the point of knowing what I wanted (or didn’t want) was the easy part; asking for it was an entirely new ball game. For me, it took almost three months to muster up the courage to ask.

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13 Comments under :: The Secret to Asking For What You Want
  1. Daeyz says:

    Such a great post, so relatable!


  2. Courtney says:

    Such a wonderful post. Totally agree in living a kind and authentic life. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. karin says:

    Just perfect for me at this time, but I would like a bit more hints/advice I can use, especially the ‘ask for’ part without being rude and demanding sounding. Maybe something you can add later on?

    • Kelly Krause says:

      Thanks for taking the time to not just read, but respond. I thought a lot about being more specific, but I think it’s really subjective for each person and their unique situation. Personally, I think we get so much further when we approach the ask with kindness. When I set a meeting, I let the person know why we’re meeting ahead of time. In the meeting, I open letting them know what my ultimate hope / goal is (ie: my goal is find something that works for both of us) and I come prepared (If that’s a raise, talk about how much revenue you’ve brought in, etc. etc. etc.). Ultimately, I think it’s important to know that the other end might not be receptive — maybe they need time to think about it, or it’s a flat-out no. You have to be prepared for that and know what your next move is. Re: not being rude: smile when you ask. Not one of those cheesy / they won’t take you seriously smiles, but a confident smile. If you’re asking for something, it’s because you feel confident in your work, etc and you’re proud. If it’s something a little more personal or hard, I truly approach from a place of love. “Listen, I so appreciate our partnership or our relationship and I value transparency, so I want to talk to you about x, y, z. I feel . . . my hope is. . . , etc.” I hope this helps.

  4. This is an area I always have difficulty in. I always worry about offending others or sounding harsh so being direct takes a lot of effort on my end.

    Blush & Pearls by Angela

  5. Sofia says:

    Being polite and kind is so crucial! I’m so glad you made that your first point!

    xo, Sofia

  6. Fariha says:

    This is so thoughtfully written. I’m one of those people that apologizes a lot (I mean, A LOT) and I feel bad being direct about what I want. It’s much better to be direct and polite while doing so, but I always feel like I’m being rude. And that’s when I just start apologizing, even when I don’t need to! Thank you for sharing tips on the proper etiquette for asking for what you want.

    Fariha | Blog

  7. keith says:

    Totally agree in living a kind and authentic life. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. Jodi says:

    Are you aware of the poet/philosopher David Whyte? He’s given a number of talks in which he speaks of “courageous conversations”, which reminds me very much of what you say here about “tough” conversations. He talks a lot about simply starting the difficult conversations to work ourselves into what we want or need. All of his talks are absolute gems, and I highly recommend them.

    • Kelly Krause says:

      I’m not familiar with David, thank you for sharing Jodi. Very much look forward to diving into his work this weekend!

  9. Loved this piece! Thank you for sharing! I recently left a full time PR gig as well to focus on more of what I wanted to do with my life – help people. A total shift but now I’m finally able to live in alignment with my truest self and still do freelance PR on the side for my old company. I’m definitely lucky ๐Ÿ™‚

    I especially like the quote you mention about being kind in your ask – โ€œThey may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel?โ€. Agree this is so true! People will always remember the way you make them feel <3.

  10. mychirpylife says:

    Great post! Took me 9 months to quit my job last year too. I was given so many reasons why I should not. But these are not relevant to me. I quit for the sake of my own sanity and in accordance I want for my life.

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