Just a week ago I interviewed a young lady to hire and train her for my client. It’s her third month in the USA and this will be her first job in this country. She had such a rich experience from her home country and other countries she’s worked so I decided to hire her. When I asked her what she would accept for compensation, she stated that whatever we decide to pay her will be fine with her. I smiled, because I knew where that was coming from. I knew she was being humble or just thankful to get a job or just afraid that she would be asking for too much or could be the lack of confidence that we all experienced as new immigrants in this country.

I asked her to tell me an amount and after what seemed like the hardest thought she came up with a number. So, I told her my story of when I landed my first job almost two decades ago when I stepped on the shores of the United States. I was a front desk agent and I had the greatest opportunity to meet all kinds of people coming to the Washington DC area. I was checking in this man and he had the most beautiful gray eyes I’ve ever seen. He was so impeccably dressed and yet so humble and polite. I complimented him that he had such beautiful eyes and he smiled so heartily. He started to ask me where I came from and all those questions people kindly ask because they notice you’re “not from here.” We had a lengthy conversation and luckily he had arrived earlier than the usual check-in time so the lobby was not too busy. I found out he was very well accomplished in business and was in Washington, DC for some meetings. He shared a lot with me about navigating life in the USA and one of the pieces of nugget that stuck with me was when he said this;

“Don’t ever be afraid to ask for what you want because life will always give you what you demand of it. Build yourself with knowledge and skill but confidence will take you farther than your skills and talents in this country. Most importantly, never sell yourself short…”

Dear friends, this wisdom that was shared with me so many years ago has helped to shape my life and thinking in the USA. So, after sharing my story with the “newbie”, I asked her for the last time to tell me how much she’d like to get paid. This time, she asked for a higher number which she believed was commensurate with her experience. I told the HR director to offer her the full amount we had budgeted for the position which was a bit more than what she asked for.

I also remember a year ago, one of my best friends was offered a job in another state and she shared with me how much they were paying her. I drafted a compelling email and told her to send it to the HR person asking her to increase the offer. She was a bit hesitant and thought what if they rescinded their offer completely that she was asking for too much. She was even advocating for them that she did some research and in that state, the offer she received was in alignment to her position and her license. I told her to trust me on this one and send the email to the company. She did send the email and within minutes, she received a call from the HR person making her a counter offer which was much higher than she was willing to accept earlier. She was so overjoyed and told me that she owed me her first paycheck. She spent it on a beautiful Christmas present for me.

I share this as a testimony and also a reminder that when God said to ask and we will receive, He meant it. Matthew 7:7-8 AMP;

““[a]Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.”

I pray for you that as you end this month of May, may the good Lord give you the boldness to ask for what you desire and deserve and when you do, may He answer your request. AMEN!


Lady Abena.