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Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Golden Question: Rachel Ragland

Rachel Ragland is a Professor of Education at Lake Forest College

What’s one lesson you’ve learned the hard way and who could you have asked for help? 


One lesson I’ve learned the hard way is you have to stand up for yourself if you want to get what you need and believe you deserve. In looking back on things, there have been many times in my career when I should have been a bit more demanding of those in authority to get what I needed, but I didn’t really know that I could do that or that I should do that. I could have turned to a mentor for help - someone older and more experienced who had gone through the same things before in order to get the confidence and the tools necessary to be more assertive in asking for what I felt I deserved. One specific example of this would be that I wish I had negotiated more for a higher salary. Having coming from a public school teaching background where salaries are set and not negotiable, I always felt awkward about having this kind of conversation with those in a position to set the salaries. However, I now know that many people here at the college do negotiate, so I wish I had been advised of that and had done it.