Earning

Tiffany Haddish says this is the best career advice she got from EGOT-winner Whoopi Goldberg

Being able to call on her “is huge for me.”

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Tiffany Haddish speaks onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton and broadcast on February 28, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.
Rich Polk | NBCUniversal | Getty Images

Before Tiffany Haddish became the author of a New York Times bestseller, the first Black woman comedian to host "Saturday Night Live" (and win an Emmy for it), or go on to amass an estimated net worth of $6 million, she got some key career advice from her friend Whoopi Goldberg.

When Haddish appeared on "The View" in 2017 to talk about her new movie "Girls Trip," which ended up grossing over $140 million at the box office, co-host Goldberg took on the role of Haddish's mentor, according to Variety, and passed on some professional wisdom.

"Listen and know your worth," Haddish says Goldberg told her, "and don't be afraid to say 'no' or walk away." Haddish called it the best advice she has gotten from the star.

Getting tips from Goldberg was no small deal, Haddish tells Variety, especially since the Hollywood icon has achieved EGOT status, having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony: "To be able to call on her and for her to tell me, 'Girl, no. Think twice about this. Pick your battles,' is huge for me."

Understanding your value and learning to listen are tips you can apply in your career, too. Here are a few ways you can use that advice to reach your goals.

Know your worth and how much money you should make

It's a good practice to set realistic expectations about the salary you want and why you deserve it. That's something Haddish has had to do more than once in her industry.

If you want to weigh your market value against those in similar jobs, try using a salary calculator, which can give you an estimated pay range. Websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn also offer tools to search average salaries for various jobs in different cities.

If you feel comfortable, ask your co-workers about their pay, though it's smart to approach the topic gently. Talking to colleagues this way worked for actor Busy Philipps and helped 30-something Caitlin Boston pay off $222,000 in student loans.

As Philipps told Grow, "I do think that having transparency and being open with other people, even women who you may consider yourself in competition with, is actually kind of vital, as we're striving for pay equality. We have to start to look out for one another."

'Learn to ask' for more money — at the right time

There's more to professional success than knowing your financial value. Getting what you deserve requires some finesse. As New York real estate mogul and "Shark Tank" investor Barbara Corcoran recently told Grow, "If you want to get a raise, you better learn to ask." And make sure you're asking the right way at the right time.

To that end, Corcoran recommends preparing evidence that shows your accomplishments and growth. Keeping a detailed log of your accomplishments can help both you and your boss recognize your contributions when it comes time to discuss better compensation.

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"This is the most critical aspect of winning a sizable pay raise," David Cusick, chief strategy officer and executive editor at House Method, told Grow. He's involved with every hire at his company and often sits in on interviews. "By pointing to the skills, knowledge, and tools you've gained since starting, your employer becomes better aware of your increased value.'

It's smart to use a time when you've just had a win in the workplace and capitalize on that momentum to ask for something more. After "Girls Trip," for instance, Haddish's breakout success led her to a hosting gig on ABC's "Kids Say the Darndest Things," producing her own Netflix show, "Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready," and starring in the 2020 feature film "Like a Boss."

And there's much more for the comedian on the horizon.

Listen and know your worth. And don't be afraid to say no or walk away.
Whoppi Goldberg
EGOT winner

Be resilient but know when to change course

Haddish was not an immediate success when she started doing comedy. Early on, she got paid $50 to do a 15-minute set, the actress details in her bestselling collection of essays, "The Last Black Unicorn." But the jokes did not land and the sense of rejection "almost derailed" her, she writes.

After performing at another event early in her career, a bar mitzvah, Haddish's boss mailed her a $40 check for her work, along with a letter listing everything she had done wrong during the party.

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But Haddish took the feedback as constructive criticism, realizing, "I had to be more dedicated, more focused."

If your bid for a raise or some other professional risk doesn't work out the way you hope, you can use that opportunity to learn how you can improve. "Get an understanding of what it's going to take from you to get to where they want you to be," Angelina Darrisaw, CEO of professional coaching firm C-Suite Coach, told Grow. "If you haven't previously documented these things, now is an opportunity to do it."

At the same time, if you recognize your employer does not appreciate your value, it may be time to look for other opportunities. Do a search of available positions at companies you like, reconnect with old colleagues and mentors, and be open to considering new options that might be a better fit.

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