Maybe you get a little bit nervous when you try to talk to your boss, or the thought of asking for a raise terrifies you. Either way, to getting what you want out of your job is an important step to knowing that you’re making a larger impact and also feeling fulfilled at work. Here are some steps you can take in order to effectively advocate for yourself and get what you want in the workplace.
1. Create a personal growth game plan
Let’s say you’re an intern at a company and can see yourself working there long-term. You don’t want to have the same position forever. In order to move up, you’ll have to identify the kind of role you want to grow into and what skills you’ll need to get there. Start your growth plan by asking co-workers and higher-ups how they got their jobs. Take more responsibility in your position by asking for more tasks and assignments. Go the extra mile. If you can prove to your boss that you can do more than what your job description is asking you to, they will likely want to keep you on their team.
To get what you want in the workplace in terms of positions, think about someone who has the position you want. Networking is a huge part of getting to where you want to be, so ask that person to coffee and ask them about their job. What do they do on a daily basis? How did they get the job they have? Hopefully you can also slip in that you want a job in their field, maybe they’ll know someone who’s hiring. Having someone on the inside vouching for you is always a good thing. In either scenario, you should also identify who your mentors are. It’s always helpful to have a mentor to check in with, to give you career pointers and teach you lessons.
2. Do your research
Nothing is less impressive than someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. And there’s nothing more embarrassing than being called out for not knowing your stuff. If you go into a meeting or an interview, always go prepared. If you’re trying to move up in your company, you should also be doing research related to the position you want to have. Do you need a skill you don’t currently possess? What will your management look like if you successfully advance?
3. Learn how to articulate your strengths.
If you can’t answer the question “why should we hire you,” or “why should we promote you,” odds are you aren’t going to get anywhere. Knowing how to articulate your strengths also demonstrates thoughtfulness, self-respect and professionalism. If it’s hard for you to talk about yourself, (and don’t worry, it’s hard for a lot of people) ask some close friends or family members what they consider to be a strength of yours. These can even be things that wouldn’t conventionally fit on a resume. You’ll probably find that they have a lot to say about you that you wouldn’t have considered yourself.
4. Prove how amazing you are
This goes along with learning how to articulate your strengths, but it’s important to show that you’re not only articulating your worth – you’re actually worth it. To get what you want in the workplace you should be able to back up your claims with data and proof. Any time you accomplish something big, your project has a positive result or you get a glowing review – write it down. Keep your proof in a folder to show off any time someone asks you about it. Having a success folder is also super helpful when you’re applying for new jobs, because you can put the data right on your resume. You should also have people to vouch for you as references. References are a powerful tool when trying to get what you want in your career.
5. Know that you’re more valuable than you think
Maybe you’ve heard the statistic that men apply for a job when they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications, while women only apply if they believe they meet 100 percent. It comes from a Hewlett Packard internal report and has been quoted in dozens of articles and publications, including Forbes. This is a mindset that most of us women have been socialized into, and carry with us into the job world. If you deserve a promotion or more benefits and can advocate for yourself and prove your worth, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. If you can do the things listed above, you can prove to your boss that you are valuable to the company.
Got some creative ideas for how to get what you want in the workplace? Tell us in the comment section below!
Isabelle is a journalism major and English and media studies minor at Northeastern University. She is a writer, editorial intern and social media enthusiast with a passion for the digital universe. At the moment, you can find Isabelle living and working in New York City for SWAAY Media, Society19 and Flocabulary, focusing on writing, editing and digital content creation.