How to Get What You Need from Your Employer

It is the rare person who feels totally satisfied with their work life. Even those with the most charmed of careers often see room for improvement. Effectively advocating for yourself at work will help you get your needs met, whether those needs consist of more time off, better pay, having an assistant, being promoted, or something else entirely.

3 Tips for Advocating for Yourself at Work to Get Your Needs Met 

Are you one of the many professionals who have a career-related need that is not being met by your employer? If so, nothing will change until you have a conversation with your boss about your need. Here are some tips for having a successful conversation: 

Time your conversation well — When it comes to chatting with your boss about getting what you need, timing is everything. “If your company’s stock price just plunged, or you were talked to about your slow production last week, or your boss just got served with divorce papers, now is probably not the time to make a special request,” stated a contributor to Marketplace. Or, instead of initiating a conversation randomly, it may work best for all involved to request a meeting via email. This would ensure both you and your boss are in the right headspace to negotiate your needs before jumping into a conversation. 

Assume the best about your employer — Workplace gossip can be a serious problem. Many offices have a troublemaker or two that tend to stir up strife about their employer. Beware of siding with those who speak negatively of your company or boss. Assuming the best of those in supervisory positions at work will help you to present your needs from a trusting attitude, and that will only help your case.

Be willing to compromise — Before you make requests of your employer, keep in mind that you may need to compromise to get your needs met. “For example, let’s say you want some new software for your team at work, but you can’t afford the price tag,” stated The Muse. “Instead of just asking if the company can cut you a deal—or assuming they’ll say no and throwing in the towel—consider whether there’s something you can provide in return.” Having a flexible mindset will help you brainstorm creative solutions if necessary and negotiate more successfully. 

A Balance of Assertiveness and Humility Will Help to Get You What You Want at Work

When asking for what you need and want at work, it’s crucial to be assertive. However, it is equally important to be humble (i.e., be willing to compromise or graciously accept a “no.”). Each characteristic balances out and enhances the other, so adopt both before approaching your boss.  

In what ways can you be more assertive in advocating for yourself at work? Conversely, how can you assume a more humble attitude?

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