How to get what you need at work
No matter how long you’ve been working, some conversations are never easy to have.
Perhaps it’s about an overbearing boss, an unreasonable colleague or simply asking for what you deserve. Whatever the reason, sometimes frustration and resentment can add up simply because you never asked.
So often people don’t speak up for themselves because they’re weary of being perceived as unhelpful or incompetent. However, with some simple steps, you can be smart and tactful about asking for you what you want.
When you’re overworked
Are you constantly racing against deadlines? Did your boss suddenly drop an “important project” on your plate and ask for it to be done by the end of the week? If you answered yes, it’s time to have a conversation with your supervisor.
Instead of demanding to have your workload reduced, ask your supervisor to help you prioritize your current projects or negotiate extensions to deadlines, if necessary. It’s a tactful way to let your boss know that you’ve got your plate full and it’s key to being happy at work.
When you need time off
Earlier this month, a web developer in the US sent an email to her team to let them know she was taking a couple of days off to focus on her mental health. It was a brave move and one that was commended by the company’s CEO.
But not every boss is going to be as forthcoming. Remember, asking for time off should be a simple, matter of fact request – one that you are entitled to by the law. When approaching your boss for leave, be simply straightforward and try to do it in person. You don’t necessarily have to offer an explanation about why you want the time off, but if asked, be honest and direct about the reason.
When you’re overlooked for a promotion
So, you’ve put in long hours, met deadlines and targets and still got passed over for that overdue promotion. If your boss hasn’t noticed your accomplishments, you will likely have to let him/her know. Send an email requesting for a meeting, and be sure to let your boss know that it is about your performance and progression within the company.
Do your research and document both your major and minor accomplishments within the company. During the meeting, it’s important to calmly cite all your achievements with clear examples, and to ask what your progress at the firm looks like. Whatever your boss’s reaction, do not resort to demanding a promotion or threatening to leave the firm over the matter. If your boss truly values you, you will know sooner rather than later.
When you’re being bullied
When you spend 9 hours a day at work, peace of mind is more important than you think. Bullying takes many forms ranging from constant criticism, social exclusion, manipulation, to more serious charges of job threats and sexual harassment. If you suspect you’re being bullied, it is advisable to document events, and keep a record of emails and other communications.
If you’ve tried and the situation cannot be resolved informally, then you should discuss your concerns with your manager, presenting all the proof you have. While talking to your boss, don’t dilute or downplay the situation, and ensure that you come out of the meeting with tangible solutions.