Productivity Professional Development

How to Ask for What You Want at Work

Written by Sheryl Posnick

It’s a fact of life that you will rarely be handed exactly what you want in in your career. It’s up to you to take control of your future and move it in your most ideal direction–if you sit around and wait for people to take notice and reward you, you might be waiting for a long time.

If you’re feeling undervalued at work, here’s a surefire plan to organize your thoughts and make a plan before you approach the powers that be.

  • Put into words what is making you unsatisfied. Do you feel your salary is too low? Are your hours too inconsistent? Do you despise working with a specific client?
  • The first step will lead you to the next–and most important–step: identify exactly what it is you want. A raise? A better shift schedule? To be relived of your client? Be specific–it is important to have a concrete goal you can clearly express.
  • Next, envision how your work life will be better if your ideal situation comes true. How might this change make you more valuable to your employer? What are the major selling points you can offer for making this change?
  • Finally, create a plan and put it into action. What is the best method in your workplace for making a change? Send that email or make that call, set up a meeting, and put your best foot (and argument) forward.

Even if making and implementing a detailed plan does not lead to your ideal results, your voice and demands will have been heard. If nothing else, a proactive attitude always lets your supervisors know you’re serious about your future.

About the author

Sheryl Posnick

Sheryl Posnick is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and president of Red Letter Content, an editorial company with a focus on educational, test preparation, and career readiness materials.