A recent Gallup poll found that 85% of people hate their jobs. While the Washington D.C.-based organization surveyed over 200 million employees since 2000 for this study, it would be quite difficult to pinpoint the reason why the average worker hates their job.
One definitive possibility, as suggested by Mark McGuinness, author of Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success, is that we have a hard time asking for what we want. McGuinness writes, “On some level, it’s more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it doesn’t feel great on the surface. But, achieving success (however you define it) means you are entering uncharted territory. You are putting yourself out there to be scrutinized and criticized, and exposing yourself to new pressures and demands.”
It’s hard to ask for what you want (and deserve) in your career, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always strive towards doing so. There are a number of components that play into finding success in the workplace that all revolve around the same factor: you! You are the only one who can carve your own seat at the table you dream of sitting at. If there’s anyone to take a word of career advice from, it’s Jack Welch, who believed: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
Know what you want
The key to asking for what you want starts with knowing what you want. It’s alright if you don’t know the answer just yet, but ask yourself some essential questions that will point you in the right direction. Having an idea of the career that would mentally and spiritually fulfill you will help you get there. If you are already confident in the career path you have built, consider a next step that would place you on the right ladder. Don’t be afraid to apply for that managerial role even if you are unsure if you meet the experience and qualifications they are looking for. “We’re a startup editorial site, so we’re always looking for hungry and scrappy writers and our average applicant doesn’t have to have a ton of prior experience,” says Marc Lewis, editor at Remedy Review. “Employers seek out those asking the right questions instead.” Take any opportunity that will inch you closer to the position you desire, because you know wholeheartedly it’s what you’re passionate about - which brings me to my next point…
Don’t be afraid to be assertive
Self-confidence is a highly-revered skill in the workplace that can earn you miles of respect. Employers seek self-motivated leaders who are confident about what they can bring to the table. William Arruda, a personal branding expert and author of Ditch. Dare. Do!, tells Forbes that confidence is key in one’s personal brand. “When someone exudes confidence, we want to work with them. We are more likely to follow their lead. Confidence is the number one byproduct of the personal branding process, because in branding you uncover what makes you exceptional and use it to make career choices and deliver outstanding value.” Don’t shy away from asking for a raise, promotion, or prioritized client. Not only does it reflect your internal self-values, it will show employers that you are confident in your skills and duties of what you can provide for the company.
Never settle for less
Once you know what you want in terms of your career, never settle for anything less. Being successful means setting a moral and ethical bar that you never work below, for it would do nothing to benefit your ambitions in the long-run. If a potential employer offers you a salary below your average rate and isn’t willing to negotiate, feel free to walk away. If a promotion is presented to you in the form of a position you’re unsure you would excel in, feel free to say no. You don’t have to go through every open door on the way to your dream job - sometimes you can close them, too. Knowing your worth will help you ask for what you want knowing full well you deserve nothing less.
About the Author: Vanessa Bermudez is a contributing writer for Remedy Review based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the co-founder and editor of Modern Girls, a collaborative digital space featured in Girl Gaze Project and Teen Vogue.