How confident do you feel when it comes to asking for more or less at work? Most people feel like they’ve been transported back to their first-ever working day when no-one knew how fab they were so their confidence was at rock-bottom. If this sounds familiar, then these top five tips from the list-tastic Laura Capell-Abra of www.nomoreifsorbuts.com will make asking for more (money, responsibility, support…) or less (time in the office maybe?!) at work a fab experience.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
“If I’m not happy with my meal, I send it back and more often than not get a new meal and a free round of drinks. I’ve been given a table next to the toilets in a restaurant and when I’ve politely asked if there are any others, I’ve been moved to a far nicer one next to a window. Back in my single student days I have even been known to go up to a guy in a bar and ask him to buy me a drink, and guess what, they did!
So I know it works, and I’m sure you’ve all had similar little glimpses of it working for these small insignificant things. However we then freeze when it comes to the bigger things like buying a car, negotiating a house or asking for a pay rise.
In a situation where we actually get to prove every day why we are worth more, we have less confidence and conviction to ask for more or for something different. We go back to feeling like we should just be happy we have a job at all. We don’t want to risk them reducing our hours or being pushed aside next time they are looking to promote someone because we asked about flexible working. Come on ladies, you know deep down that you are fab but for some reason when it comes to work, we find it harder to tell other people we are.
Here are my 5 top tips to ask for more or less at work:
1. Booking your stage
Be sensible in how you approach it with your boss. Don’t ask them for a meeting the morning they get back from holiday or corner them at 5:35 as they are trying to run out the office. You need them to be in the right frame of mind as much as you need to be.
Are they the kind of person that will panic if you ask for a ‘chat’ or do you need to be more specific and ask for a ‘personal development’ meeting? Don’t tell them before you walk into the room that you want to talk about your salary or hours, in this kind of meeting you don’t want to give your boss time to prepare. You need them to be slightly on the back foot to make all your preparation have the biggest impact.
If you have performance reviews, use this time. Your boss will find it frustrating if you sit in an appraisal then only ask them about it a week later.
2. Plot the story
What is it you are actually asking for? You want more money, then how much? You want different hours, what hours? What would you compromise on? Is it important enough to you that you’d leave if you didn’t get what you are asking for? Can you afford to be bold and hand in your notice there and then or is any job better than no job?
Look at the industry, are you asking for something that is commonplace in other businesses? Is the salary you are asking for paid by other companies for your level or are you just being greedy? Have the facts to back up why you deserve something more or different to your colleagues.
Remember that there is more than one way to have your continued efforts rewarded and more money might not actually be possible from your employer. Even if you put forward a really compelling proposal, they might not have the resources to be able to deliver.
3. Visualise your audience
Think about who you are talking to. Will they listen to your emotional plea or will they not care? Are they more pragmatic, do you need to use a more logical and practical persuasion approach? Whether or not they approach things in the same way to you, you need to match your approach to them to make this work.
If they are fact based, give them the facts; don’t tell that that you’re crying every night because you don’t get to spend time with your kids. But also if they’re big picture focused, don’t go into detail telling them how by you leaving 8 minutes early will enable you to get a different train with a faster connection. They will switch off.
Do a mock meeting with a friend or family member. Ask them to be really challenging and to argue back at you and you have to come up with answers on the spot. The likelihood is that the first thing that comes out of your mouth each time is rubbish, barely articulate. You don’t want the first time you answer the question to be in front of your boss. By repeating the questions and answers, you can hone your answer to be the best it can be. And the shock of certain questions will be removed.
5. Ease the pre-performance nerves
If you’re feeling a bit sick or trying to convince yourself at the last minute that you shouldn’t be doing this, try to ignore it. Nerves can get the better of you but when you don’t let them, they can actually give you the adrenaline to put all the practice you’ve done into play and achieve something fab. You’ve practiced, you’re prepared, you can do it.
No More Ifs Or Buts.”