Your guide to win­ning at work

What you need to know to take your ca­reer to the next level.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Work -

How to get to “yes” Got turned down for a pro­mo­tion? Here’s how to over­come that hur­dle.

The cur­rent Lean In cul­ture has been good for a lot of things: in­spir­ing women to be more proac­tive at work and mo­ti­vat­ing us to ne­go­ti­ate and to fight for heftier salaries. And the books it all be­gan with, in­clud­ing Lean In by Sh­eryl Sand­berg (Ebury Pub­lish­ing; R211) and The Con­fi­dence Code by Claire Ship­man and Katty Kay (Harper­collins; R183), en­cour­age us to tackle the self-doubt that of­ten holds us back from ask­ing for the pro­mo­tion or in­crease we truly de­serve. The take-away for many women: if they think and act more con­fi­dently, they’ll win bet­ter ti­tles and fat­ter pay cheques.

On the sur­face, this mes­sage is not bad. But the buzz has psyched us up to ask for bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties – without pre­par­ing us for the pos­si­bil­ity that the re­quest may be de­nied.

“This gen­er­a­tion of young pro­fes­sion­als tends to over­value them­selves at times,” says Pro­fes­sor Paul White, co-au­thor of Ris­ing Above a Toxic Work­place (North­field

Pub­lish­ing; R329). “Risk­ing re­jec­tion isn’t bad, but steel your­self in case things don’t go your way.”

Here’s how to han­dle two com­mon out­comes that are less than ideal. Un­der­stand and pre­pare for these pos­si­bil­i­ties and you’ll have a bet­ter shot at turn­ing the sit­u­a­tion around in your favour. And the next time you make a case for your­self, the an­swer is more likely to be a re­sound­ing yes.

“There’s no money in The bud­get”

You might hear this and think, ‘I wasn’t born yes­ter­day. The re­ces­sion ended years ago!’ But in­crease re­quests are rarely sim­ple open-and-shut cases. When you ask your boss for money, that’s just the first move up the chain of com­mand. “What I hear from man­agers, es­pe­cially when they’re deal­ing with some­one who is a re­ally strong per­former, is that they’re frus­trated be­cause their hands are sim­ply tied,” says con­sul­tant Frank

Guglielmo. If you’re told a pro­mo­tion or a raise isn’t fis­cally pos­si­ble, re­di­rect the con­ver­sa­tion by adding that you don’t ex­pect re­sults im­me­di­ately. Say, “I un­der­stand there isn’t a lot you can do to­day. What can hap­pen over time and what can I do to make it hap­pen?” This way, you not only re­ceive valu­able feed­back and guid­ance, but you can also gauge whether a pro­mo­tion or raise will ever be in the cards.

“We don’t Think you’re ready”

There’s also the pos­si­bil­ity that your boss doesn’t think you’ve earned a big­ger slice of the pie yet. When that’s the ver­dict, the best thing to do is lis­ten, be­cause your per­cep­tion of your­self isn’t match­ing up with the per­cep­tion your boss has of you, says HR ex­pert Jaime Klein. Sched­ule a check-in af­ter six months and, in the mean­time, ask for real-time feed­back. Keep the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open, so the next time you speak you’ll be on the same page.

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