Get What You Want at Work

Get What You Want at Work

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The Rolling Stones sing, “You don’t always get what you want, you get what you need.” Too bad it’s not that simple in the workplace. People, places, priorities and choices can interfere with our ability to get what we want or what you need.

It’s no secret that our effectiveness is affected by our interaction with people. Frankly, they often don’t do what we expect them to do. Often they see the world differently. That doesn’t seem like a revelation until you remember the last time your boss or coworker surprised you by their behaviors or attitudes.

To improve your probability of success you must understand what motivates you and others. This may mean taking a basic personality class and learning assertiveness skills. Who among us hasn’t reflected on an encounter and asked ourselves if we couldn’t have handled the situation better? Learning new skills is a way to improve you and getting the opportunities that you want.
Consider your job. What if you want a promotion?

First, you need a strategy to let others know that you not only want consideration, but you are the best candidate for the job. Showing self-confidence in your skills are potent ways to say “I can do this!”
No one deserves a promotion unless you have the same last name as the owner. Each of us has to maintain the highest quality of work, find the high profile assignments and then wow our bosses.

You’ve heard that timing is everything. Well, don’t expect a positive response from a boss whose favorite team lost the championship game the day before. If you observe and understand your manager you will get a sense of when is the right time. If you’re not good at choosing the right moment, ask someone who is skilled at timing to help you pick the appropriate time to ask.

To get a promotion, the managers need to believe in you. They must be able to envision you filling the new role. Consider how you dress, the language you use and the interpersonal relationships you have. Too often people have spent years getting that college degree in the misguided belief the degree would get them promoted. A degree might help, but you’ll find yourself stuck in a dead end job if people can’t see you as management material. 

0708DEGROOT_FASHION.gif Manage your career vertically and horizontally. Avoid talking about others while focusing on making yourself an asset to your company. Don’t make excuses for failures. Use crises as opportunities to show you are a quick study and a hard and smart worker.

Lastly, you may be worth more to someone else than to your current company. Accept that you may have to go to another company to get what you want. It is unfortunate, but true.

There are other issues that are out of your control when it comes to getting what you want at work. Promotions happen in clusters. One person gets promoted and a replacement is chosen from the people they worked most closely with. Another problem is you may not possess the skills that are needed for an available promotion.

While there are a few people who seem to get what they want without effort, most of them have learned to deal effectively with people and disappointment. They are skilled at what they do, and have experienced the hard-knocks of life.

Keep up the work and make yourself visible in a positive way. Then if you get some luck and use the suggestions I made in this article you can get what you want and avoid being stuck with what you need.


Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: The McAlpin
Models (left to right): Ellen Violand and Beth Schlehr