If you’re not happy with your position at work, your salary or the benefits you receive, you have a choice: either accept what you have, or ask for what you want.
Asking for what we want is much easier said than done, and there are several possible reasons why we hold back. Here are four common reasons why we don’t ask for what we want.
1. You Don't Know What You Want
Getting up and going to work every day might be a struggle if you hate your job and you don’t like where your career is going. Discussing your future career outlook with your employer can point you in the right direction. If you tell your employer what you want and hope to gain from your career, and that you’re interested in growing with the organization and taking on additional responsibilities, he can help you achieve your professional goals.
But you can’t ask for what you want if you don’t know what will make you happy. You know you’re unhappy in your present situation, yet you haven’t figured out your next move. Have a heart to heart with yourself and decide where you want to be in the next one, three, five or ten years. Once you know the path you’re going to take, you’ll be in a better position to ask for what you want.
2. You Don't Think You'll Get It
But even if you have your career path mapped out, you might not ask for what you want due to fear of rejection. Maybe you don’t believe you can get what you want.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out and need to speak with your boss about working fewer hours, he’ll either say “yes” or “no.” If you’re a hard worker and an asset to the company, he’ll more likely accommodate your request to keep you as a member of the team. It’s more cost-effective for an employer to keep an existing employee than to hire and train someone new for the position. Never be afraid to speak up and ask for what you want, you might be surprised and get exactly what you want and more.
3. You Lack Self-Confidence
If you lack self-confidence, you might not ask for what you want. Imagine being stuck in a dead-end job for years. Although you’re ready to challenge yourself, you might question your ability to handle new responsibilities and move up the career ladder. Due to fear of disappointing yourself or failing, you never ask for more.
Don’t let fear of failure keep you stuck in the same place. With any new opportunities, there’s a learning curve. Nobody expects perfection and everyone makes mistakes on the job. Don’t miss out on a potentially wonderful opportunities because of fear.
4. You're Not Assertive or a Go-Getter
If you’re a quiet person or not very assertive, you might be used to not asking for what you want. But if you want to advance your career, you have to speak up and stand out from the crowd. When you always hide in the background and never voice your opinion, your superiors might not notice your potential and overlook you for promotions. A better opportunity isn’t going to fall in your lap, and if you wait for your situation to change on its own, your career or salary might never advance.
If you’re not satisfied with your career or life — do something about it. Figure out what will make you happy and then go after what you want. The results might surprise you.