Share this Page URL

Get a Job--and Keep It 218 You're Not Alone On my last job, I focused so much on the needs of my clients and on getting my projects done perfectly, that I forgot I am my number one client. I should always keep in mind that my most important project is advancing in my career. --Avery B., sales manager You may be tempted to say, "But I don't have time to do those things." I know it might seem like a reach, but making those objectives a priority will save you time in the long run and is therefore worth every minute you'll have to spend on it. Get Ahead Do you suspect that you're being underpaid but haven't gotten up the nerve to ask for a raise? Does your position no longer resemble its original job description because of all the added responsibilities that have been heaped upon you, but your business card still bears the old job title? Are you over- looked for plum assignments no matter how hard you work? If so, don't just sit there: Do something about it. I know, I know, that's easier said than done. We may know in our own minds that we deserve better. We can present eloquent cases to our spouse, best friend, or dog for why we deserve more. But when it comes to telling somebody who can make it happen, such as a boss, you become a shrinking violet. Your reticence may be due in part to an internal struggle between the voice in your head that says, "Fight for what you deserve," and the other one that tells you it's bad form to be aggressive or greedy. It might also be due to a lack of negotiating skill or experience. You may have no qualms about fighting for more, because you know that asking for what you've earned is not being greedy. But you hold back because you're worried that you'll make your request in the wrong way. At this point, a career counselor or coach can come in handy. Working with someone who can teach you career management strategies, including how to negotiate for more money, a better title, or a change in the nature of your job, can help you get moving. Plus, having a career expert confirm that you do deserve more can provide the emotional support and self-confidence you need to get ahead. As an alternative, or complement, to working with a career development professional, take a look at the advice and encouragement offered through the career books and Web sites in Appendixes A and C, respectively. The Least You Need to Know · Putting off looking for a job is often due to a lack of a clear job target or search strategy or to fears and self- doubt. · Being organized and scheduling routine or periodic tasks are keys to getting work done when you don't enjoy the task. · Employers expect you to add value to their organizations beyond fulfilling the basic requirements of the job description. · Getting raises, promotions, or plum assignments starts with realizing that you do have a right to ask for what you deserve.