Quiet People Don’t Get Ahead: Be Your Own Advocate

Quiet or shy people are not going to get anywhere. You have to speak up in order to get what you want out of your career or run the risk of working at the whims of others, spinning your wheels and never moving toward achieving your own goals.

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Turns out, the squeaky wheel does get the grease. And the promotion.

For those early in their career, it can take some time to realize that no one at work – unlike your parents or school counselors – are really looking out for you. While everyone usually finds mentors along the way to provide a helping hand, most people need to become a strong advocate for themselves in order to get ahead.

In another words, quiet or shy people are not going to get anywhere. You have to speak up in order to get what you want out of your career or run the risk of working at the whims of others, spinning your wheels and never moving toward achieving your own goals.

You Are On Your Own

One thing is for certain for all workers, quiet or otherwise: you cannot depend on an ideal manager. Even the best of managers are often too busy to always notice all the accomplishments of their workers. And the truth is there aren’t that many “ideal managers” anyway.

In today’s work world, the situation also can be very complicated. Perhaps you have several managers depending on what projects you are working on, and they don’t always communicate with each other well. The recognition of your work becomes diffused, spread thin over too many people.

This also can lead to getting too many projects dumped on you by too many supervisors with no clear direction on how to accomplish any of them.

That’s another reason to speak up and become your own advocate.

Steps to Using Advocacy to Further Your Career

Here are a few general steps to take that will get you on the road to coming up with plan and executing it to further your career. It involves becoming your own advocate and managing up (having your work benefit those who are above you in the corporate hierarchy).

Self assessment. For anyone serious about taking the reins of their career and steering it in the direction they want, they must first do that hardest thing of all: take a good, honest look at themselves. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Is the job you have right now a good step along the path you want to take? What is it that you really want? That last one might be hardest question of them all, but you need a good answer.

Toss around ideas. Once you’ve established where you are, what you bring to the table and where you want to go, then you are ready to start coming up with ideas on how to get there. Do you need to seek a promotion at your current job? Do you need to look outside the company at other opportunities? Obviously if you decided in the first step that you want to be in a different field, you might also need additional schooling or training.

Meet with your manager. If you are attempting to move up within the company, you will need to develop a decisive, succinct list of steps you’d like to take to move into the position you want.  Very important: come to this meeting prepared. It’s impossible for anyone to take your career plan seriously if you appear to be unsure about it yourself.

Follow through. Hopefully – and this is typically the case – your manager will be thrilled to have an employee who knows what they want and who is willing to do the hard work to get there. But it’s important that you follow through on what you promise – get additional training, meet specific deadlines, whatever it takes to accomplish your goals.

Just these simple steps can get you out of your shell and on the way to a job you enjoy.

Some Other Benefits to Managing Up

In addition to creating a pathway to success, becoming your own advocate can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed at work. There is nothing wrong with speaking up and managing your workflow.

Ask for deadlines. Some people are scared of deadlines because they fear the pressure of coming up against one, but the truth is it helps with the planning process and also is good for the manager making the request. If they have a solid date that you have agreed upon, then they won’t start asking for something early.

Ask for a list of priorities. Every company wants people who can juggle several projects at once, but that’s far easier said than done. In addition to having deadlines for everything, it’s also good to have priorities from your manager so you know which project should get your full attention.

Never agree to an assignment before knowing the details. If a manager outlines an assignment and you, in a rush to please, immediately say you can get it done, that’s a mistake. Ask for specifics about what the manager wants and flesh out the project in as detailed a way as possible, otherwise you could end up agreeing to accomplish something that you have no idea how to do. That’s a recipe for failure.

iFame Media, a brand management agency, provided this article on behalf of AirFun Games, a company dedicated to providing spectacular bounce house rentals and event rentals in Tampa, FL.




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