How often do you drop into your boss’s office? I don’t mean when your boss summons you to his corner to render a hefty dose of constructive criticism or details for a new major project. How often do you engage your boss in general conversation? There are several things you should be addressing with your boss on a regular basis.
Your Career Goals
Whether you hope to be in a different role, different department or different company, it’s OK. While I know this may be very intimidating for some it can actually be very beneficial to talk to your current boss about your career goals. Why? Often times when we feel like we are outgrowing a position, our boss becomes the big bad wolf and we become mortified at bringing up the fact we want growth. The reality is your boss most likely understands. Your boss was not always in the position he/she is in now. Most likely he/she progressed through various roles and positions before landing his/her current management role. If your boss is understanding he/she wants to empower and groom you for bigger and better career opportunities. By being transparent about your career goals, your boss is in a better position to expose you to growth opportunities. And you never know you next big break might just be at your current employer.
Your Boundaries & Expectations
Over half of employees state they are uncomfortable saying no to their boss. Employment relationships are just like any other relationship. It’s a two way street. Just like your boss has boundaries and expectations for you, you should have expectations for your employer. And you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable setting boundaries for your workplace. For example, my employer was shorted staffed and I often came in early and stayed late to help out, but the more I did the more it became expected for me to do so. It was stressful and tiring doing this over time and I had to let my boss know I could no longer do this and went back to my regular schedule. I had to be crystal clear what hours I was available to work. Remember it is okay to say no at work, check out my blog Sugarcoating no for some creative, yet tactful ways to tell your boss no.
The Money Conversation
It blows my mind that as much as the workplace has evolved in regards to traditions and standards, the money convo is still utterly taboo. We talk about relationships, kids, sports, even politics and religion have crept into work conversations, but when someone mentions coinage the conversation quickly dries up. I get it, asking for more money is a stressful and often awkward experience, but not asking can be detrimental. Chances are you have worked hard, attain a great wealth of knowledge, picked up the slack of other employees in their time of need, volunteered to take on special roles or projects. Guess what, you deserve to be compensated for your expertise, dedication and hard work. Whether you are starting a new job and negotiating your starting salary or bidding for an annual raise the conversation is worth having.
The next time your boss brings you in for a pat on the back, consider steering the dialogue to you and your career ambitions or expectations. When you take the time to talk about these important issues, you’ll find that you’re happier with your career and better positioned in the eyes of your boss, your team, and the company as a whole.