You know how hard you work and the value you add to your team, but what’s your boss’s take? It should be clear, which makes it so frustrating when you can’t tell whether or not management has a vested interested in your success and future with the company.
Really, it’s mutually beneficial — if you excel, so does the company. If they keep you around, you get stability and experience. Still, your boss may be hard to read or hard to reach. If you want to inspire them to make that investment, it might be completely up to you.
Here are five ways to make sure your boss is invested in you, your success and your future.
1. Work Hard
This may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. You can’t expect someone to invest time and effort in you if you aren’t working hard. Rack up as many experience points as you can before approaching your boss for a promotion, pay raise, continued education course, etc. You’ll have a better chance of getting what you want if everyone knows how key you are to the team’s success.
It’s also important to remember that, once you do get the investment you seek, you can’t just let your drive taper off. Continue to prove you were worth the initial investment, and you may see even more bonuses for your hard work in the future.
2. Make Mutually-Beneficial Suggestions
Let’s say you want your boss to agree to pay for continuing education or additional training that’ll make you even better at your job. It’s vital to present this pitch with a clear view as to what the benefits are for both you and your boss.
Of course, each continued education course will have its own specific benefits. But you can also mention the fact that an inability to develop skills on the job is one of the main reasons the best employees move onto new companies. Since you have already proven how hard you work — and how much of a key team member you are — this tidbit could bolster your pitch.
3. Ask for Feedback
If your boss is responsible for a large number of employees, it’s likely you don’t get as much one-on-one time with leadership as you’d like. Therefore, it’s up to you to ask your boss for feedback that will help you grow, improve and excel — and eventually inspire your boss to invest even more time and effort into improving your career prospects within the company.
It’s your responsibility to coordinate the session with your boss. In fact, one of the best ways to set up a feedback meeting is to make sure it’s officially on your boss’s calendar. That way, they will receive alerts and reminders about the event — your boss won’t be able to schedule something over it, either. It’s also wise to have questions prepared, accept feedback gracefully and respond confidently to any comments that need clarification.
4. Be Willing to Compromise
You’ve mapped out an entire growth plan for yourself. You’ve created a PowerPoint showing how a marketing class at the local community college will help you expand your role and move forward in the future. You ask your boss if the company will pay for your course — and they say no.
You could walk out of their office defeated, or you could ask for suggestions as to how you can still follow that growth plan without money for night school. You’ll likely be surprised your boss has plenty of suggestions up their sleeve, too, so be prepared for some curveballs — don’t become too fixated on your vision when another route could be just as valuable.
5. Keep at It
So, maybe your first conversation about investment and growth didn’t go quite as planned. You might be inclined to fall back and reduce your workload since that promotion or training course is no longer on the table.
Your best bet is to continue on the same path you’ve started to blaze. Continue working hard and taking on more responsibilities. Prove your worth, ask for feedback and meet with your boss regularly so your presence is known. It’s imperative to keep the hard work and conversation going — you never know where your talks will lead in the future, and they may just bring you the career investment you seek.
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