You are an employee, not a robot. This means that you shouldn’t expect to just nod. In fact, the workers who climb the corporate ladder the fastest are the ones who defend their own needs and build a strong and differentiated brand.

Does it sound scary or uncomfortable? Granted, asking your boss can seem a little off-putting. Rest assured, in a healthy organization, making a request is perfectly acceptable behavior. An added benefit is that it pushes you outside of your norm, which can be good for your future. As Vicki Walia, Director of Talents and Capabilities at Prudential, writing, “Don’t wait for your career to come to you, you have to take charge of your own growth. Good advice from someone who’s been there, does that.

Take raises, for example. After at least a year of doing your best and excelling, you should be perfectly ready to ask for more money. You’re not greedy, and most managers won’t think you’re rude when explaining why you deserve a raise. Just make sure it’s competitively priced for what you do and where you work.

Of course, money isn’t the only thing you’ll want to talk to your boss about. A Glassdoor survey found that most benefits and compensation matter less to professionals than other workplace factors, anyway. Therefore, your request may be irrelevant to finance and more suited to another personal or business need.

Below are five conversations, beyond asking for a raise, that you should never be afraid to have with your supervisor or employer.

1. Advocate for flexibility.

Life doesn’t follow a neat little continuum, allowing you to be available to work precisely from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. More than likely, sometimes you will need to pick up the kids from school, help a parent get to medical appointments, or take your sick dog to the vet. Or you might just need some time to get your hair cut. When you realize that sitting at a desk for eight straight hours isn’t necessary for your particular job, you might want to ask for some flexibility in your schedule.

The key to championing your cause is to anticipate your manager’s top concerns, such as how you’re going to work, stay in touch with the rest of the team, and prove that you’re really spending those hours when you’re offsite. . Describe some methods for successfully working remotely or coming at different times. If you come up with a few creative plans, you will relieve the boss of the responsibility of finding a solution. And you’ll be a lot closer to hearing, “OK, we can try this for a few weeks to see if it works well. “

2. Discuss your plans to use your paid time off.

Are you afraid of taking your paid time off (PTO) because you fear you will be humiliated on vacation by your co-workers? Or do you like to be seen as a martyr for work, like almost half of Millennials, according to The figures from the US Travel Association? If so, you are doing yourself and your business a huge disservice. After all, research from Harvard Business School suggests that burnout almost takes 190 billion dollars in tolls on the economy every year. And exhaustion is just one result of never taking my time.

Even if you are sitting at your desk, you are not necessarily adding value. As Srini Pillay, MD, CEO of consulting firm NeuroBusiness Group and award-winning author, Remarks: “Just because you show up for work doesn’t mean you save money for the company. A lot of people show up with their bodies, but their minds are either burned out or somewhere else. »Leaving the PTO on the table does not make sense from a practical point of view. Ask for time to get out of Dodge. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to conquer this to-do list, and you could set a new positive trend if your organization is overcrowded with martyrs. In addition, you have deserved it!

3. Ask for frequent, personalized feedback.

Are you waiting for your annual performance interview to get feedback from the boss? You probably want to know how you’re doing a lot more often, and you deserve frequent reviews. PwC research shows that everywhere 60% to 72% of employees need feedback at least once a week. However, you probably won’t get what you need until you talk to your immediate supervisor.

Set a time to meet when your boss is not under tremendous stress. Explain that you want to do your best and that you want regular check-ups to make sure you are at your highest level. Most managers will be delighted with your willingness to improve and will endeavor to give you constructive feedback. Just make sure you’re ready to put those comments into action.

4. Lobby for a mentorship program.

Behind every successful businessman is a line of insightful mentors. Yet finding a mentor can be difficult. While you shouldn’t ask your manager to be your mentor (this can create conflicts of interest), ask if the company can help you find one. Your request could be the springboard that your organization needs to create a formal agreement between mentors and mentees.

Many companies are starting to recognize how valuable mentoring programs can be for their team members, especially future superstars who are just starting out. PwC data indicates that 65% of Millennials professionals want to develop on the job, and mentoring falls into that category. Want examples of brands that are getting the right mentorship? PayPal achieves top marks, according to InHerSight data, offering mentoring to develop the keen sense of team members. Likewise, LinkedIn court the best talent through mentorship.

5. Ask for stretching homework.

Are you constantly neglected to lead projects? The next time a Team Mission is on the horizon, ask to own it. If you have any criticisms, be prepared to explain why you think you will do well at this task. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand to oversee tasks that might be overkill based on your current title or role. As long as you think you have the skills to do it right, apply.

And when you get the green light from the big boss? Really boost your abilities and don’t leave anything out that you can possibly do to make the project a success. If you are good at this role, you will almost certainly have a better chance of showing off your leadership skills. Over time, this will help you prove that you are a good candidate for promotions.

In most organizations, it’s safe to ask for what you need. Indeed, it may be riskier to remain silent. Discover your voice at work and make sure you are heard by your supervisor. You might not be the boss yet, but at least no one will mistake you for a robot.

Guillaume Arruda is the co-founder of CareerBlast and creator of the whole LinkedIn Quiz that helps you assess your LinkedIn profile and networking strategy.

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