3 Ways to Get What You Want at Work

Being engaged at work centers around getting what you want. Let’s not create a landfill of petty narcissists, however. Rather, let’s find meaning and life at work rather than the soul-sucking eight-to-five drudgery that causes Sunday night jitters among the 70% of Americans who hate their Monday morning destination.

1. Know what your company expects.

Friends in HR tell me they’re shocked at the number of people working without clear direction. The most common complaint I hear from Millennials is that they do not know specifics of what their job demands. When the terms of employment are vague, no one wins.

If you don’t have a job description, write down, as specifically as possible, what you think you’re supposed to be doing. Run it by your supervisor and see if there’s anything to add or delete. Once that’s approved, you know what the company expects.

2. Know what you want.

Have you ever thought through what you want in terms of hours, holidays, benefits, environment, communication, and management style? Millennial clients tell me that their ability to use technology makes it unnecessary for them to stick to the old eight-to-five schedule. They prefer more flexible hours, but their companies hold tightly to a 1960s model. What do you want?

What about holidays, healthcare, and other benefits? One client gets a company car worth $40,000, but here salary is $35,000. She loves the car, but would gladly settle for a lesser model and more money in her pocket.

Perhaps the most overlooked "want" is communication, specifically feedback. Again, every Millennial client I speak to wants ongoing, immediate feedback. Older clients prefer something monthly and nobody likes waiting for an annual review. Moreover, not one person feels motivated by the 360-degree anonymous, annual performance review. (Increasingly, we see psychological studies showing the detrimental effect on morale of these arcane thumbscrew exercises—may die a quick death.)

Management style means the level of oversight. Most people in a new position want closer oversight than seasoned professionals. Again, what do you want? Nobody wants to get yelled at, made fun of, be underpaid, or otherwise oppressed.

3. Negotiate for what you want.

If expectations do not align with what you want, negotiate. If your company won’t bend, you may be in the wrong place. Have courage and look for another job.

Dynamic Coaching works with leaders to help them discover, balance, and achieve their dreams. Specialization includes developing emerging leaders in business environments. As a result, clients maximize engagement and performance, reduce stress, improve communication, and develop people faster. My goal is to help you become preferred in your field.