Ask an Expert: How Do I Advocate For Myself at Work? - Deepstash

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Gain career clarity first

Gain career clarity first

In order to advocate for yourself you must seek in you your strengths, the things that vitalize you among those that drain you, and knowing which environment empowers you and enables you to do your best work.

Other people won't advocate for you and they most certainly won't speak up in your absence.

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Create a roadmap for your end goal

Once you've identified the goal that you want to achieve, start thinking about the things you need to do to reach it.

Take a couple of hours to brainstorm some solutions to your problems and try to talk to your manager about these solutions you've come up with.

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Developing your confidence

Developing your confidence

It's important to develop your confidence at work. When you're showing up as your authentic self, the easier it will be to advocate for what you want. With a higher sense of self-confidence, you'll have more influence when approaching your manager or other teammates.

If you believe in yourself, they will be more likely to believe in you too. Make sure to be cognizant of your triggers and during these moments, counteract them with something positive, and remember to focus on what you can control.

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Find your allies

There are people at your company who will show their support for you. Look for people who are most likely to be aligned with your values.

They can help to refine your questions, help you practice having the conversation, and actually aid in increasing your confidence.

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Understanding your manager's expectations

When you have an open conversation with your manager, start by sharing how you value their feedback, that you are strongly committed to achieving your goals, and how much you're willing to support the team and the company as a whole.

Then, you can share some possiible solutions that you've discussed with your colleagues such as redistributing draining tasks and re-prioritizing deadlines.

End the conversation by bringing it back to your strengths, interests, and needs as an individual.

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Prepare for pushback

Prepare for pushback

Keep in mind that you are doing amazing work. You have exerted great effort and you deserve a pat in the back, so even if you don't get the outcome you want, be kind to yourself and think about how much you've learned, improved, and grown through the whole process. 

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