On the thirty-fourth entry of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield shares a few ways to effectively advocate for yourself professionally throughout your career. Remember, closed mouths don’t get fed in this day and age. If we don’t advocate for ourselves in the workplace, who will?
Tristan: What is going on, y’all? It’s Tristan Layfield of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. This week we’re going to talk about a few areas where it’s essential for you to advocate for yourself throughout your career.
In my coaching program, I talk to many clients who are unhappy with their careers but after asking a few questions I realize they aren’t taking ownership of their careers. Often, we get into roles and think that all of our work is going to speak for itself. Unfortunately, that’s a pretty big mistake. Managers are not only responsible for you but they’re also responsible for all of your colleagues and their own careers. So a big factor in the trajectory of your career is taking ownership so you can show why you deserve that raise, promotion, or new role.
One of the things you can do to start advocating for yourself is to sell yourself on your resume. Employers look to your previous employment experience to determine what their return on invest in you is going to be. But if you can’t convey your value, how can you expect anyone else to understand what you’re bringing to the table? In order to do this, you have to start keeping track of your career highlights and accomplishments so you can translate the value of those in your resume.
Another area where you can advocate for yourself is by asking for what you’re worth and believing it. Whether you’re negotiating your starting salary or requesting a raise, you have to BELIEVE you are worth that amount. Do your research and factor in your experience so you can have your own back. But also, once you get the job make sure to keep track of the work you’ve done so you can leverage it during your annual review which impacts your raise!
The last area I’m going to highlight when it comes to self-advocacy is asking directly for what you want or need. When it comes to business, I find that directness is kindness. So if you’ve started a job and you’re still confused on certain processes, ask for more training. If you’re assigned a project but you’re unclear on what you’re responsible for, ask targeted questions about expectations and timelines. If there’s a position open that you want, ask for it or what you can do to land it.
Remember, closed mouths don’t get fed in this day and age. If we don’t advocate for ourselves in the workplace, who will?
This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, twitter, and facebook at @layfieldresume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn!