How to ask for what you want in the workplace

Ask for what you want

It doesn’t matter if you’re asking for more responsibility, a pay rise or an extended amount of holiday, confronting your boss about something that ultimately benefits yourself can be a little nerve-wrecking but ultimately if you are sure you truly deserve what you are asking for, there is no need to be so worried. The key to getting what you want is in the way you present yourself and your proposition, these tips can also be used when confronting an issue that may need to be resolved. Ultimately you will be learning to stand up for yourself in a professional manner and we believe it can be done this way…

Be sure of yourself

This isn’t a blog post on how to ask for a raise when you’ve been in the job for 6 weeks and still can’t prove your worth. The phrase ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ is certainly true, but you won’t get if you don’t deserve! Make sure that what you are going to ask for is both fair and within your reach, whether you need a day off at short notice but you’ve been with the Company for many years and have never had a sick day or whether you don’t feel you’re getting the opportunity to use your full potential, make sure that you are confident in your abilities and that it won’t come as a big shock to your boss.


Some people are spontaneous and can improvise through most situations, many others find that preparing for EVERYTHING is the only way to succeed. In situations like this, when you need to have an awkward conversation with your Manager, the best way to make it less awkward is by knowing exactly what you need to say, having key points to back up your proposition and being able to answer any questions that are thrown at you. Writing everything down in notes is a good way to rid yourself of any nerves as well as ensuring you are fully prepared for the conversation. Whether you prefer bullet points, spider diagrams or just random bits of writing here and there on the page, whatever works for you make sure you get it down!

Be humble

It might work in the movies, but storming into the office and demanding a £10,000 pay rise will only earn you a one-way ticket to the front door. Be sure to thank your Manager for their time in seeing you and make sure you address the matter in a positive and gracious manner. Remind yourself and your Manager of the opportunities you’ve been awarded previously and your commitment to the Company before asking for that well deserved promotion.

Don’t be deterred by the word ‘No’

Your response to this word could be the making or the breaking of you in the Company. If you throw a strop and threaten to quit, the Manager will only help you pack your desk up, however if you take the rejection in your stride and think of it as an incentive to work harder and challenge yourself further, then you will really prove to your boss that you really deserve what you’re asking for. Hearing ‘no’ isn’t something anyone enjoys and in a world full of instant gratification it wouldn’t be unjust to say that people don’t always want to work for everything but often the most personal growth and achievement comes from getting up after a big set-back.

It’s rare that many employees will need to sit down and discuss what they deserve with a Manager, part of a good Manager’s job is to see who excels and benefits the Company most and employees are usually awarded accordingly, however it is so important to be sure that if you are going to ask for something, no matter how small or big, that you are prepared, professional and positive that you deserve what you are asking for. Let us know your stories!