Many employees find themselves walking a fine line. They want a new position: to move into a job that takes better advantage of their skills, to attain a promotion within their existing job, or even to move to a different place of employment. When you have your eye on a specific position, you want to do everything in your power to get it. There’s one secret to the process: assertiveness. While you don’t want to be overbearing or appear that you’re trying to force your way into a position–particularly with an existing employer–you do want to be sure that you’re being clear and assertive about your plans.
1. Make your goals clear. If you’re content in your current position and don’t want further responsibility, it’s all right to say so. On the other hand, if you want something more, make sure that your employer knows it! There’s no need to be rude; simply putting the information out there is more than enough. For example, you might say, “I would eventually like to be a construction foreman, and I’d like the opportunity to develop leadership skills within my current position.” If your current employer doesn’t know that you want to move up, you may miss out on valuable opportunities. When you’re looking to move to a new company, share why you’re interested in them: “I love your company’s vision, and all of my interactions with the company have shown that your culture would be a great fit for me.” Your employer can’t read your mind. By clearly sharing exactly what is that you want, you’ll discover that they’re more likely to give it to you.
2. Follow the application process. Whether you’re hoping to move up from within or you’re looking for a new job, it’s important to follow the described application process to the letter. Take a good look at even the most unusual or obscure instructions in the application process. Hiring managers at a new company take note of the details: if they tell you to send your information by email, do so. If they ask for a hard copy of your resume, it’s important to provide it. When you pay attention to the details of the application, you show that you’re genuinely interested in a specific job, not just following the same procedure for every application you put in–and you prove that you’ll give that same attention to detail in your everyday job performance.
3. Practice what you want to say. When you approach your boss about your interest in a new position or promotion, practice it first! Take the time to think through exactly what you want to say and remove filler from the statement. You’ll find that this makes you appear more confident, which in turn increases your employer’s confidence in you.
4. Be clear and positive about why you want the new position. It’s not that you feel you’re being under-utilized in your current position; instead, it’s that you think that you can bring more valuable skills and abilities to the table. You aren’t unhappy in your current job; rather, you think that a new job will be a great fit for you. When you’re positive about this shift in your employment status, you’ll discover that your attitude is more likely to rub off on the people in charge of putting you in a new position.
5. Remember that it’s okay to ask for the changes you want. You aren’t being ungrateful for your current job, nor are you leaving your current team in the lurch. Instead, you’re making a career move that’s best for you and your family–and you can do it without guilt! Drop the guilt from your attitude before you make your desires clear. It’s only holding you back and preventing you from asking for the job you really want.
Moving into the job of your dreams isn’t always as simple as asking for it, but it’s a great first step in the process! A simple assertive, calm attitude is a great way to put yourself forward and show that you’re a great fit for an available job. Ask for what you want and make it clear that you’re going to continue to pursue your career goals. You may be amazed by what you’re able to accomplish as a result.