Knowing how to go about getting what you want at work does not need to be a mystery. As your company invests more in you, you return the favour by being the awesome employee that you are. It really is a win-win. It all starts with asking. Here are 5 working mom hacks you can apply right away, to get what you want.
What do you have to lose?
#1 More training / study support
So, you want to study further but HR advised you that the company only covers a fraction of the fees ‘as per the policy’? Here is what you do. Work with a sponsor (your supervisor or mentor) and draft a one page motivation to request an exception. Your motivation should outline costs and acknowledge the policy (this shows you read it and you are not disregarding it). Finally, it should include why this programme is good of your career and for the company. The fact that you have applied your mind to your studies in the context of your career will count in your favour.
#2 More flexibility
Importantly, be good at what you do when you are in the office, then ask for flexibility . You want to be in a position where no one really cares about where you work, as you always deliver. Suggest a trial period at first. You will often find a manager being more open to flexile arrangements if its positioned as a trial at first.
#3 More maternity leave
Your company will probably have a set policy in place, but if you want to take more time off you need to negotiate your maternity leave with your manager.. This is quite a challenging one to navigate.
Position the maternity leave request as early as possible (ideally immediately after your completion of your first trimester). The critical factor that will be considered in an extended maternity leave is the backup plan. You will be leaving your colleagues behind to take over your work while you are off having a baby (as important as this is, it’s a pain for those left behind). Come up with a unique way to cover some of your responsibilities. Example, volunteer to train an Intern, you could groom someone for 6 months and you can set this person up to support the team in some activities. Whatever the solution is, do not throw your hands up in the air. You need to lean in and work with your manager to work out what your backup plan is. This may help towards getting that extra bit of maternity leave.
#4 More professional memberships
If you want to join a professional community, whether your company has a policy or not, you should request your boss to sponsor it. This reflects your dedication to your craft. It also helps with you remaining up to date with trends (which is good for business) and allows you to network.
#5 More visibility
If you want to gain more exposure to high value projects, or gain more access to senior leadership – ask. Be good at what you do, and then ask for more. Your manager would be willing to expose you to more opportunities, if you have shown your credibility in other tasks.
In closing, an employer will invest in employees who have demonstrated their commitment to the company through their performance. As a valued employee, you can and must enhance your position in the company by asking for what you want. Spend time with your manager, mentor or HR to understand what is available but also be encouraged to lean in and ask for what you want.
What do you have to lose?
What do you think, do you have any tips for asking what you want at work?