Self-Assessment Quiz – True or False:
- I know what I need to succeed at my job, from salary to support to scheduling.
- I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses.
- I don’t let other people make decisions for me without my input.
- I am confident with speaking up, interacting with higher executives, and tooting my own horn.
There is a handwritten sign on my front door that everyone walking out of the house sees as they open the door to face the world: “IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET.” But before you can do that, you need to know what you want and get ready to receive it. That’s why I sure am hoping you answered TRUE to the questions in the self-assessment quiz above.
Think about it. When you go to McDonald’s, what happens? You ask for what you want. You don’t stand at the counter and hope the pimply teenager at the register will decide for you. You can’t stand there wishing for extra tarter sauce on your Fish Filet sandwich, not ask for it, and then be disappointed that you didn’t get extra tarter sauce! You have to open your mouth, people, and ASK (or point and gesture if you’re in a foreign country)!
Let’s look deeper into this analogy:
- You identified that you wanted a McDonald’s Fish Filet.
- You did the work:
- Earned the money to pay for the fish sandwich
- Found a way to get to McDonald’s
- You ordered once you were in place and ready.
- You walked away with the fish sandwich.
- You ate and hopefully enjoyed the fish sandwich.
Now, if you hadn’t identified and asked for the sandwich, and taken all of the little steps in between to bring it to you (or you to it) before it rested comfortably in your small intestine, would you ever have eaten your beloved Fish Filet? NO! My mama used to say, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” And that’s befitting this McDonald’s analogy, for sure. But the same goes for what you want in your job, your career, and your life!
If you want to move up in your job, you gotta decide how to do that. Let’s say you decide you want to be a senior manager. Now, you can’t sit in strategy meetings, or better yet, your annual review, and just expect people to read your mind and magically hand you a new business card with “Senior Manager” printed neatly under your name in Helvetica font! You can’t even do great work and be content that your boss knows this means you want to be a senior manager. Bosses aren’t all intuitive like that. You must be vocal, you must be direct, you must be specific, and most importantly, you must be ready and positioned (i.e. deserving) to get that which you ask for.
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