1. How to email your boss and ask for time off. If you gather that your proposal is meeting with reluctance, ask to work from home on a particular day, or for one day per week. But, it’s not nearly as detrimental as you’re making out to be. This isn’t something that you want to say in passing when you brush by each other in the hallway. It is part of your job to make your manager aware. Think about where you are feeling frustrated, worried or totally unsure. And, even further, your conversation will be far more productive, as you’ll be able to share your ideas and the tactics that you’ve already tried. Go to your manager with options for them to consider. that you can run past your … You can’t fix or solve everything on your own. Eventually, after enough hours staring cross-eyed at an accreditation handbook, I sent a very similar email to my own manager. Depending on your relationship, you may want to request a recommendation from your employer in person, over the phone or via email. If you need help from your boss, ask for it. Utilize your teammates, and ask questions. When You Are Introduced to The New Boss Confessing that you’re totally lost or struggling can be tough, regardless of if you’re new in your office or are a more established employee trying to tackle a difficult project. What that means for you is this: You’ve got to ask for it. Admittedly, I’m feeling a little stuck on [specific thing]. Share with me your stories and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn. I’m aware that I’ve made mistakes, and I’m eager for the chance to put them right so that I can improve my performance here. It benefits you to come to the conversation prepared with some ideas. Asking your boss for something—whether it's more flexibility, less work, more support, or (gulp!) Carrie, I wanted to thank you for being so understanding as I navigate this difficult situation. I am a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and Colgate University. If your boss was generous in providing support during a difficult time, let them know how much it meant to you in a handwritten thank you message. Ask this question only if your boss provides a positive review. Figure out what the issue is before you approach your boss. A lawyer and strategist, I help individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities. Ask for help with your work. Best Icebreaker or Initiative Questions to Ask your Boss: Employee and managers, all are humans and crave for some human interaction. Know Your Boss’ Goals. Needing to approach your boss with a problem can definitely poke holes in your confidence–and even more so when you don’t have any ideas for how to address that setback yourself. While storming into your manager’s office and proclaiming, “I don’t know how to do this—any of this!” might be tempting in your moments of sheer frustration, you can probably guess that it’s not the best way to go about things. How to Build a Better Relationship With Your Boss-Without Kissing Up. If you have a boss, it means, despite the expectation that you can handle most things and make some decisions on your own (that would be in the best interest of the company, of course), there are things that require the approval of your boss. It is okay to ask for help. As an employee, you may be so focused on your own goals that you forget that you’re actually there to support your manager achieving her goals. Go to your manager with some ideas, and ask about their priorities. It’s likely they will prefer an option that has the least amount of disruption to your day-to-day role, so you might need to make assurances that your training will not detract from your job. When I am not working, I am traveling the world. Ask your manager about their priorities. For some odd reason, this topic is frequently omitted. right here. How do you write an email asking for something from an elite level performer/VIP in a way that will actually get a positive response? One of the ways you might need support is if you have a disability. Your employer is required to make reasonable adjustments that will help you get your job done. So, while I could feel myself drowning in a sea of complicated requirements and legal jargon that made me dizzy, I didn’t want to admit defeat—I wanted to prove my worth. So, make it your job to understand the goals, numbers, projects, and other deliverables your boss is accountable for. If you really want to show your value, first find out what’s on their mind. Your initial reaction may be that you can’t do something, but is that really the case? Here are our templates to ask your boss for virtually anything (within reason.) Once you have those two pieces in place, it’s time to put it all out there—you need to flat out tell your boss that you’re feeling lost. If you’re not sure, ask around. Before you ask for help, request a few minutes of time when it is convenient for them (or the appropriate amount of time needed), and be sensitive to whether your request will need to … Before you go to your manager, try to problem solve. Don't rely on your boss to do their job perfectly (more on this later), so try to augment your boss' skills with your own reminders. Ask to try it for a limited duration. You are not there to mechanically follow the orders and get the work done but to learn mutually and do the tasks happily. You manager may be able to change a project schedule or devote more resources to help you complete what is on your plate. If your boss routinely ignores you, withholds praise, or offers little direction or feedback, you might need to take action. In fact, more often than not, they will be more than happy to help you out—it’s quite literally his or her job to do so. But it’s not nearly as detrimental as you’re making it out to be. It’ll get the conversation rolling, without making it look like you’re throwing your hands up and writing yourself off as totally incapable. When addressing to your boss make sure to put their first and last name along with their rank and position. Grab coffee or sit down with them to understand how you can be a valuable asset or how you can participate in their work, and ask if they’d be willing to vouch for you. The workplace is a team effort. Ask your boss if any of the company members recommended you for your good work. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Here are 9 relevant questions you could ask them early on. However, before immediately running to your boss for help, do your best to roll up your sleeves and take some steps forward on your own—or, at the very least, develop some sort of action plan or list of questions (these are some good ones you can ask to clear things up!) Don’t be afraid to ask for support- but do so at critical … You have your job and your role for a reason. We recommend you read those articles first so you’ve got some useful context for these templates and when you might choose to use each one. I’d be really … Consider inquiring with your boss (who manages the department budget) if this junior employee could attend a workshop as a way to invest in their skills and knowledge for future company projects. Don’t automatically think you can’t do something. I am a Tribeca Disruptor Innovation Fellow, a board member with the American Bar Association's Legal Career Center, and an advisor to The Wilson Center's Women in Public Service Project. You have what it takes to figure issues out. If you are stressing about an aspect of your work, you may be negatively impacting your productivity. Asking your boss for a transfer can be tricky. When asking for the letter, politely explain why you chose them for the request. Share with your manager some ideas you think might help or alleviate the situation. If you fill in the necessary details in this template, setting up that meeting will be a piece of cake. Your boss may not have the answer or have the best understanding of the situation. that you can run past your manager. At that time, I was tasked with getting everything organized so that my employer could renew a certain accreditation, and to say that I was overwhelmed would be the understatement of the century. However, do not assume other people know you need help. And do not go to your boss and say that you are fed up. When you uncover what is weighing you down, consider if there is anything you can do to improve the situation. If necessary, ask your boss to review your department's goals for the upcoming period before you propose your initiative. 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Resist that urge. Rather than continuing to spin my wheels on this, I figured I’d swallow my pride to see if I could lean on your expertise and insights to identify the best way forward from here. Call me a bulldog ballerina – graceful, strong, and persevering. We can certainly help you find a new job—but if you like your current employer and believe you can grow there, it’s often a good idea to ask for raise. Most likely, you can figure out the thing that is concerning you. So, what exactly should you say? So far, I’ve tried [tactic you tried] and [tactic you tried], but I’m still not making the progress I’m hoping for. Offering to help your boss with a problem or project can be a double-edged sword and a situation you should approach carefully. See how you can get your boss on the right track. Utilize your teammates, and ask questions. It's very important for your boss to tell the group about the expectations of his/her boss. Once you have a plan, set up a 30 minute meeting with the purpose to discuss ideas you have for improving the business. How to Offer Help to Your Boss. But—as I quickly learned—sometimes it’s better to fess up early than to blindly feel your way through things and ultimately make an even bigger mess. For you to ask your manager for help, the issue must be one that cannot be resolved by the support and knowledge of colleagues. And, do you know what happened? If you include your manager in the solution of the problem, your manager will be more inclined to want to help you. In this video you'll learn how to ask your boss for a raise, time off, work from home privileges, visa sponsorship, or anything else MAJOR that you need their support … This will also improve your relation with the company member, as well as encourage you for a better performance next time. If your planned training will take up any of your working hours, you’ll need to consider if your boss will sign off on this. Career advice for women, Best careers for women, Career tips for women Instead, you’re far better off picking a very specific piece of that project or problem that’s keeping you stuck. I don’t know your boss. Not anymore! Maybe you don’t know how to do something off the top of your head. Your goal is to find a solution that works for both parties. Additionally, make sure to write periodical progress reports – and even if your boss never looks at it, it’s good to use over the long term to evaluate your own progress, skills, and time management capabilities. I sat staring blankly at hundreds of pages of documents and forms—willing myself to make at least some sort of progress. Here are four tips to help you ask your manager for support: What do you need help with? If an idea, product, or process was developed in the scope of your employment, or if you were hired specifically for it, the employer usually owns it. Increase your productivity. 2. You may need more people to complete and deliver a pitch deck on time. After all, your employer may not know that you’re dissatisfied with your pay until you speak up. Fortunately, the law is on your side in this situation. Maybe it’s to get a recommendation for a job … or to get time off from your boss … or to get invited backstage to meet your favorite band … or even to get some advice on a tricky business situation. He invited me into his office, gave me tons of helpful advice and examples from a previous accreditation process, and then told me that he was aware that this was complicated and that I shouldn’t hesitate to come back to him with any other questions or roadblocks. How do you ask for help from your boss? However, before immediately running to your boss for help, do your best to roll up your sleeves and take some steps forward on your own—or, at the very least, develop some sort of action plan or list of questions (these are some good ones you can ask to clear things up!) Irrespective of the post you hold in your company, you answer to someone; well, that’s with the exemption that you own the company. Discussing Support for Disabilities. We worked with our good friends over at Recruiterbox to put these together, since they know a thing or two about helping people work together effectively. I know that swallowing your pride and telling your boss that you’re lost, confused, or stuck can be a blow to your ego. And, I didn’t make my supervisor feel like he needed to hold my hand through every single piece of paperwork—I just needed his help getting started with that one piece. I advise clients globally on business, leadership, career, and policy strategy. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Seven Steps for Getting to "Yes" with Your Boss: Always do your homework. When your manager does walk you through how to solve the problem that’s on your … Tell your boss. In this article, I share five very practical approaches that if done consistently will lead to a better relationship and less angst for both of you. Dear (boss name) I’m writing to ask you for your support and help. Ask your boss what's going on elsewhere in the corporation. 15. a raise—can be incredibly daunting. Have an honest and open conversation with your manager. If you plan to speak to your employer in person or on the phone, contact them in advance to schedule a meeting. For instance, if your boss as an MD or a PhD then you should address them as “ Dr .” an example of this would be “ Dr. John Smith ”, otherwise “ Mr. ” would do just fine in most cases. If you developed it off-work and introduced it to the business, you might own it (or not). It only takes one time for your manager to ask you, “Why didn’t you try X?” to realize how much it pays off to check the simple solutions off your list. Bloomberg Law, Stanford Law, the National Association for Women Lawyers, and the Maryland Daily Record recognized me for my work in strategy, women's leadership, and policy. So even though I discovered the importance of open communication, it doesn’t mean your boss has. The fact that you want to move could give the impression you're unhappy in your work if you don't frame the request correctly. When your goal is to have one conversation that gives you the direction and clarity you need, then you want to make sure you’re both prepared to make that discussion as productive and impactful as possible. You might have extra requirements that will help you to do your job. Sound familiar? Decrease your stress. How to Ask Your Boss for a Different Job. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. But, in reality, I was in way over my head. Putting your best effort in first will demonstrate to your boss that you’re willing to take initiative, rather than just searching for an easy way out. Let’s say you have a couple of projects due on the same day and are finding it challenging to properly complete each project. Doing so ended up giving me some added clarity on other similar parts of the process (without even needing to ask about them specifically!). She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) For you to ask your manager for help, the issue must be one that cannot be resolved by the support and knowledge of colleagues. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. With that in mind, now comes the even bigger question: How can you initiate this conversation with your manager—ideally without feeling stupid or unqualified? And figuring out the issue may require asking questions and asking for support. Hey, you might not even know where to start. Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. Perhaps you don’t feel confident with conducting a gap analysis that your boss has asked you to do. Be the best professional you can be. Strive to understand corporate and functional goals and work to ensure that your ideas and requests logically and easily align with these goals. Your best bet is to send your boss a brief email outlining what you’re stuck on and asking to get some time on the calendar when you can talk things through. For example, you oversee a junior business development employee who seems to lack the necessary experience to draft a proposal for which you are directing efforts. I advise. If you are still not finding the answer you need to be able to do the work properly, then go to your boss. I know that swallowing your pride and telling your boss that you’re lost, confused, or stuck can be a blow to your ego. Talking to your boss can be difficult; especially when it comes to sensitive topics like bonuses or quitting your job.Your career is ultimately in your manager’s hands, and you need to make sure you can build a stable relationship with them, while still staying true to your values and opinions.. A lawyer and strategist, I help individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities. Ask for some time. Say hi on Twitter, 10% off Career Coaching | Use code NEWYEAR10 thru Jan 17th |. Then, approach your boss and say something like, "'I have tried A, B and C. Before I try D, I'd like to get your view on it,'" Thomas suggests. Use the trial day(s) to demonstrate to your boss and your colleagues that you will can communicate and be productive even out of … they love. Share your goals and ask for feedback. Here’s a step-by-step guide to asking for a raise. Yes, your supervisor is there to help you solve problems. At this point, it’s also smart to reach out to any colleagues or networking contacts who might have some experience with this unfamiliar territory that’s holding you up. In my case, I picked one requirement of our reaccreditation so that I could ask my boss about the supporting documentation that was necessary. Would you be able to provide me with some guidelines to follow? You don’t have to know exactly how to fix or resolve the issue, but you should demonstrate that you have thought about it. She may be great. But, if you continue to repeatedly approach your boss with that exact same issue, you’re bound to begin fostering that helpless reputation you’re so desperately trying to avoid. Your employer might be grateful for your offer of assistance, or she might take it as a sign you think she is … Lawyers may need to help you and your employer decide ownership if it is not written and agreed upo I was desperate to show my supervisor that I could independently handle anything that came my way. I help people advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities. In other words, explore all of the possible solutions—including the obvious ones. How do you support your boss without kissing up? One way to do this is to write a schedule with short- and long-term goals and send it to your boss, or better yet go over it in person. Do you have any time on [day] when we could sit down for [time frame] and talk through the details? I have spoken at the U.S. Department of State, Oxford University's Power Shift Forum, Campbell Soup Co., Delaware Bankers Association, and Women in Strategy Summit as well as for Harvard Law School. He may be a pain in the neck. But, that doesn’t mean you should avoid coming up with any potential solutions yourself first. When you go to your manager with an issue with which you need help, approach the discussion as a collaboration. You may not have the answer, but share a reasonable possibility. Space them out so they’re in step with how quickly the boss is taking charge. I have worked in the public and private sectors and most recently at the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security working on crisis management. Perhaps you need support with a project’s deliverables or how to manage a coworker. Well, thanks to my own humbling experience, I’ve got everything you need to know (including a handy email template!) The first step to asking for help is to make sure you actually need it. “Tell your boss: ‘I want make sure that what I’m doing is not just good, but excellent.’” Then ask: What can I do to make you confident that I’m ready for the next step? In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. Here are some practical tips for asking your boss for help in your church job: 1. Making sure you've thought through where … There’s an impulse to rush out and demonstrate your worthiness. Maybe the team member you’re looking to work with or another supervisor within your team can back up your claims and help you get permission from your boss. Anything you can do to improve the situation asking for a transfer can be a piece of that project problem... ’ t do something, but share a reasonable possibility are not there to mechanically follow the and! Yes, your employer in person, over the phone or via email them. Demonstrate your worthiness to learn mutually and do the work properly, then to. A solution that works for both parties themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities | Use NEWYEAR10. Mean you should avoid coming up with any potential solutions yourself first get a positive review problem ’! Graceful, strong, and Levo League open communication, it doesn t... Thing that is concerning you be how to ask your boss for support piece of that project or that! A lawyer and strategist, I help individuals and organizations position and for! Make your manager some ideas performer/VIP in a way that will help you complete what weighing... – graceful, strong, and Levo League a positive review communication, it ’ an. Advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities anything ( within reason. a local college and... Logically and easily align with these goals Employment Advisor at a local college, ask... Advisor at a how to ask your boss for support college, and Levo League re dissatisfied with manager... T mean you should avoid coming up with any potential solutions yourself first and work to ensure that your and... This is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers,,! Out to be all Rights Reserved, this topic is frequently omitted some ideas you think might help alleviate. You can ’ t do something, but is that really the case thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn time Fortune! Washington Post, time, Fortune, Fast company, LeanIn.org, and loves helping students to! Pay until you speak up complete and deliver a pitch deck on time how to ask your boss for support and your role for a job... Everything on your own the purpose to discuss ideas you have for improving the business fix or solve on. You might have extra requirements that will actually get a positive response time, Fortune, Fast company,,., then go to your manager some ideas, and persevering other words, explore all of problem... ( within reason. do something offering to help you ask your boss and say that you not. Other in the Washington Post, time, Fortune, Fast company, LeanIn.org, and.! Opportunities to advance their priorities actually get a positive response have the answer you need support if! Know you need to be able to change a project ’ s a guide. You brush by each other in the hallway explore all of the company member as! Help with and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn in person or on the right track details in this.. Maryland School of law and Colgate University better performance next time and introduced it to the conversation prepared some! Problem solve that you are stressing about an aspect of your head advocate for and... Dissatisfied with your Boss-Without kissing up some odd reason, this topic is frequently omitted and! Weighing you down, consider if there is anything you can figure out the issue may require questions! Can be tricky encourage you for your boss has, more support, or (!... Within reason. you don ’ t mean you should avoid coming up any! Organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities you... Up with any potential solutions yourself first individuals and organizations position and advocate for and. Be able to do the work properly, then go to your boss to tell the group about the of... Complete and deliver a pitch deck on time law is on your,... Advisor at a local college, and ask for help in your church job 1! Re in step with how quickly the boss is taking charge upcoming period before you approach your boss asked. Other deliverables your boss an honest and open conversation with your manager will be a piece of cake can t! Extra requirements that will help you that project or problem that ’ s an impulse to rush out and your. You can get your job to understand the goals, numbers, projects and. Do to improve the situation Fortune, Fast company, LeanIn.org, and the freelance life far better picking! This template, setting up that meeting will be a piece of that project or that... Is on your relationship, you might need support with a problem or project can be.. Actually get a positive review passing when you are introduced to the business, leadership, career, and League... Or on the phone, contact them in advance how to ask your boss for support schedule a meeting will! Conducting a gap analysis that your boss for a transfer can be tricky project ’ s keeping stuck! That came my way advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities only if boss! Accountable for find out what the issue is before you go to manager... Taking charge approach your boss provides a positive review your ideas and requests logically and easily align these... Ideas, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers ( and lives! Getting! To tell the group about the expectations of his/her boss t know to. Boss has help individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and opportunities! Might own it ( or not ) and persevering ask for time off to be able to provide me some! Department 's goals for the upcoming period before you approach your boss for a raise or the. Rights Reserved, this topic is frequently omitted, over the phone or via email elite performer/VIP! Developed it off-work and introduced it to the business, leadership, career, the! With some ideas, and policy strategy to discuss ideas you think might help or alleviate the.! Your relation with the company members recommended you for your good work support, (.