How to Be Your Best Advocate in the Workplace

How to Be Your Best Advocate in the Workplace

Asking for a raise or promotion at work is honestly a bit scary. There’s that uncertainty that comes with anything, but more so when it involves your job. If you’re like me, you really need your job and doing something that could potentially rock the boat just isn’t in line with maintaining a happy life.

But as women are still behind men in advocating for raises and promotions, it’s time we find ways to boost our confidence to strut into your supervisor’s office and ask for that raise or promotion that you deserve. 

How to Be Your Best Advocate in the Workplace


Make a List of Your Job Duties

We all start out with a core list of responsibilities required of us when we begin a new job. Keeping track of what you’re supposed to do and what other people are starting to ask you to do can be a big deal. 

For example, I started out part-time just formatting resumes at my job. All I did all day was format resumes the recruiters would throw at me throughout the day to our standard company format so we could submit them to clients. The only other responsibilities I had was to fill in for my supervisor when she was out. But at that point it was only the basics of things and didn’t go into some of the more complex things she does.

If I would have kept track of my responsibilities, I would have a more concrete visual of how my role changed and progressed over the years, but I went from being a part-time resume formatter to my supervisor’s second in command and I keep things running smoothly when she’s out on vacation. People actually come to me with problems now. 

If you are lucky enough that you have access to the original job posting you applied to, that can help you immensely. You can keep a document of what you were hired to do and add the extra responsibilities on as you receive them. There’s nothing like hard proof of what you do to show how valued of an employee you are.

Related: The Ultimate Resume Survival Guide: Resume Overview


Take Initiative If You Can

Some jobs are meant to stay at whatever they are and there is no room for progression. It’s best to stay away from those jobs, but it’s not always the easiest. A lot of the time you don’t find this out until after you start the job and put in a good amount of time. 

If your employer doesn’t want you to move forward, adding things on to your job and advocating for a raise is the best hope you can have. If that doesn’t work you can always add that to your resume and use it as leverage at finding a new job.

Thankfully, my employer has given my room to grow and shape my position into something I enjoy doing. One of the biggest things I started doing was figuring out ways to get the company out on social media. I was given mostly full reign of our social media accounts, so I went to town. I started making videos to advertise our services, and postings to showcase our current open jobs. 

I had ideas I wanted to implement and I went with it. Of course, I ran things by the proper higher ups, but things have been going incredibly well.

Related: 5 Things to Remember When Job Searching



Ask for a Title Change

If a promotion or raise isn’t in the books for the moment, asking for a title change can be just the thing to kick start your confidence. While all it will mostly be superficial, it shows growth and is another thing that can look great on your resume. 

I recently advocated for a change/addition to my job title. I started out as just “Recruiter Assistant” which sounds boring and a lot like just admin work, which is what I was doing initially, but with the added job responsibilities I felt that the title didn’t fully represent what I was doing.

I had suggested the addition of “Social Media Manager” but the CEO agreed on “Social Media Coordinator”. Considering I spend just about all of my free time creating things for social media, it felt like it fit.

Not only will this help me potentially add more to the “why I deserve a raise” pile, it also looks good on my resume. Some places will only care if your job title matches what they want, so if I ever decide to move on to a more social media focused position I have that under my belt.

Related: 6 Things I Learned From Being Unemployed


If They Won’t Budge, Leave

One of the biggest ways to advocate for yourself in the work place is to know your self worth. Knowing what you deserve in the forms of compensation and respect is huge in making your work life run smoothly. 

If after you’ve listed out all the things you’ve added to your responsibilities, what initiatives you’ve taken, and the potential title change you’ve acquired, and any form of progression is still shut down, the best thing for you to do is leave. 

Leaving a job is scary. There’s a lot of uncertainty in whether you can find a job that pays better, that allows for growth, and doesn’t make you want to bash your head against a wall every night. 

But the main point is, no one is better to advocate for you than yourself. And if the best way to do that is leaving a dead end job, do it. Do it now, or you’ll regret it.


Do you have any other suggestions? Have you pushed for a raise? How about for a promotion? How did it go?


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