Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire and "Good Morning America's" workplace contributor, has written a new book that answers many of the questions we grapple with at work:
How do I ask my boss for a raise?
How do I ask my boss to evenly distribute the workload?
How would I talk to my boss about drama with a co-worker, without creating an unpleasant work environment?
Johnson's book, "Take This Book to Work: How to Ask for (and Get) Money, Fulfillment and Advancement," helps answer those questions and many more.
If I had only asked! Perhaps this phrase sounds familiar. You probably know firsthand how hard it is to ask for what you want at work. Ask and you shall receive? Surely we all know it's not that easy, especially in the cutthroat world of work.
For our new book, "Take This Book to Work: How to Ask For (and Get) Money, Fulfillment and Advancement" (St. Martin's Press; Sept 2006), my co-author Robyn Spizman and I polled more than five hundred professional women, some of them looking for a job and some happily employed on what they viewed as the biggest hot-button issues with which they routinely struggle. Three topics consistently emerged: money, personal fulfillment and professional advancement. Regardless of their industry, occupation or level of success, most working women throughout the country have these issues at the top of their minds. As we dug deeper, we discovered a specific thread at the core of each of these workplace challenges: it all came down to what an individual did to prepare and then was willing or able to ask for.
Whether they're seeking employment for the first time or simply trying to advance their careers after years on the job, many women routinely grapple with how to ask for what they want and feel they have earned through hard work and commitment. But often we don't ask questions because we're shy, intimidated, or simply uncomfortable. Other times, we just don't feel like we're entitled to ask, or we allow a fear of looking stupid--and/or a feeling of self-consciousness to hold us back. It often boils down to an uncertainty about timing, protocol and even specific language to use when asking specifically for what we want. In the end, many women wind up sitting on the situation, stalling and stewing instead of asking.
Fortunately, asking the essential questions is a learned skill, one that any woman can master quickly. In Take This Book to Work seventy-something scenarios are presented, from asking for an interview to negotiating the best severance package and a whole lot of everyday stuff in between. This excerpt offers a glimpse at why some of the most successful women today have recommended the book.