I Want… Dos and Don’ts

Have you ever wanted something but for whatever reason, did not ask for it? Did you miss an opportunity and later have regret? Or is it you did ask and you did not receive what you requested? In this post, I want to cover the basics as to when to ask and when to wait. Below are a few professional situations that asking for, or not, will pay off.

Job Hunting

Dos: During the final interview process, I am always happy when a candidate clearly explains why they want the job and then follows up with a statement saying they want the opportunity, will work hard to exceed expectations and ask for the job. Wow, right? Based on my experience, this happens rarely. If you want the job, ask for it clearly, precisely and confidently (make sure not to be arrogant, but rather be humble).

Don’t: Don’t ask too many questions to soon, especially private ones. Some candidates when asked if they have questions, go off topic and ask about the interviewer’s personal background. Don’t do this, or if you do, make sure it is relevant to the role or company. When in doubt, don’t ask.


Do: Is there an opportunity within your team, department or company for you to take on more responsibilities, lead a team, project or initiative? If yes, ask to speak to the manager in charge. In your meeting, clearly state that you want the opportunity and why you will do a good job; moreover, make sure that your current work or responsibilities do not suffer.

Don’t: Don’t ask for additional responsibilities if other parts of your work will suffer, or the amount of time and effort you will put into the additional task or activity will be limited.


Do: Do you feel you are ready for management responsibilities? Meet with your supervisor and again, clearly explain why you want the opportunity. If your manager feels you need to gain more skills or experience, ask specifically what you need to work on and when you have meet the criteria, ask again!

Don’t: If you do not have the right skill set, maturity, experience or other that would most likely result in poor performance, don’t ask. Moreover, don’t ask for a higher position if you have not mastered your current role.

In General

Do: In order to get what you want out of life, you must speak up and ask for what you want. Assuming you are being reasonable, or the request is with someone you have a trusting relationship, chances are you will be heard.

Don’t: Don’t ask for too much, especially from someone you don’t know, or to someone you just met. If the request is substantial, rethink before asking.

Whatever it is you want, make sure you are requesting from the person in the best position to help you. Equally important is to ensure you are prepared and ready for whatever it is you are asking for. If your request is granted, make sure you work extremely hard to ensure you are successful. If you do, you will get many more yeses in your career!

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