Advocating For Yourself In The Workplace

Whether you are taking on new responsibilities, going after a promotion, or negotiating a salary increase, being able to properly advocate for yourself can generate pivotal and positive changes for your career. Advocating for yourself in the workplace can be a daunting task. It can be especially daunting for young, new employees. However, regardless of seniority, advocating for yourself is an essential skill as you build your career.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re well into your career journey, it’s important to make sure your voice is heard so you can amplify your accomplishments and get the help you need to improve on your weaknesses.

How To Advocate For Yourself In The Workplace

Being an advocate for yourself at work means that you’re able to recognize your worth and assume the responsibility of clearly communicating your needs, goals and desires to others. From here, you can solicit the support of others, set boundaries and create a plan for achieving your objectives as a professional and an individual. By serving as your own advocate, you may be able to overcome challenges, problem-solve effectively and cultivate more success in your career than otherwise possible.

Self-advocacy leads to a road of success. Get started on that success journey today!

Know What You Want

The first step in knowing how to advocate for yourself is to have a success plan ready. Without knowing what direction you want your career to head, it is harder to advocate for yourself.

With this, it can be beneficial to make note of your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you better understand which environments will allow you to thrive better – making the process a little less daunting.

When you set yourself up in an environment that plays into your strengths, the more success you are likely to have.

Once you know what you want, be confident in it. Create a roadmap that in your mind takes you in the direction you want to go. Along with that, make it known to others so that they can come alongside you.

Know Your Value

When you begin your avocation journey, it is important that from the start you know your value, one as a person, and two your value within the company. Knowing your role within the company will help you as you advocate for yourself. What skill sets do you have that can help aid your organization achieve their goals? Having a list of ways that you personally contribute to the bigger goal of your organization will help you in advocating. 

Know Your Role

Fully understanding your role’s job description and responsibilities may help you advocate for yourself. You can meet with HR professionals or managers to understand your duties. This ensures you remain aware of your value and contribution to the workplace. With this knowledge, you can build your confidence and present yourself as an essential member of the team.

When advocating for yourself in the workplace, citing examples of how your actions benefit the workplace can improve your colleagues’ impression of you. Discuss with your manager to understand what they expect from you. During this discussion, you may communicate that you’re receptive to feedback and restate your commitment to organizational goals.

Reputation, Relationships, Achievements

As they say, your reputation precedes you. Without a positive reputation within the company, the road of self advocating will be far more difficult. It’s one thing for you to personally know how great you are, but those around you need to see that, as well. This is vital in order for you to work your way up in the company – and set yourself up for success in avocation. 

Developing genuine relationships with your colleagues may assist you in advocating for yourself. Through discussions with your colleagues, they may realize your skills and contributions to the workplace. This can help you advocate for yourself, as these team members can provide support and vouch for you. They can inform managers of your good qualities and commitment to your role. Receiving support from this group can also help you build your confidence to communicate your opinions in the workplace.

Highlight your achievements and contributions in the workplace. You may discuss ideas and actions that may benefit the workplace with your colleagues. Instead of waiting for managers to notice your accomplishments and commendable work ethic, you can inform them. You may also use social media platforms to discuss advances you’re making in your career. This helps you advocate for yourself, showing supervisors why you’re a valuable asset. It may improve their impression of you and may increase their willingness to listen to your opinions.

Communicate Effectively

When discussing your position and advocating for more opportunities for yourself, ensure that you remain assertive. Speak clearly and maintain eye contact when communicating with managers or supervisors. You may also prepare for meetings to ensure you remain confident. Exercising self-control when advocating for yourself can also help you express your opinions and needs clearly. Ensure that you maintain friendly, positive body language while communicating. For example, smiling and making eye contact at regular intervals while speaking can show respect and present confidence.


Hearing the word “no” can trigger alarm bells and fear. We often feel as if we did something wrong, someone doesn’t like us, or we asked for too much. The reality is, there are many reasons you could hear the word “no,” and they might have nothing to do with you.

When it comes to advocating for yourself, and your boss tells you “no,” give yourself the freedom to feel the emotions that come with that response, but be curious. What are the reasons your boss would say “no” that have nothing to do with you? Did your ask involve a pay increase that is unavailable in the budget? Did your ask involve being a part of a team that is already at full capacity? Did your boss say “no” because they are looking out for your well-being and know that taking on this new project might increase your risk of burnout?

If you do get a “no” or a “not yet,” ask what you can do now to potentially get a “yes” in the future. This is a great way to channel your energy to something productive and give you purpose while you wait.

Tips On Advocating For Yourself

  • Be direct. When communicating your needs and goals at the workplace, it is helpful to use plain language. It’s important to spend time analyzing your career goals and understanding the proper steps to get there. Once you truly evaluate the path you want to go in, be concise and clear with your ask.
  • Ask questions. Before responding to what may seem like a criticism of your opinion, ask questions. They may help you understand others’ views and gain clarification.
  • Be good at your job. Before you even think about asking for more responsibility, a new role, or salary increase, it’s important that you are fully engaged and confident in the role you were hired for. When people ask about you and your work ethic, there should be no questions.
  • Follow up on requests. After discussing with managers or supervisors, it may be helpful to send follow-up messages to remind them of the conversation. You may send an e-mail thanking them for their time and consideration.
  • Seek advice. Consider listening to advice from your colleagues or mentors before advocating for yourself. This typically ensures that you use the right approach to communicate your needs.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice. Imposter syndrome can peer its ugly head at any moment. And, despite everything you’ve accomplished it can make you feel like you’re not qualified or even worthy of the new role, salary increase, or whatever it is that you’re requesting. Take time to practice what you’re going to say. Grab a buddy, or even just repeat it to yourself in the mirror. The most important thing is to ensure you’re comfortable with your words enough that you exude confidence when speaking with your manager or colleagues.

Let’s Get You There

Everyone should be equipped with the tools necessary to take charge of their careers through self-advocacy and perseverance. By adopting a process mindset and taking persistent steps forward, there is no doubt you can achieve success and build a career you can be proud of.

Converge is a professional leadership and development, executive coaching, and consulting service that has your best interests at heart! We offer a wide variety of individual and company trainings to ensure highly developed individuals across the board – developing leaders from within.

We would love to work with you as you accelerate your growth. Reach out to us today to learn more!