Over at Medium, Sarah Kathleen Peck writes a massive guide on how to ask for, well, anything. If you’ve ever experienced trepidation asking for a raise or new responsibility, it’s worth a bookmark. A sample:
4. Be direct, clear, and specific about what you want. Make it ridiculously clear what you’re asking for. Be direct about what you want, who it’s from, and when you need it, and what a desired outcome looks like. The more specific and direct you can be, the better.
- Define the problem. What are you trying to solve?
- Specify what it is, exactly, that you want. What materials, processes, steps, pieces, or people are involved to solve it? Is this made abundantly clear—and easier to read than an IKEA assembly manual?
- Outline how much time, energy, money, or commitment you think it will take. Be clear about what the person will have to do to fulfill the request. If it’s a sale, specify when, where, and how they can get what you’re asking them to by. There’s nothing like deciding you want something and realizing that the person who invited you didn’t put a “buy here” button on their website.
- Be direct. Put the ask up front and early, and again in the close of the message.
If you feel “stuck” in your career or like you’re just waiting for some outside force to intervene in your creative work, one likely solution is gathering the courage to ask for what you want. If you’re feeling nervous, remember “The Spotlight Effect:” people aren’t as focused on you as you think, and that’s a good thing.
This post was originally published on 99u.com.
Sean Blanda is the managing editor of 99u.com.