What do you want at work? Do you want a promotion, a new office, or the opportunity to work on an exciting new project? Here are 4 simple rules that will help you get what you want:

1) Ask. That seems pretty simple, but often at work we’re not clear about what we want. We may assume that other people know what we’re thinking because it’s so obvious to us. Or we may expect that if we work hard enough we’ll get rewarded. Don’t assume that your boss knows that you want a promotion. Let him or her clearly know that you are interested.

2) Show What’s In It For Them. Think about how it will benefit the other person and tell them. For example, if you want to hire additional staff you need to consider how it will help your boss. Will it give you more time to work on projects that your boss really cares about? Will it allow your boss to delegate more work to you, so it will save him or her time?

3) Build a Business Case. If you want to hire more people or get more money for a project, you need to show how this will benefit the company. Explain how this will increase productivity, increase customer satisfaction, or positively affect the bottom line. Suggestions that are tied to the company’s success, rather than your personal needs, are more likely to get accepted.

4) Be Persistent. Just because you ask for something doesn’t mean that you’re going to get it. Even if you get a “no” the first time you ask, don’t let that stop you. A negative response now can be changed. For example, if you ask for a raise, the answer may be “no” today because it is not the scheduled time for a raise at your company. In that case, ask your manager what you can do in advance to make sure you get a raise when the time is right. Or maybe, you haven’t presented enough information for the other person to say “yes”. If you want a raise, have you researched external salary surveys (available online) that compare your job with other similar jobs in the market? Even more important, have you documented your value to the company? Can you show where you have saved money, made money, or made a difference to the bottom line? That’s the information that managers need in order to say, “yes”.

Following these 4 simple rules won’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want, however, they will greatly increase your chances of getting a positive response.

Author's Bio: 

Laura Browne is the author of a practical & easy-to-use book for women, Why Can’t You Communicate Like Me? How Smart Women Get Results At Work available at www.inyourfaceink.com. Go there to take a communication quiz or get information on free teleconferences on How To Deal With Difficult People At Work. (This book is also available at Barnes & Noble online.)

When Laura isn’t writing, she helps women be more successful through WOMEN Unlimited, a nationally recognized resource for cultivating leadership excellence, www.women-unlimited.com.