How to Ask for What You Want in Your Career

A few weeks ago my husband and I decided that we had both outgrown Austin. I felt like my social life was nonexistent and the overly laid back environment was forcing me to perpetually wear flip flops and cargo shorts. He felt like his career in Austin had hit a plateau and there were just more opportunities in Houston. So with that in mind, we enacted a plan--operation back to Houston; where we met and fell in love and where both our parents reside which equates to weekends at grandma house for the baby.

Because we're real adults and we adult really hard; moving back to Houston would be no simple feat. For starters, we'd have to decide if we wanted to rent our house or put it on the market. I'd also have to figure out my employment situation because bill's don't pay them self. I'd also have to figure out what are the trade- offs and sacrifices I'd be willing to make. Relocating could entail a shift in my career and a potential pay increase or cut.

I knew that I wanted to stay in my current role and because my scope of work was statewide I figured I could do my job from anywhere there was wifi and an airport. Convincing "the powers that be" of this possibility was another story. My organization is old school and my boss simply believes that in order to be successful and complete work assignments one must be tethered to a desk where the internet connection is strong and the coffee is weak. As a millennial I believe otherwise so I decided to lay out my case and make the ask. 

I scheduled the meeting near the close of the business day on a Monday. In my mind, all major ideas and work productivity blossoms on a Monday. Prior to the actual meeting, I reached out to my network of people I respect for sound advice. I gathered my thoughts and bounced talking points off of colleagues and friends. I had lunch with mentors to seek out any gaps in the plan or potential deficits that could occur. As a failsafe, I reached out to other friends for prayers and good vibes and although my faith is strong I was still a bit nervous. 

In the meeting, I stated my case.

I spoke to the career opportunities for my husband and support system for the baby all the while assuring that my level of performance and service delivery would not be compromised. This strategy was a bit precarious because I feel like male CEOs don't care about family values and are only interested in the bottom line. I'd admit that was an implicit bias on my end it was disproven because my boss agreed to the relocation and remote position. I think what sold the idea was the fact that I was able to attest to my proven ability to deliver results, work well with my team and maintain the continuity of positioning our organization and brand as the upper echelon in the industry.  Upon his approval, he added extra layers of people to approach for buy-in but I'm now one step closer to making the move.

My major take- away is that we just have to ask for what we need in life. If you need advice from peers or mentors just ask. If you need prayer just ask. If you want to shift gears in your career just ask.

The old adage holds true "ask and you shall receive." 

Today was a small victory for me and of course, I celebrated with rosè (and fried chicken and a biscuit). I had to do it for the culture. Houston…I'm on my way back! And I'll get there much faster because I finally purchased a TX Toll Tag. 

Ar'Sheill Monsanto