How to tell your boss…

You’re overworked
One is so often reluctant to tell the boss that you are overworked as you are afraid that she will think that you are lazy/reluctant to work/don’t take your job seriously. One way of dealing with this situation is to make sure that your desk is always neatly set out with all the tasks that you are currently doing and when the boss comes along with yet another task, is to ask her very politely which of your current tasks you can delay or postpone while you attend to her request. This works equally well if you have a whiteboard in your office and on which you have written your “To Do” list.

You’re bored
It does happen that we become bored at work because we can do our current job so well that we are able to finish our daily tasks and duties quickly, effectively and efficiently, leaving us with “spare” time. Another reason could be that you feel that you have developed as far as you can in a position and you are looking for a new challenge. It is then important that we do something about this – and we can go to the boss and tell her, not that we are bored, but that we would like to add even more value to the organisation.

We would ask the boss if there are any particular areas where she could see us making a contribution to the smooth running of the organisation and where we could, at the same time, gain and obtain additional knowledge, skills and competencies – it is also good to look around the organisation and see if there are particular areas that we would like to move into and then to make a suggestion to the boss. All of these (the suggestion, the desire to add value, etc.) will stand you in good stead for future advancement within the organisation – or even outside of the organisation.

You’re pregnant
This is a happy event that you want to shout about from the rooftops and share with everyone. But, how to tell the boss? You will know your boss well and you will know how to share this news with her. It is probably best to do it sooner rather than later (but once you are past the eight to 12 weeks for which everyone waits) and then march into her office and tell her … maybe with the scan in your hand! This will enable the boss to start, if necessary, to make plans for the period when you will be away on maternity leave.

You’re HIV+
You are under no obligation whatsoever to tell anyone about your HIV+ status. This is an absolutely private matter and is not something about which your boss or the organisation needs to know anything about at all. The decision to tell anyone of your HIV+ status is something is yours and yours alone!

You’re going to resign
You have accepted another position elsewhere and you now have to tell your boss that you wish to resign – many people become quite tense about this situation. You need to, firstly, make an appointment to see the boss (this not something that you want to do in the corridor when he is on the way to an important meeting or busy with an important task). And, having made the appointment, you now need to gather your courage in your hands (many people become very stressed about this) and tell the boss that you have accepted another position and that you will be leaving.

You need to tell her that you have really learnt a great deal while you have been with the organisation and that you have benefited from her in the time that you have been working for her and that you are sure that the lessons you have learnt have meant a great deal and will stand you in good stead in the future!

You think you deserve a raise?
We all feel that we deserve a raise – but, you need to take a long cold hard and very objective look and evaluate whether you really do deserve that raise. And if, after that critical self-evaluation, you feel that you do, you need to gather as much information to substantiate that. You would take your job description and highlight or add the additional duties and responsibilities that you are doing at this time.

A word of advice, don’t just add tasks like making tea for everyone in the department, or helping organise birthday celebrations for everyone in the office. Rather look at substantive responsibilities that add value to the day-to-day working of the organisation. And then, off to the boss you go to have an open and frank discussion with her about your situation. Two pieces of advice – don’t compare yourself to someone else at the same level in the organisation and check that the salary increase would be in keeping with the salary scales of the organisation.

Ever had trouble with doing any of the above? Share with us how it went down....

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