As you continue retooling in your career and preparing to reach your next level, if that’s what you want, it’s important to communicate what you desire.

Everyone, your manager included, is focused on their own careers, challenges, projects, and deadlines.

It’s your responsibility to let your manager, mentor, and sponsors know what’s on your mind, how you want to contribute, and what you desire at the company.

When you do, lead and end with gratitude as you communicate your intentions.

Appreciate what you like about the work that you’re doing and acknowledge how much you have grown and also how much you wish to continue to grow.

The following piece includes excerpts from Chapter 5: Retooling for the Future in my #1 bestselling book, Fearless Women at Work: Five Powerful Strategies to Thrive in Your Career and Life! 

To communicate what you want, I recommend these four strategies.

Ask How You Can Improve

Throughout my career, I’ve asked my managers for feedback about what I needed to improve to get to my next level, especially in the earlier years, and how could I add more value to the company.

This action communicated to my managers and others who I asked for feedback what I desired—to add value and do my job better every day.

Say “It” and “Do It”

By expressing what I also desired, which was to move up and continue to learn and grow, I also had to keep performing, get projects completed, be open-minded, collaborate well with teammates and partners across the company, and hone my skills within my field. Needless to say, I moved up the corporate ladder steadily.

There are employees, on the other hand, who are very happy doing the same work until they retire, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that—that’s certainly one way to meet one’s need for certainty.

However, if you want to evolve your career, no one is going to know that unless you make it clear and express it. 

The emphasis here is that no one can read your mind.

Shift How You Look at It

Growth and contribution are two of our human needs. Communicating what you want is not about being selfish. For many of us, taking care of our families, growing, feeling challenged and engaged in our work is as important as or even more important than the actual money.

It’s about waking up and feeling motivated to go to work. 

When I feel engaged, when I feel I’m contributing to the success of the team and the firm and adding value, I spring out of bed and look forward to the workday ahead.

Communicating your professional desires is one way to increase your influence and impact on your own life.

Communicate your desires, and only if you mean it, let your manager know why this is important to you, with the intention of enhancing both your personal and professional growth and contribution to the team and the organization.

Become “Top of Mind”

Become the employee who is at the top of the mind of your manager, mentors, and sponsors.

In fact, behind closed doors, when conversations are taking place about resourcing “stretch” assignments or major initiatives, or how much of a salary or bonus increase to give the staff, your manager will most likely remember those employees who are valued for their performance and contributions and who have expressed a desire to continue to learn, grow, and contribute.

I’ve been behind closed doors discussing my team’s assignments and compensation. As a valued team member, a conscientious manager who acknowledges your impact within the team and knows your intentions would do anything within her or his power to keep you and make sure you’re happy.

Why It Is Important to Communicate What You Want in a Nutshell

The benefits of communicating what you want outweigh our ego’s desire “to be promoted and recognized for my hard word without having to toot my own horn.”

To give managers the benefit of the doubt, like the rest of us, they are often operating under a very stressful work environment. And in many cases, they are in survival mode.

When you communicate what you desire to your manager, and you do it with the intention to grow, have a more significant impact, and contribute, you’re achieving two things.

First, you’re impacting your employer and the bottom line. And second, you’re positioning yourself to rise to your leadership potential, and putting everyone else around you who can support you on notice.

And what’s wrong with that?

I’m curious about what your experience has been sharing what you want and about the lessons you gleaned from those experiences. Leave me a comment to share your insights.

In the meantime…

Be fearless! (act despite the fear)

Dr. Ginny A. Baro

Dr. Ginny Baro specializes in helping to develop leaders at all levels of management, as well as helping individuals who are navigating a corporate hierarchy, moving into an entirely new phase of their professional career, or experiencing a major life transition.
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  • Dr. Ginny A. Baro

    International transformational speaker & leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 bestselling author

    Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning Certified Professional Coach and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work and her latest book, Healing Leadership, published in April 2021. Before becoming the CEO at ExecutiveBound, she worked in highly competitive work environments in financial services and technology for over 25  years. She earned a Ph.D. in Information Systems, a Masters in Computer Science, an MBA in Management, and a BS in Computer Science and Economics.
    Named one of the Top 100 Global Thought Leaders, Ginny specializes in helping organizations to develop leaders at all levels and works with talented professionals struggling while navigating a corporate hierarchy or moving into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully delivered coaching and leadership training programs to Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees and keynotes to audiences larger than 7,000. To set up a complimentary strategy session and explore how ExecutiveBound programs can help you or your leaders gain the growth mindset and skills and get out of survival mode and into thriving mode, visit
    For more of her work, join her community to receive valuable strategies delivered to your inbox. Read other articles in her blog, and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.