It's finally happening: Your dream job is becoming available. Finally, after all this time and all the years you've spent hustling in that confined little cubicle, you finally are courageous enough to walk into your boss's office, look him or her in the eyes and say, "Boss, I'd like to be considered for this position."
You give him or her sufficient evidence that you're good at your job. You never miss a day. You're well-liked, and well-respected amongst your team members.
You give him or her statistics, like the fact that over the course of the past two months, you brought in over $50k for your company. You're rolling in the deep. You've worked your way to this very point.
You're skilled. You're confident. You're deserving of this one-of-a-kind opportunity.
Then, he or she tells you he or she wants to hire someone else.
Now, sure: Other applicants may be qualified for the position. But what about you?
What about the late-night shifts? What about going above and beyond? What about missing your cousin Charlotte's wedding because someone called out and you volunteered to come in on the weekend to finish up some last-minute paperwork?
You dealt with all the nonsense: the petty chatter near the water cooler and the unreasonable demands your boss hasn't figured out aren't working. Yet, here you are, stuck in the same, crummy old position at the cubicle you now look at it with disdain.
So, what do you do? Just accept it? That's one option.
But here are six better ones:
1. Don't take no for an answer.
Good idea: Looking for a different job.
If you aren't getting the recognition you deserve or are constantly being passed over, then it may be time for you to open up that CareerBuilder account and start polishing up your resume.
Bad idea: Telling your boss he's a stupid, unqualified moron who looks like a young Chris Christie from his college years.
2. Don't sell yourself short.
Good idea: Being fully aware of the assets you bring to the table.
Maybe you're super friendly, and that helps you bring new clients. Maybe you're a whiz with numbers, and can run a statistics report in under an hour.
Whatever your skill, be aware of it. Understand how much value it brings to the organization.
Bad idea: Not taking ownership of what you've done and what you do on a daily basis.
Your boss is not a mind reader, and ironically, neither are any of the clients or fellow employees you come into contact with. Include your boss on an email if you've done something outstanding.
Don't just assume that because you know what you did, others will too. Don't forget: People are flawed, and not everyone will give you credit.
3. Effectively communicate your needs, not your wants.
Good idea: Explaining you are a good fit for the position or for more responsibility by providing examples. Explain that, due to your experience and number of years in the field, you are confident you can perform.
Explain that the position is how you wish to advance your career, and give reasons. Let it be known what your future career plans are with the agency.
Bad idea: Going into your boss's office and saying, "I want this job because I've been here for a long time and I deserve it." Don't go into any situation believing you are entitled to it.
4. Be confident in who you are because you're awesome.
Good idea: Don't let your confidence waver if you're passed over for a promotion or a different set of responsibilities. Sometimes, as clichéd as it is sounds, things happen for a reason.
Use this opportunity as a way to polish your skills. This may make you a top notch candidate the next time an opportunity rolls around (and an opportunity will always come back around).
Don't take anything at work personally. It's not an attack on who you are. It's just business, and sometimes, it's f*cking cutthroat.
Bad idea: Getting upset or thrown off if something doesn't go the way you want it to. Life isn't always ideal.
Sometimes, you're not going to get what you want at the time you want it. But life is constantly about growth and taking on new challenges. Don't let someone else telling you "no" diminish how you feel about yourself or how good you are at your tasks.
5. Don't think you're not replaceable because you are.
Good idea: Be grateful for the opportunity you currently have. I once had a friend who told me she didn't have to follow the rules at her job because they'd never fire her. But they did.
It doesn't matter how long you've been with a company, how good you are at your job or even if you brought the president to show and tell. Everyone is replaceable.
There is someone else who can do your job. Don't be cocky or self-entitled.
Sometimes, sh*t does happen. But you combat that by working hard, taking your role and responsibilities seriously and giving it your very best.
Bad idea: Believing you're the greatest thing since sliced bread. As I said, everyone is replaceable.
Falling into a rut at work and becoming complacent is a surefire way to remain stuck. You're a smart, talented and innovative individual who is way too full of good ideas to fall victim to a dud of a routine.
6. Don't be afraid to grow, and don't be afraid of change.
Good idea: Gaining experience, being professional and being open to personal and career growth will stimulate new ideas and give you the knowledge and confidence to become a better person, a better employee and a better candidate for a greater opportunity.
Bad idea: Allowing yourself to believe you'll always be in the spot you're in right now, even when you dream of something bigger. Keep those passions alive.
Keep that desire burning because that is what will keep you motivated to learn as much as possible. Remain focused, even when it seems dark and quite impossible.
The whole trick to earning respect and moving on to another level — no matter what it is or where it is — is to believe in yourself.
You're a hard worker. You're intelligent. You have a past and tough times you've worked yourself out of. You're silly when you need to be, but you're motivated, passionate and capable of way more than you're giving yourself credit for.
You want to be a boss? Be your own.