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Which Career Battles Should You Fight And Which Should You Drop?

Source | FastCompany : BY RICH BELLIS

Kaleigh Moore had been working for an Illinois nonprofit as a PR manager for around two years when she asked her boss to work remotely once a week. “I was mostly doing email and phone outreach or writing work when I wasn’t traveling,” Moore recalls, and “the 100-plus miles on my car each day and gas money were significantly cutting into my earnings,” which weren’t that high to begin with.

But Moore, who now works for herself as a writer for tech companies, was only 23 at the time and one of the least senior people in her office. She felt it was risky to ask, “but I was getting to the point where I was going to start looking for something new or quit if I couldn’t find a way to increase flexibility within the role,” she explains. Moore’s boss said yes, and despite picking up on murmurs of resentment among some coworkers afterward, she says she never regretted it.

It’s not easy advocating for yourself when you’re starting out in your career. You don’t have a ton of experience navigating workplace politics, which can make it tough to know how to be tactful, and which types of concerns will earn a positive response. You probably don’t have a ton of power, either. Not to mention, there are sometimes real consequences to sticking your neck out. Here’s how to weigh those and other factors while deciding which issues to raise and how to raise them.


“A lot of people I work with struggle with the discussion around ‘more meaningful work’ because they don’t want to be labeled as a ‘needy millennial’,” says career strategist Linda Raynier. “So many feel unfulfilled and aren’t able to express that. They feel they can do more and offer more, but due to age and title they feel like they don’t have the credibility to speak up.” Millennial stereotyping in the workplace is real and counterproductive, both for its subjects and its perpetrators, but it doesn’t need to doom younger employees to a purgatory of grunt work and condescension from higher-ups.

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