Do not worry to share yoursuccesses

images-28Bragging about your work success may sometimes come off as rude or arrogant, but when it’s done right, celebrating your professional success can put you in a positive light.

According to LinkedIn’s latest @Work study, 86 percent of recruitment decision-makers agree that it’s important for candidates to be able to clearly communicate their achievements. However, 52 percent of professionals surveyed said they would rather discuss their colleague’s achievements than their own. The reason? They said that talking about their accomplishments feels like bragging, the survey found.

The research that LinkedIn conducted suggests that people are so uncomfortable touting their work accomplishments, that they’d rather “share political views on social media than let followers know [they] received a promotion or got a new job.”Even though it may feel uncomfortable, it’s positive to embrace the “humblebrag” and show off what you’ve done. Here’s how you can do it in a positive and professional way.

Human resources and recruiting professionals appreciate when someone is confident. It may not be easy to switch gears, from never speaking about accomplishments to suddenly sharing, but doing so can boost your chances of moving up in your career.

“When someone is interviewing you for a job, they are trying to find out if they can place their confidence in you to do this job,” said Becca Garvin, executive HR recruiter at Find Great People International.

There is, however, a fine line between confidence and bragging. It’s good to celebrate yourself and accomplishments, but remain self-aware. Ragini Parmar, vice president of talent operations at Credit Karma, reminded professionals that there should always be a purpose to their humblebragging.

“Be mindful when you’re sharing your accomplishments,” Parmar said “Timing is key. Don’t be too quick to say everything you’ve done, nor should you share too frequently. Sure, everyone wants to be recognized and appreciated, but be sure you only share what matters.”

Garvin cautioned against going into an interview with an inflated ego. She suggested that you zero in on why you really think you can do this job, since showing that you’re confident about your abilities can help make your case for why you’re a good fit.

“If you have confidence that you can do it, then that’s what we want to hear,” Garvin added. “[Recruiters] have a mold to fill, your job is to communicate how you can fit in that mold, not why they should change the shape of it or how you can fit other irrelevant molds.”

Track your achievements

What you do during your career is important, not just for future jobs, but also for your current position. Highlighting your accomplishments can show that you’re engaged at work, Parmar said. Getting organized and tracking your achievements can keep bosses and potential employers interested in your skills.

“Being able to take inventory of your work demonstrates self-awareness and the readiness to have serious conversations about your career,” Parmar told Business News Daily. “For example, if you’re looking for a raise or promotion, it’s important to do your homework. You’ll always be more effective if you’re able to have a real data-driven conversation with your manager.”

According to Hannah Morgan, a career expert who runs Career Sherpa, a great way to keep your current boss up to date is by sending him or her a weekly or monthly email update. State what you accomplished in objective, measurable terms. And always try to tie your achievements back to organizational goals or how those accomplishments benefit the bottom line, she said.

Morgan advised candidates to keep an organized list of what they have done. You can outline your work by creating a table that’s made up of three columns that list goals, actions and results. This table will be especially helpful for any annual reviews.

“Trying to remember everything you did over the past 12 months means some achievements will slip through the cracks,” Morgan wrote in a Career Sherpa blog post. “If you don’t mention them, will your manager remember them? It is easier to recall recent events and major blunders, which aren’t necessarily the best reflection of you or your work.”

“Your achievements help others understand who you are because they are often so personal,” Parmar added. “After all, they demonstrate struggles you’ve overcome.”

Need more help selling your skills to a hiring manager? Check out Business News Daily’s tips for impressing your interviewer.

Workers Need to Know About Career Development

images-29A few short years ago, a widely covered study by the MIT Sloan Management Review journal claimed that workers who telecommuted were less likely to receive promotions, big raises or good performance reviews than those who work in the office. This discrepancy was no reflection on how dedicated a person was to his or her job, the study found: Remote employees simply didn’t have the same “passive face time” as their in-office colleagues, and leaders evaluated workers differently based on whether they were seen in the workplace.

While companies are shifting away from the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, the fact remains that, unlike office workers, telecommuters can’t fake productivity by sitting in a cubicle looking busy — and they may need to work a bit harder to make an impression with their bosses.

“The stigma [that remote workers] ‘aren’t really working’ … is a thing of the past, and more people are working from home,” said Dennis Collins, senior marketing director at West Unified Communication Services. “[But] it’s up to the employee to make sure they don’t become invisible.”

While technology has made it easier to run an organization with telecommuting employees, workers who don’t report to the office have a very different experience than those who spend most of the week with their colleagues.Tom Schoenfelder, Ph.D. and senior vice president of research and development at Caliper, a provider of hiring assessments and talent-management solutions, said full-time remote employees often encounter the following challenges when managing their everyday work and career development:

Isolation from the company culture. Many telecommuters report a sense of professional isolation, which can often lead to work disengagement, Schoenfelder said. Telecommuters do not share the same social and psychological experience as their colleagues who commute into the office, and therefore are usually not as involved in the company’s culture.

Lack of “face time.” Employees who don’t work in the office aren’t able to visit face to face with colleagues, so “real-time” communication often has to happen via chat. If one party is away from his or her desk, it can cause obstacles to important information flow, as well as make it more challenging to establish the strong, trusting work relationships that aid collaboration, said Schoenfelder.

Fewer informal networking opportunities. Schoenfelder also noted that not being in the same physical location may affect a person’s ability to engage in informal communication and networking. This everyday “networking” is typically an important aspect of navigating organizational politics, and can influence decisions about which workers are considered for sensitive or strategic projects. Those workers who telecommute may find that they’re less likely to be aware of developmental opportunities or be assigned to stretch assignments, he said.

Time management. Despite the growing trend toward remote work, some telecommuters feel obligated to work longer hours simply to prove they’re working, Schoenfelder said. This may lead to additional job stress that ultimately counteracts their productivity and effectiveness. On the flip side, he said, if remote workers don’t take ownership of scheduling and clearly defining their work activities, it may appear that they’re not working as hard as they truly are.

Tips for Writing Your Performance Evaluation

unduhan-15Self-assessments, also known as self-appraisals or self-evaluations, are popular tools used by management to learn how employees view their own performance. Theses assessments help close the gap between expectations and performance, and provide a channel to open communication about goals, opportunities and development.

While managers and supervisors share their opinions of employee performance and ability to meet expectations during evaluations, the self-assessment lets employees discuss what they see as important projects completed, share new skills and techniques acquired, and remind employers of all the great work they have done since the last performance review.

Writing a self-assessment

Writing a self-evaluation can be difficult for many employees. Despite knowing themselves and their work better than anyone, employees can struggle to summarize it in a way that comes off as objective, rather than conceited.

Here are a few tips to help you with your assessment.

1. Be proud

The main goal of the self-evaluation is to highlight your accomplishments. Employees need to point to specific tasks and projects that highlight their best work. When describing those accomplishments, employees should be sure to emphasize the impact each of those achievements had on the business as a whole, in order to show how valuable their work is to the company.

Julie Rieken, CEO of evaluation software company Trakstar, noted that employees should connect their actions with a manager’s goals.

“If your manager needs to hit a certain number, share how you played a role in hitting the number,” Rieken said in a blog post. “Accomplishments you list should connect with business objectives.”

2. Be honest

Honesty is another critical aspect of writing a self-review. It’s more than likely that the boss knows when a good job was done, so trying to highlight a project or task that was just OK, rather than great, won’t have much impact.

Being honest also means pointing out some areas that could be improved. Timothy Butler, a senior fellow and director of career-development programs at Harvard Business School, advised employees to use developmental language when critiquing the areas in which they need to improve.

“You don’t want to say, ‘Here’s where I really fall down,'” Butler told the Harvard Business Review. “Instead, say, ‘Here’s an area I want to work on. This is what I’ve learned. This is what we should do going forward.'”

3. Ask about career-development opportunities

Butler also encouraged employees to use their self-evaluations as a time to ask their bosses for career-development opportunities. This should occur even if the employer isn’t asking the employee for it, because if you don’t ask, it likely won’t happen, he said. By showing an interest, you put it in your manager’s mind that you are interested, and he or she is more likely to be on the lookout for tasks, assignments and training prospects for you

4. Be professional

Finally, employees need to remember to always be professional when writing self-assessments. This means they should avoid using it as an opportunity to bash the boss for poor leadership skills or criticize co-workers for making the employees’ lives more difficult.

Being professional also means giving the appraisal its due attention, like any other important project that crosses your desk. Dominique Jones, chief people officer at Halogen Software, advised treating your self-appraisal like a work of art that builds over time. You’ll be much happier with the end result if you give yourself time to reflect and carefully support your self-assessment, she said.

“Use examples to support your assertions, and … make sure that you spell- and grammar-check your documents,” Jones wrote in a blog post. “These are all signs of how seriously you take the process and its importance to you.”

Professional Certification

To ensure employees keep their skills up to date, most employers support staff members’ pursuit of professional certifications, new research finds.

The study from the staffing firm Robert Half revealed that 33 percent of employers pay for all of their employees’ educational costs when trying to obtain professional certification, while 39 percent pay for at least some of the expenses. Just 29 percent of those surveyed said their companies provide no financial assistance for certification.

According to the International Institute of Business Analysis, professional certification is a designation earned by employees that identifies they have demonstrated a standard level of skills, experience and expertise within their fields. Certifications are generally earned from a professional society that has a certifying body, and are granted based on a combination of education, experience and knowledge, rather than solely by passing an exam.

“Keeping your skills up to date is vital to career advancement, and acquiring a general or industry-specific certification is one way to do so,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, said in a statement. “Employers often support ongoing development because they benefit from well-educated, highly skilled professionals who are current with trends and able to apply what they’ve learned to business needs.”

In addition, most employers do more than just show support for the initial pursuit of a professional certification by their workers. More than three-quarters of those employers surveyed pay for all, or some, of their employees’ efforts to maintain their credentials.

McDonald said employees who are hesitant to ask their bosses to pay for the costs of training should do some research and outline the benefits.

“Since you’re not the only beneficiary, consider which one will give you and your company the best return on investment when deciding between a few certifications,” McDonald said.

To help employees, Robert half offers five tips for getting employers to help pay for professional certifications.

  1. Formulate a case. Do your research and have a plan in place before approaching your boss. Your plan should detail how the certification will make you more valuable to the company. It is also important to consider that some professional certifications have a higher return on investment than others.
  2. Provide benefit examples. Have examples ready of how the certification will improve your productivity, allow you to take on additional responsibilities and bring in added revenue.
  3. Look toward the future. Explain to your boss how this type of certification will help develop you into a future company leader. Since most managers understand the importance of succession planning, this argument should resonate with them.
  4. Offer to pass on your knowledge. Tell your boss that earning this certification will help the entire organization, because you will be able to share what you learn with your colleagues. This will help extend the value of your expertise.

It May Affect Your Mental Health Down the Road

If you hate your job in your 20s and 30s, you may be at risk for mental-health problems in your 40s, new research suggests.

The Ohio State University study revealed that people who had low job satisfaction early in their career were more likely to have mental health issues later on. Specifically, those who said they weren’t happy in their jobs in their 20s and 30s ended up being less happy and more worried, and had more trouble sleeping at age 40, compared with people who reported higher job satisfaction in their 20s and 30s.

“We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s,” Jonathan Dirlam, the lead author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University, said in a statement.

For the study, researchers used data from 6,432 Americans who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, which followed adults who were between the ages of 14 and 22 when the survey began in 1979. The study’s authors analyzed job satisfaction trajectories for people ages 25 to 39, as well as aspects of their health and mental health after they turned 40.

The participants were placed into one of four categories: those who had consistently low job satisfaction, those with consistently high job satisfaction, those whose happiness was trending downward or those whose happiness was trending upward over the years. Of those studied, about 45 percent had consistently low job satisfaction, and 23 percent had levels that were trending downward through their early career. About 15 percent were consistently happy in their jobs, and about 17 percent were trending upward.

The results showed that the people who reported consistently low job satisfaction had higher levels of depression, sleep problems and excessive worrying. Additionally, they were more likely to have been diagnosed with emotional problems and score lower on a test of overall mental health.

Hui Zheng, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor at Ohio State, said the results highlight the importance that early jobs have on people’s lives.

“You don’t have to be near the end of your career to see the health impact of job satisfaction, particularly on your mental health,” Zheng said.

Participants whose job happiness trended downward were also more likely to experience mental health issues, but the link was not as strong as it was in people who were consistently unhappy with their jobs. People whose job satisfaction started out high but declined over time were more likely than those whose contentment remained high the entire time to worry excessively and have trouble sleeping. However, people whose job satisfaction trended downward were not more likely to have higherdepression scores or a higher probability of being diagnosed with emotional problems.

This link was not seen in people whose job satisfaction trended upward early in their careers.

The researchers also found a link between job satisfaction early in people’s careers and physical health, although it was not as pronounced as that between job satisfaction and mental health. People who were not happy at all in their careers and those whose happiness declined over the years were found to have more minor physical problems, such as back pain or frequent colds, compared with people in the other groups. However, job satisfaction early in one’s career was not linked with differences in physical functioning or doctor-diagnosed health problems such as diabetes and cancer.

However, it’s possible that these health issues could appear later on in people who were unhappy with their jobs, the researchers said.

“The higher levels of mental health problems for those with low job satisfaction may be a precursor to future physical problems,” Zheng said. “Increased anxiety and depression could lead to cardiovascular or other health problems that won’t show up until they are older.”

The research was presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

When You are in Between Jobs

Layoffs and terminated contracts can happen to anyone, at any time. Sometimes it’s expected; other times, you’re completely blindsided. Regardless of the circumstances, you now have the difficult task of finding your next source of income.

Although you’re not working for someone at the moment, you still have a job to do, said Kimberly Schneiderman, a practice development manager at RiseSmart, a company that provides outplacement and career transition services.That job is to represent yourself and continually build your expertise to stay relevant in the marketplace.

To that end, here are seven smart career-building activities to focus on during your time in between gigs.

1. Work on your personal brand

When you’re looking for jobs, your application materials — your resume, portfolio and online profiles — are essential to creating a good impression on employers. David Gilcher, lead resource manager at Kavaliro staffing firm, said one of the first things you should do during your “in between” phase is update your resume.

“Your resume is your brand statement,” Gilcher told Business News Daily. “Employers want to know what you’ve been up to [and] are interested in learning about the technologies and tools you’ve used lately. Be sure to list your recent accomplishments. Make sure those items are very clear to see on your resume. Once your resume is good to go, make sure it’s online as soon as possible.”

Gilcher also advised polishing your social media presence and showing off your latest work and skills.

“Social media is a great way to show what you’re all about and what you know,” he said. “You can use … blogs [or LinkedIn] to post about topics relevant to the work you do. Providing your insight in a public forum can help potential employers see your perspectives and depth of knowledge.”

“Let the world know about what value you can bring to their business,” added Fred Mouawad, CEO of Taskworld. “There are many tools available, like Wix, where you can build a website/portfolio with zero coding skills. However, web presence is not just limited to having an online portfolio. Follow influencers in your industry on social media, [and] write articles showcasing your expertise.”

2. Find relevant volunteer opportunities

Volunteering in your area of interest is a great activity to pursue between jobs, said Marian Valia, another practice development manager at RiseSmart. This could entail working an event hosted by a prominent industry player, or even offering pro-bono consulting.

“Volunteering in an industry [you] would like to land a job in works in two ways,” Valia said. “First, it allows the job seeker to network with their area of interest and tap into the ‘hidden’ job market (jobs that haven’t been posted yet). Second, this is a great way for job seekers to better understand if the industry is right for them.”

Gilcher agreed, adding that it can also be personally rewarding to volunteer.

“Having those ‘feel-good’ moments when you’re in between jobs can be a morale booster even if times [are] tough,” he said.

3. Learn a new skill

On an average, it takes about one to three months to find a new job, according to Money. However, it can take up to six months to find a job that you really like, Mouawad said.

“That’s long enough to learn a new skill,” he said. “Learning a new language, doing short-term professional courses or even pursuing a hobby can make your resume stronger and justify breaks in work experience.”

“A mastery of [industry] skills will set you apart from your competition time and time again,” Gilcher added. “If you’re concerned about having the money to pay for the courses, it is worth noting that many courses are free. There are thousands of resources either online or out in the real world that are within grasp to use for your education.”

4. Keep a close eye on your industry

When you do land an interview with a potential employer or client, you’ll want to show them how you’ve remained connected to the industry during your time away, Schneiderman said. She advised professionals who are looking for work to make sure they’re staying on top of industry trends by reading trade journals and speaking with peers in the industry to stay in-the-know.

Reasons to Quit Your Job

Going to a job you don’t like is exhausting. When the alarm goes off each morning, it’s like a siren sounding for the end of days. It may be a bit dramatic, but when you’re in the situation, it feels like nothing will fix the problem.

There will come a time when you need to evaluate your situation. Is it worth it? Are you just having boss troubles? Can it be fixed?

We asked some experts to guide you through your decision making. If more than one or, a few, ring true, it may be time to plan your next steps.

Sure, some days at work are more exciting than others, but if you find that every day in the office is a snooze-fest, it may be time to find a new gig.

As an executive career coach and former employee turned entrepreneur, Jessica Manca knows a few things about calling it quits. But she cites boredom as the number one sign that it’s time to throw in the towel.

Manca — whose company, Managing Mindspaces, helps professionals balance their paychecks with their passions — said that if you’re bored, have lost motivation, are just going through the motions or are procrastinating more than usual at work, you may want to consider looking for a more fulfilling job.

Salary Negotiation Tips for Women

Most professionals have been asked what their current salary is during a job interview. This question allows companies to base your new salary offer on your company’s identification of your worth, rather than what you’re actually worth.

For women — who, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, are paid an average of 79 cents for every dollar that men earn — the salary question also makes it easier for employers to perpetuate the gender pay gap.

Massachusetts is taking a step toward combating that practice. This month, Massachusetts became the first state to bar employers from asking about applicants’ salaries before offering them a job, the New York Times reported. The new law, which goes into effect in July 2018, will require hiring managers to state a compensation figure upfront — based on what an applicant’s worth is to the company, rather than on what he or she made in a previous position.

“Professionals should be paid based upon their skills, experience and the value they bring to a position, not by their negotiation skills or salary history,” said Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for TopResume. “The recent law that Massachusetts passed is an important step to closing the wage gap between men and women of equal talents and abilities.”

According to Augustine, women are less likely to negotiate a job offer, setting themselves up to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of their careers.

From the time women are young, they’re programmed to think and act a certain way, Augustine said. In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In,” she discusses how it starts as early as the playground. The little boys are considered “leaders,” while the little girls who act the same are labeled “bossy.”

“Many women are scared to negotiate because they’re afraid of being considered too pushy,” Augustine said. “There is a fear that if they demand more money, the job offer will be revoked. They’re overly concerned about being polite, often to the detriment of their paychecks.”

In addition, women often feel they need to prove their value before they can ask for more money. Men, on the other hand, often enter these conversations expecting to ask for, and receive, a better job offer.

“The fact of the matter is, if you don’t ask for what you want, you won’t get it,” Augustine said. “You have to negotiate.”

 She offered four tips to help you negotiate the compensation package you deserve:

Do your homework. If you’re going to negotiate confidently, you need to be prepared. Research the market rate for your position by visiting Glassdoor.com, Salary.com and PayScale.com, taking into account the company’s location, size and industry.

Focus on your current and future value. What do you bring to the table? Make a list of your major contributions and accomplishments, quantifying them whenever possible. How have you (or will you be able to) cut costs, increase revenue, streamline efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, etc.?

Remember, it’s not personal. Negotiation isn’t about one person winning and the other losing. It’s about each party giving a little to keep or get what they want most. Leave emotions at the door. If you feel your emotions rising, hold off negotiating until you can pull it together.

Fake it till you make it. Confidence is essential to being a strong negotiator. You must exude self-assurance, even if you insecure or uncertain. Don’t apologize for negotiating — own it. All too often, women apologize when they’ve done nothing wrong and, as a result, are viewed by men as being weak or lacking conviction. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap.

“Not every great employee is a great negotiator,” Augustine told Business News Daily. “If [you don’t] possess stellar negotiation skills, there’s no reason why you should tolerate earning less money than an equally qualified candidate who does.”

Income and Benefits Workers Are Freelancing by Choice

More and more freelancers are choosing to work independently because they want to, not because they have to, new research finds.

The study from Upwork and the Freelancers Union revealed that 63 percent of independent workers started freelancing by choice, as opposed to necessity. That’s up 10 percentage points since 2014.

Workers may be choosing to freelance in order to improve their income security, the study found. Having a diversified portfolio of clients makes freelancers feel more secure than having just one employer, the research showed. Specifically, nearly 80 percent of the independent workers surveyed said they view freelancing as better than working a traditional job. In addition, half of those surveyed said they wouldn’t go back to a traditional job, no matter how much money they were offered.

Overall, freelancers now represent 35 percent of the total U.S. workforce. The freelance workforce grew to 55 million this year, up 1.3 million from 2015.

“The freelance workforce is the fastest-growing component of the economy,” Louis Hyman, an associate professor and director of the Institute for Workplace Studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, said in a statement. “Figuring out where it is going is the most pressing question of our digital age.”

Freedom and flexibility are driving the growth of freelancing. The full-time freelancers surveyed said the top three reasons they work independently are to be their own bosses, to have flexibility in when they work and to have flexibility in where they work.

Despite 54 percent of respondents making more than they did in their full-time jobs, income predictability is still a concern for freelancers. Struggling to be paid a fair rate, having irregular income and dealing with debt issues were the top three concerns of full-time freelancers.

Health benefits are also an issue for many freelancers. The study shows that 20 percent of full-time freelancers don’t have health insurance and 54 percent who purchased it on their own paid more this year than last year.

Knowing that their numbers are growing, freelancers would appreciate political leaders paying more attention to their interests and concerns. Seventy percent of those surveyed said there needs be more discussion of how to empower the independent workforce, a response that is up 7 percentage points from 2015.

“Now’s the time for business leaders, policy makers and candidates alike to stand up and take notice of [freelancers] potential influence and to start developing ways to help them overcome the most pressing issues impacting their lives,” said Sara Horowitz, the founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union.

Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel said freelancers want to know that America supports them.

“Independent professionals are an increasingly integral part of the U.S. workforce,” Kasriel said. “We should be addressing their interests, or America will fall behind countries that are better equipping their evolving workforces.”

Help Your Boss Help You

You only get out of your career what you put into it, and that especially applies to your relationship with your boss. This is the person who will ultimately determine your path at the company, and you shouldn’t be afraid to “manage up” — that is, learn to adapt to your boss’s work style so you can give him or her the best performance and results possible.

“Not all managers work the same or have the same expectations, so if a lower-level employee learns how to adapt and serve a manager in a way that gets the work done better and faster, not only will that employee be recognized as a stellar performer, the business will excel and hopefully offer more opportunity for growth and advancement,” said Christine Barney, CEO and managing partner of rbb Communications.

In some cases, a boss doesn’t always have time to work closely with his or her team, said Guy Yehiav, CEO of prescriptive analytics company Profitect. It then becomes your responsibility to keep your boss updated on your projects and ensure that everything gets done, even if that means delegating tasks.

“In reality, this allows a lower-level employee to strengthen their skill set and put in place the leadership practices that they personally think are for the greater good of the company,” Yehiav added.

But you want to be careful when you’re having these conversations: To avoid seeming pushy or entitled, you’ll need to approach them professionally and respectfully. Here’s how to effectively manage up, and help yourself by helping your boss.

Earn your boss’s trust

If you want your manager to be receptive to your ideas and feedback, you must first truly earn his or her trust. You can do this by building up a friendly rapport with them to learn the way they work, said Samantha Lambert, director of human resources at Blue Fountain Media.

“You really have to have the right … chemistry with your boss to [manage up],” she told Business News Daily. “Lower-level employees are still learning and navigating through their careers, [but] … knowing how to adapt to or work with a boss will set them apart from the rest.”

Lambert advised workers to get to know their boss on a professional and personal level.

“Share about yourself, too, if you have the opportunity, because that is a level of curiosity, care [and] concern that can directly impact the [trust in a] work relationship,” she said.

Finally, check your ego at the door. Commit yourself to your manager’s and your company’s goals, and show them that you can be a reflection and extension of their success, said Lambert.

Give regular feedback (but don’t nag)

On any given day, managers are juggling a dozen “behind the scenes” tasks to oversee their other employees and answer to their own bosses. While your boss should be checking in with you regularly, you’re probably not the only person he or she has to worry about — if you’re not openly expressing your concerns and questions, your boss may not instinctively know you have them. That’s why it’s so important to offer your honest feedback.

“When your manager asks you for feedback, give it,” said Dominique Jones, chief people officer at Halogen Software, a provider of employee performance and talent management solutions. “Look at this as an important opportunity to … help yourself. A culture [of feedback] improves performance, advances personal development and improves employee engagement.”

It’s important to time your feedback properly, too. Barney reminded employees to be aware of their boss’s expectations and preferences when it comes to communication, and to understand when you might be perceived as helpful versus pushy.