Think back on the past calendar year. What would you like to see different in 2014? And what are the smallest possible changes that could bring those results? Here, five suggestions of potentially painless asks that could bring big rewards in 2014.

1.Flex Time

Will flexible scheduling make you more focused on the job? Save stress by letting you skip a traffic-ridden commute? Try asking for an hour or two of flexibility each week (but be sure to stress that you will not be cutting corners or missing meetings)—and watch your well-being soar.

2.Meeting Invites

Ask to be included in bigger projects, meetings with executives for a surefire signal that you want to contribute more to the company and learn more in the process. There’s no cost associated with being a fly on the wall, and the exposure can be career-changing.


A formal mentorship can be extremely beneficial to your career and requires only a time commitment from a senior employee. Request that you be partnered with a higher-up whose career path you aspire to follow.

4.Career Training

Many companies have policies to offset tuition costs to pursue higher education in your field—check with HR for details. But even if there is no set standard, approach your supervisor with suggestions of courses or conferences where you might learn critical skills that will benefit the whole team. An added bonus: your boss will look good to her boss when presenting the idea.

5.Vacation Days

Additional floating vacation days allow employees the flexibility to simply get away or to observe holidays not recognized by the company calendar. In some cases, additional vacation days have proven increased year-round attendance for employees.