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This post is part of our biweekly "Office Hours" video series, featuring quick career, workplace and leadership tips from talent management experts and business leaders across the globe.

Rocking the boat at work by proactively asking for a promotion can be tough, especially when your job is secure, offers perks and lays out clear steps for career advancement. As negotiations and leadership expert Deborah M. Kolb has observed, even with informal opportunities for growth abound, many employees fail to seize them.

In these unpredictable, unofficial moments, being your own advocate can feel sickeningly awkward. Still, it's something all employees should strive to do when the time is right.

In this video, Cornerstone's COO Kirsten Helvey urges employees to embrace this discomfort, identify their goals and do everything that they reasonably can to meet them.

In three steps, she says, you can adopt the appropriate mindset and become your own career advocate. First, find employees who can support you in your goals, and whom you can support in return. Second, once you've identified your goals, walk the walk and try to reach them. Third, own up to your mistakes. Learn from them and move onto the next responsibility, always keeping an eye on the long term.

Photo: Twenty20