1.03.2013

Landing Promotions and Raises

Money is one of the key rewards for excellence and is a catalyst to increased motivation. However, pay raises are often mistaken to be intertwined with promotions. A promotion is not and should not be the only way to get a healthy raise. 

This is a second post in the work success series. To read the first one, please visit Become Indispensable & Recognized at work.

The case that I tried to make in my first post was that you need to get recognized for being better than average. When you succeed in getting recognized for being better than average, you proceed towards further improving yourself and being extraordinary. When you are extraordinary, you see many options open unto you.

A pay raise is what you employer rewards you with in return for your hard work because your performance level has surpassed your current pay level. Promotions are additional responsibilities that are given to you because you have successfully demonstrated that you have the knowledge and the capacity to lead in a higher role.

Raises and promotions both require hard work and over delivery as pre-requisites. Both are forms of opportunities made possible by the presence of all the slackers. All you have to do is get ahead and avail these opportunities. It is easier than what most people think it is.

Here are some tips and traits that you can develop to score your dreams.

Create an appetite for success

Are you truly ready for your success? How bad do you want it?

I believe that success, wealth and happiness can be achieved by anyone. The probability of our success is directly relational to how bad we want to reach our goal. When it comes to pursuing our dreams, we will need to want them as bad as we want to breathe.

It is certainly true that luck plays a huge role in one’s success. But how do you define luck? In my view, luck is nothing more than one’s preparation meeting the opportunity. It is better to be prepared when opportunity knocks than seeing all kinds of lucky strikes pass you by.

You will need to learn to use your luck! I can give you opportunities all day long, but if you are not ready for them, you cannot avail any of them.

Develop the right attitude

Your attitude is what regulates your energy and the energy that you emit toward others. Four types of attitudes are common among successful people: attitude towards change, correction and advice, teamwork and gratitude.

Attitude towards change

The ability to look for opportunities at the time of change and capitalize on them will open new doors of luck for you. Being resilient towards change will do nothing positive because you cannot stop or avoid change.

Attitude towards correction and advice

One way to show your boss your determination towards being successful is by asking for feedback. However, you can completely destroy the usefulness of that feedback if you cannot listen to your boss without blocking the information or being defensive.

Some of the best advice that helped me with my career came from my bosses. I paid attention to what was being said and how could I improve my shortcomings. If I didn’t understand, I would ask for clarification. The more you understand and act on the feedback, the higher the respect your boss will have for you.

In my career, my mentor Tracy Hall helped me polish my project coordination skills. My manager Jacqui Schmotzer gave me tips on improving my communications skills. Bob Schleichert who was an Associate VP, showed me how to hire, negotiate, plan and budget for large scale undertakings. Kevin Pete, a Senior VP, taught me how to put it all together and be an effective leader.

So, you see, there is one thing common among all of the bosses I had, they all gave me feedback and opportunities, and left it to me whether I avail them or not. This also means that a true leader will play a key role in your success; hence make sure the one you are working for has those qualities!

Attitude towards teamwork

Your willingness towards helping your coworkers is a reflection of your leadership. Being able to jump in when needed and help others with their problems will earn you extra points.

Attitude towards gratitude

Your chances of success are slim if you cannot think of anything to be grateful for from your employer. Not to say that there are bad employers out there, but the majority of the time it is us who needs to change our perception.

You can improve your perception by a simple exercise. Take a piece of paper and write down everything you can think of that you like at your place of work. Do this over and over again until your sheet is full. This will affect your behavior and your employer will clearly be able to see your gratitude through your behavior.

Don’t be afraid to lose

Don’t let the fear of losing keep you away from accomplishing your dreams. The real loss we suffer in our life is when we cease to try something out of the fear that we will end up making fools out of ourselves.

I used to have a great deal of fear of public speaking. Having known this weakness, I still volunteered to speak about our experience at the graduation ceremony of Aultman Exploring Leaders. Mind you that this graduation event was attended by many high level executives at my company.

My speaking endeavor ended up anything but a Cinderella story; I panicked so bad that I forgot what I was going to say next. After subjecting my audience to a painful 30 seconds of silence, I managed to say some last words and ended my speech. Needless to say, I was furious, embarrassed and angry at myself.

I used those emotions of embarrassment and anger to improve myself by practicing hard. My next chance came three months later in form of an IT presentation. I practiced my speech in front of a mirror, friends, family and my pet cat. Finally the big day arrived and I sailed through my speech like a seasoned presenter. I tell you that the joy and the euphoria I felt after the speech was inexplicable and tastefully addictive.

Earn the flexibility

We all know that family and personal life is very important; however, in order to have a fair balance between work and personal life, you will have to work harder. Your boss will show flexibility around your family needs if your work is on time, is of high quality and you are there when your boss needs you. The secret to earning flexibility is to over deliver!

Bottom line

You should see an equitable increase in your pay if you truly are extraordinary and an over-achiever. However, if being a leader is your cup of tea and you want to go further down the rabbit hole, please stay tune for my next post in this series: Become an effective leader.

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