Tag Archives: responsibility

5 Ways to Earn a Promotion or Raise

I was recently facilitating a leadership program and a participant expressed her frustration that she hadn’t been promoted. Lately, her supervisor had assigned her some extra work, and she felt she should be recognized and compensated for the additional effort. She went to her boss to advocate for a promotion, and was surprised when her efforts were unsuccessful and her manager was annoyed by the request.

There may be times when asking for a promotion is necessary. If you have consistently used the strategies I share below and you are viewed as a high performer, then perhaps it’s time to ask for a promotion or seek other opportunities. But a better approach is to strategically position yourself for a promotion or raise.

Advocating for a raise or promotion (even if you deserve it) usually doesn’t work because your manager may feel backed into a corner. She may not feel you are prepared for a new role, and now she needs to communicate that to you. Even if she does feel you deserve a promotion, now she may feel pressured to act on it.  Either way, it puts your manager in a position of having something else on her plate to deal with.

When you ask for a promotion or raise just because you’ve taken on some additional work, it may come across as entitled or self-focused. The perception is that you care more about your own interests than the needs of the company.

The best approach is to take full ownership of your professional development and prove yourself before you get the promotion.

Below are five strategies for earning the promotion or raise you want:

Take 100% responsibility. Many people believe it’s their managers responsibility to develop them for future growth opportunities. While great leaders do invest time in developing their employees, you should take responsibility for your own development. Delegating your development to your manager is an indication that you won’t take full ownership of a new role. Managers are looking for self-starters who are confident and capable of getting results. Now is the time to prove you possess these traits. Are there new skills you need to learn before you take on a new role? Sign up for a course. Do you need to learn more about the financial side of the business to expand your organizational breadth? Ask someone in finance to mentor you. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do. Take ownership of your career.

Share your professional goals. Have you shared your professional goals with your manager? Your boss can’t support you if she doesn’t know what your personal and professional goals are. If you are interested in a leadership role, share that with your manager and ask her what you would need to do to achieve that goal. Your manager is a great resource for communicating specific actions you need to take to position yourself for a new role.

Earlier in my career, I started working for a credit union as the assistant manager of the call center. A year later, I realized I wanted to work in leadership and human resources. I approached the human resources vice president and told her I was interested in moving into her department. Although there weren’t any positions available at the time, six months later when a position did become available, I was chosen over another internal candidate because I had shared my goals with the VP and had enrolled in an HR class on my own time. Don’t wait for someone else to notice you. Ask for what you want.

Go above and beyond. Don’t wait for a promotion to take on extra work. Be of service before you get the promotion. Ask for additional responsibilities and stretch projects that will prepare you for future roles. This illustrates that you are a hard worker who is willing to support your boss and the organization, and that you are an action-oriented, motivated employee who wants to help your boss succeed.

I believe one quality that helped me to earn four promotions in four years, was supporting my boss any way possible. If she talked about a project she wanted to implement or something we needed to get done in the department, I would step in and take care of it. I took things off her plate and followed through. Go the extra mile to help your manager look good. Become an employee who is easy to delegate to and who welcomes new responsibilities.

Ask for feedback. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a promotion is to ask for feedback on your current performance. Don’t wait until your annual evaluation. At least quarterly, ask your manager to rate your performance. A great tool is the feedback scale. Ask your boss:

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how would you rate my current performance?

If he says a ’10’, ask, “What did I do to get such a high score?” (this gives you feedback on what to continue).

If he rates you lower than a 10, ask, “What would make it a 10?” (this gives you feedback on what to start or stop doing).

Also ask what knowledge, skills, or abilities are important to be successful in the position you aspire to, and ask your manager to rate you on each of those factors. This may initially feel uncomfortable, but the way to get promoted is to get as much information as you can to improve your skills and performance.

Be a solution provider, not a problem finder. Don’t go to your boss and point out the problems in the department or the organization. Take ownership of problems and come to your manager with solutions. Even if you don’t know the answer to a problem, think through how you might approach it before going to your boss. Managers don’t need more on their plate. They are looking for employees who will take ownership of their role and bring solutions instead of problems.

Employees are rarely promoted for meeting expectations in their position. It takes some extra effort to show your dedication to the organization and the value you bring. If you take 100% responsibility for your development, you dramatically increase your chances of getting that raise or promotion you have come to deserve.

Now I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve been promoted in your career, what did you do to earn the promotion? What advice do you have for someone who wants to move up in their company?

Share your comments below.

How to Get More of What You Want in Life

I recently had the opportunity to attend a week-long conference with Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. The event was focused on helping people break through to higher levels of success.

The first principle of success Jack introduced was “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life.” Most of us have been conditioned to blame something or someone outside of ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like. But the truth is, there is only one person who is responsible for the quality of life you live: you.

When Jack first introduced this success principle, my immediate thought was that I didn’t have room for improvement. I take responsibility for my life. I don’t blame others for my outcomes. But as we got deeper into the topic, I realized there are places where excuses linger and I don’t take full responsibility.

Most of us have people or institutions that we blame for negative circumstances in our life.

Below are some common examples.

We Blame:

Example:

Government

I can’t save more money because I pay so much in taxes

Parents

 

I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family, so I didn’t have the opportunities other people had
Boss My boss doesn’t coach or develop me, so I’m stuck in my job
Husband/Wife/Partner My husband doesn’t like healthy food, so I can’t eat healthier
Kids My kids take up so much of my energy, that I don’t have time to see my friends
Weather I couldn’t work out this morning, it was too cold outside
Employees I can’t delegate because my employees can’t handle more work
Lack of time I don’t have time to take a class/travel/call my mother
Lack of money I don’t have enough money to go back to school

 

The problem with blaming is that we give up our power to change our outcomes. We give up our choice. But it’s not the external circumstances that hold us back–it’s our own limited thinking.

Ultimately, the only thing we can control is our response to events. We can’t change the event itself. Psychotherapist Dr. Robert Resnick created a formula to illustrate this:

E +R = O
(Event + Response = Outcome)

Every outcome in life is a result of how you responded to an event. You can’t change the family you grew up in, but you can change your response to the situation and ultimately change your outcome. A past event is in the past–it’s not changeable. We can only impact future outcomes by changing our response to events that show up in our life.

After Jack introduced the typical excuses people make in their lives, I realized that I haven’t always taken 100% responsibility for my life. For example, I was recently complaining to a colleague that as my business grows, there isn’t enough time to focus on marketing my business online and also work with my current clients. I went on to complain that I also don’t love the marketing side of business, but I’m too busy to search for someone who could help me with it. Subconsciously I was making excuses (lack of time to learn how to market online) for not taking charge of the outcome (gaining more visibility online).

Since returning from the workshop, I have decided to take 100% responsibility for this aspect of my business. I am reading a book on effective marketing and watching videos to learn how to implement some strategies. Even though it’s uncomfortable to be stretching myself to learn this aspect of business, I feel empowered that I am taking charge of my results. I’ve decided if it’s really important, I will find the time to do it, and not complain.

How about you: Is there an aspect of your life that you need to take more responsibility for?

I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Habits of the “Super Achiever”

One of my personal goals each year is to improve my habits over the previous year. Whether it’s being more productive, spending more time planning and prioritizing, exercising more, or focusing on cultivating personal relationships, keeping my focus on getting better and better helps me to get greater results over time. Small incremental improvements yield better results than a list of lofty resolutions or goals.  

This year, one of my small improvements is implementing a “Half Hour of Power. ” I learned of this idea from famed coach Tony Robbins, who suggests an “Hour of Power” each day. I determined a half hour would be manageable for my schedule, and have been working to implement this improvement into my day. Each day, I spend a half hour writing what I am thankful for in my journal, envisioning future successes, reviewing my annual, monthly, and weekly goals, setting my two top priorities for the day, and getting centered to be able to work at maximum productivity. This small change has helped me to stay on top of my key result areas, be highly productive, and stay centered and focused.

I’ve worked with many leaders through coaching and leadership programs, and I’ve noticed the highly successful leaders share many of the same daily habits or traits. They focus each day on improving and don’t make excuses. The most successful leaders make time for the important areas, they don’t complain about how much time they don’t have. They take control and responsibility.   Here are the most common habits and traits of highly successful leaders, or what I call “Super Achievers”:  

Planning and Focus. They develop plans and goals, and then execute those plans. They take time each day to make sure they are working on their top priorities. They are proactive and purposeful, and their day reflects it.

Passion for learning and improvement. They have a desire to constantly learn and grow. They tend to be relentless readers of leadership books and articles, and they invest in their growth and education. They make time to develop and improve themselves as leaders.

Keep commitments. They keep their commitments and don’t make excuses. They rarely miss schedule events and meetings, and are always well prepared and focused. They take time to do the work needed to make each encounter meaningful. They bring their ‘A’ game to meetings and are prepared.

Focus on people. They always make time for their employees and the important people in their life. They understand the value of cultivating relationships, and regularly interact and meet with their employees in a meaningful way. They understand the importance of communication and learning, and foster an environment of truth and feedback. They take the time to communicate vision, plans and goals, and ask questions.

100% effort. They always give all their effort to everything they take on. They are deliberate about their choices and focus on a few initiatives to do really, really well rather on a bunch of things half-heartedly. They don’t settle for mediocre; they aim to work at peak performance.