Career 20 September 2017
In a perfect world, your employer would actively take notice of all your accomplishments and how you have helped the company to succeed and approach you with an opportunity for a raise. Unfortunately, that is rarely how things play out, even if you are deserving of one. Likewise, don’t expect to get a raise just because you ask for it. Employers don’t give raises because they are nice or because they like you. Business is business and your employer will need to see why it makes sense and why you deserve a raise.
So, how do you best position yourself for a raise and get what you ask for? Here is some advice, straight from someone who has run a business for 15+ years, on how to get the raise you deserve!
1. Pave the Way for Yourself
Before you even ask for a raise, you want to ensure that you have put yourself in the best position to get one. Express to your employer or supervisor that you have your sights set on growth within the company and ask to meet with them to discuss their recommendations and expectations. That way, you are clear on what you should be working towards and have time to implement their feedback. When the time comes to ask for a raise, you can reflect upon your previous discussions and have expectations to measure yourself against. Be sure to arm yourself with an overview of how you have been an asset to the company, some of your key accomplishments, goals that you are striving for, and reassert where you’d like to see yourself within the company in the future.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Successes
You want to do as much as you can to have your employer already know you are deserving of a raise, rather than having to build a case for yourself from scratch. As such, don’t be afraid to share your successes and achievements along the way, prior to you proposing a raise. That way they already know you are a shining star and exceeding the expectations of your role.
3. Do Your Research
It is also important to make sure that your salary expectations are reasonable. Sites like Payscale and LinkedIn can provide valuable information about salary ranges for your role in your geographical area. Make sure to do your research when coming up with the salary you propose and let your employer know that you have done such research so that they know you haven’t just come up with a number out of thin air.
4. Time the Conversation Wisely
If your company has been laying people off, you saw a poor quarterly report, or there is noticeable tension in the air about expenditures, now is not the best time to be asking for more money. Whether you deserve it is one thing, but whether the company can comfortably afford to pay you more is another. Time your asking for a raise around a more successful or profitable time.
5. Focus on the Positives
Avoid letting the conversation start with “I haven’t had a raise since…” or “I’m doing the work of two people…” While these may be true, you want to avoid focusing on the negatives or coming across as though you are complaining. Likewise, don’t make threats or ultimatums unless you are prepared to follow through with them. Instead, keep the conversation focused on your strengths, why you are an asset to the company, and why your employer should continue to invest in you.
Many people are intimidated by asking for a raise, and so they never end up having that conversation with their employer. But like I said, your employer will rarely approach you to give you more money! The worst that can happen is they deny giving you a raise. Then it will be up to you to decide what to do next. Depending on their reasoning, you can either decide to explore career opportunities elsewhere or you’ll leave the meeting armed with feedback and information on how to accelerate your growth within the company.
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.