We’ve all been through that one familiar life-changing point in our careers: wanting a promotion or negotiating for a raise. Been there, done that. Right? It could be that we think we have been doing more than what we signed up for. Or maybe it’s just that the “job that pays the bills” no longer gets to pay the bills! Whatever our individual reasons are, one common denominator is that we usually have no idea how to make that happen.
In this article, we put together some valuable points from the perspective of a manager. We try to get into the heads of, should I say, “the other end of the line”. Our bosses. Our managers. What do they really want to tell us?
Get a clear job description
First thing is: there should be a clear picture of the job description. No, this is not the fancy job title and its creatively worded description you see on the job posting. It’s the day-to-day in’s and out’s of what you were paid to do. And it shouldn’t just be your picture but a picture both you and your boss see. You should level set on your manager’s expectation of you. This will in turn let you make realistic and fair expectations of when to negotiate for a raise or apply for a promotion.
Performance is not everything
Before you barge into your boss’ office and demand a promotion or raise because you think you have been performing more than your current pay grade, think again. Performance is key, but it is not the only thing.
Probably the most significant factor other than performance is operating cost. Of course, let’s face it: business is business. Your company hired you to operate the business and your salary is a cost that affects the profit. The manager’s job is to keep the operating cost at a sustainable level without losing valuable workforce. If you perform way better and faster than the company expects — say you are able to do a level higher than your current position in just 2 months — you should not expect to get promoted right then and there. That is just not sustainable for any business as operating cost will rise abruptly and the last thing we (employer + employee) want is for the business to lose.
Be on the move
Let’s say you have been working your ass off and you are an achiever who has consistently performed throughout a considerable length of time. If you are convinced that you are underpaid (and salary raise discussions with your boss seem futile), maybe it is time to move. It’s not really about chasing the money, but about getting the value that you truly deserve.
Never burn bridges
They say, “Only burn bridges if you know how to fly” (which is, let me remind you, either impossible or extremely costly). Your best referrers are the people you have worked with. And when you need a good word for an application or when a certain job opportunity that fits your resume comes, these same people will be your allies. No matter how tempting, never under any circumstance burn bridges; you wouldn’t know when you will need to cross them again.
Wherever you are in your career right now, that one familiar life-changing point is inevitable. When that comes, just remember what the other end of the line says. Good luck!
Photo credit — @reynermedia