Monday, December 7, 2009

How To Get a Raise or Promotion

If you are working on a few business ideas but aren't making enough money to quit your job, you might as well get as big a raise as you can. The economy is in pretty rough shape right now, and many businesses have frozen wages or even cut them. Here are a few ways to get promoted or get a raise.

1. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Everyday.
2. Be cheerful. Smile when people talk to you, especially your boss. Always say your day is going good, or great, when someone asks you. The project you are working on is going great, and you enjoy the challenge. No matter what. Sometimes your co-workers will complain about the boss, or the work, or the temperature. Do not join them. Either stay out of the conversation altogether, or chip in something positive.
3. Carry a notebook and pen with you all the time, even to meetings that you know won't be important
4. Say something at meetings, even meetings that are ridiculous wastes of time. Managers feel just as awkward in these meetings as everyone else, and they will be relieved if someone else talks a little bit. It breaks the awkward silence. A good question to ask at weekly team meetings is "are there any extra projects coming up?" This shows that you care about the big picture and want to be involved.
5. Say hi, by name to higher-up executives when you pass them in the hallway. They probably don't know you. You want them to.
6. Show up a minute early everyday. Some managers are micro managers who will actually keep track of this. Others will not keep track but will occasionally notice and appreciate it. Better to be occasionally noticed coming in early than occasionally noticed coming in late.

Update: 12/8/09-- My company has several thousand employees and has frozen wages for everyone indefinitely. I work on a team of about 65 people, and it is really hard to stand out. However, today I was given a promotion with a pay raise of 11%. I truly believe that following the principles I named above helped me get the promotion. I do above average work, but on a team of 65 people there are probably 10 people who are as productive or moreso than I am. Several of them have more experience at the company, and some have a masters degree. I was told that I was the first and only person who was seriously considered for the promotion, and that I was chosen because I am the most professional and have the best attitude. Its not always fun to get to work early, and I hate dressing up, but its worth an 11% raise, especially when the entire company is locked down.

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