Ask yourself why, you
want or need a salary increase. Some ask because they
feel under-valued. Some people are genuinely are under-paid.
Are you being fair and realistic? Stepping back and
taking a truly objective view is so important. Put yourself
in your boss's shoes. How would they see the situation?
If you believe that
you have a strong deserving case, then write it down,
which will help you to see things objectively, and will
provide you with a prepared position, enabling you to
keep control and present your case fairly and professionally.
Find out what you can about the company's position,
referring to the above factors. If you can find references
from the market that indicate you are paid less than
the norm then prepare to use them.
Always remember that
you are one of several or many hundreds or thousands
of employees. Each one would take more money if offered
it. The company has had to plan and budget for employee
head count and salary along with all other costs and
revenues, and it's not easy for a manager or director
to change things outside of the normal time to review
Nevertheless, if you
present a strong case the worst you will do is increase
your chances of receiving a more favorable review when
the next review time comes around. At best, if the company
has sufficient flexibility and reason, you may be able
to achieve a pay rise before then.
Having prepared your
case, ask for a meeting with your boss, but don't state
the precise reason for the meeting. Say it's to discuss
a personal matter, or to discuss your development, or
to present a proposition. If you say you want to ask
for more money your boss is likely to say no there and
then, or to warn you that the answer will be no, and
you've lost the chance to present your position properly.
You need instead to keep control of the situation and
that includes crucially controlling the timing and basis
of the decision.
Present your case, unemotionally,
and try to understand your boss's and the company's
perspective. The case you present should emphasize what
you are prepared to do for the company - what's in it
for them (see WIIFM). Avoid making a case that's wholly
cent red around what you want. Present as much objective
information (ie., not your own opinion) and evidence
that you can - you are trying to build a case, not merely
make a request. It may be that if the decision has to
be referred upwards by your boss that your boss will
agree to present your case on your behalf, in which
the clearer and stronger it is the easier this is and
the greater the chance of success.
Ask your boss to explain
the company's position if you do not understand it.
Try to understand your boss's own role within this and
how decisions are made. This information may give you
ideas about how best to progress the situation from
It is unlikely that
your boss will be able to agree to your request at this
meeting. The bigger the company and the further removed
your boss is from the CEO the less likely a quick answer
Often your immediate
boss will not be empowered to agree salary increases
for anyone. In this case it's important to gain agreement
in principle from your boss to the case you are presenting.
Try to secure your boss's agreement that they will pursue
the matter and they they will support your claim.
If your boss is the
CEO or a director with suitable authority to agree to
your request, the process is more straight-forward.
This situation is more likely to apply in smaller companies
and/or if you hold a senior position with the company.
If the company is not
able to agree to your request ask for reasons why, and
consider them carefully. Try to see things from your
boss's and company's point of view - they may have no
option but to refuse your request. If your request is
denied for reasons of budget and timing you should seek
a commitment that the increase will be given or at least
considered at the next suitable opportunity for the
company. This will normally be at the next annual salary
review for all staff, at which time you would obviously
be expecting to receive an increase greater than the
general level or range for all employees.
There may be circumstances
that prevent the company from offering any performance
related increase, or linking an increase to greater
responsibility. You must decide if you think the company's
position is right and fair.
If, despite your your
best efforts at presenting a reasonable case objectively,
and discussing it professionally, the company will not
consider or agree any way for you to achieve an increase
in pay, you have no option other than to conclude that
they do not value you as much as you value yourself.
This happens sometimes.
It's not the end of the world, and this may be the time
to seriously think about moving on. If you decide to
look for another job don't do it with a bitter heart
- aside from anything else it will show in your discussions
with new prospective employers and you will not be offered
the jobs you want. If you decide to move on do so with
a glad heart and with the minimum of fuss. Certainly
avoid telling your employer that this is what you intend
to do. Some, not all, employers can become defensive
or even aggressive towards people whom they consider
have become disaffected. This is particularly so for
anyone working in a sensitive role who could damage
their employer or waste resources while continuing to
work while seeking another job.
Retain your dignity.
Integrity has an immense value and you never know whose
paths from your past you will cross in the future. Falling
out with a boss or employer over salary rarely profits
If you find yourself
looking for another job in response to being undervalued
by your current employer, you are very vulnerable to
being seduced by what's on the other side of the fence,
simply because it provides an escape and a chance to
prove certain people wrong. The grass will appear greener
on the other side of the hill, but often it's not. Some
people embark on a bad marriage on the rebound, and
the same thing happens with job changes. Think carefully
about the new opportunities you find, and consider everything
properly. Write things down so as to evaluate the pro's
and con's objectively. Often you will find that after
really thinking properly about things that your current
position compares very favorably with everything else
available out there.
When and if the time
comes to leave, you should ensure you have a written
job offer before you resign. Discuss your intentions
and reasons with your boss in a grown-up, professional
and polite manner. You must also give written notice.
It is very important to behave with dignity.
Do not be surprised
if your boss responds to your resignation with an offer
to increase your salary. You may even be offered a promotion.
It's the way that a lot of companies work - they don't
do anything until and unless they absolutely have to;
it's simply the way a lot business is - decisions and
activities are all based on priorities. A salary request
is regarded as relatively low priority by most organizations
- they simply dare not give any other impression or
they'd be deluged with requests every day. A resignation
of a valued employee is potentially very high priority
-it has implications of job coverage, productivity,
continuity, recruitment and selection time and costs,
induction and training costs - all very expensive and
disruptive, which is why people resigning are often
suddenly asked to stay and offered suitable incentive.
If this happens think carefully about it. Don't say
no for pride's sake alone. Don't say no for fear of
letting down your prospective new employer (they'll
get over it). It is after all what you were seeking
in the first place.
It is often said that
the only true way to find out how much your company
values you is to resign, and this may be so. Some have
even gone so far to say that if you think you are underpaid,
resign and re-apply for your own job when you see it
advertised at the higher salary you were requesting.
I'd never advocate such a risky tactic, not only because
most times life goes on without you and they'll find
somebody who can do your job acceptably well for the
same or less money, but really for this reason:
If you are unhappy about
your salary, and you feel underpaid and undervalued,
you will do your reputation and future a lot of good
by approaching the matter in a professional, well-prepared
and objective way. People that can handle their own
difficult situations are seen by their employers as
people who can handle other difficult situations well
too, and as such your value and potential increases.
increased responsibility with no increase in pay
Good managers in good companies respond well to people
who are prepared to take on more responsibility for
little no extra pay - typically helping with supervisory
duties or standing in during the boss's absence; but
this is usually on the understanding that within a few
months or a year at most, the new grade is formalized
with a resulting increased package.
Such an an arrangement
(increased responsibility with a conditional future
increase in pay) would normally be recorded as part
of an individual's career path development, so there's
a meeting of minds and a mutual commitment.
Companies do sometimes
(deliberately or unintentionally - the former needs
dealing with very cautiously by employees) exploit staff
who agree to take on more (work, hours, responsibility,
etc), and employees who refuse such 'promotions' cannot
really be criticized for saying no and protecting themselves
from this risk of exploitation.
A manager or company
which offers an unpaid promotion without any guarantee
of review or increase in reward demonstrates a concerning
lack of proper process, both in substance and style.
Such poor management is not unusual, particularly in
small companies, where financial pressures can cause
proper process to be sacrificed. If a big company does
this I'd be even more concerned because they should
know better, and should have safeguards and policies
in place to prevent it.
As ever the challenge
is to turn the opportunity of unpaid promotion into
Ideally, assuming you
want advancement and you like the job and the company
etc., you should be trying to find a way of accepting
the opportunity, because that's what it is, irrespective
of the fact that the company might be asking you to
do more for no extra money.
is always an opportunity - to learn and develop and
grow - in this respect an unpaid promotion is no different
from a paid one; there are many benefits outside of
the financial reward.
However, bills have
to be paid, and no employee is a charity.
The best way to handle
anyone (an employer, supplier, customer, friend, whatever)
asking you to agree to give a major concession like
this is to make your acceptance conditional. This is
an important aspect of negotiating (effectively you
are in a negotiating situation with your employer, even
though they won't have positioned it as such). See negotiation
For instance, in this
situation you might say "okay, subject to your
guaranteeing me an increase/performance bonus/proper
review in 3/6/9 months time" - whatever you feel
is suitable and reasonable given the company's circumstances.
Do this even if the
company has offered no guarantees. You have to encourage
them to think about this - it's called managing upwards.
If they can't agree even to a review in 6 months time
(which I think would be a reasonable minimum expectation
on your part), ask what they can do for you in return
for your commitment and trust in them, and decide accordingly.
If initially you've
said no a day or two ago, it's not too late to re-open
discussions with them - just say you've been giving
it some thought and you'd like to try to help arrive
at a way for them and you to be able to move forward
constructively. This way you are seen to be both positive
and professional, and you put a stake in the ground
as to how long you'll do the higher grade job before
getting something in return.
If they won't play ball
you may very well be working for the wrong company.
If they will play, plan your contingency accordingly
- if you agree to take the management job with a review
in 3/6 months, look around for another job as the review
approaches - you'll be able to secure a far better new
job offer by taking on the management role than if you'd
stayed in your current role, and most new employers
will respond well to the positive way you've approached
Obviously make sure
any agreement has a written record.
If you can't agree any
way forward and the management team is there to stay,
then it may be time to start looking for another job
- you are likely to be ready for promotion or they wouldn't
have offered it, so seek it elsewhere.
If you end up staying
with the same company in the same role for whatever
reason, as to whether you'll be asked again will depend
on how grown-up the management is - if not, they could
take your refusal or negotiation stance personally and
regard it as a challenge to their authority - then you'll
not be asked again for a while or never, (again, good
reason to find another company which places more value
Aside from all that,
'the company' is the board and to a lesser extent the
management. You need to judge how permanent the board
and senior managers are - if they leave, then policy
it likely to change. New brooms and all that, which
is another reason to stick around, particularly if you
really like the job, your workmates and the business
It's not unusual - in
sales particularly - to receive a pay cut when moving
from a well-paid performance-linked sales job into management
for the first time. In some companies the best sales-person
earns more than any manager maybe two or three levels
up the ladder. So pay isn't everything, especially if
you see management as a stepping stone to more important
things, like being your own boss, or moving into consultancy,
or becoming the CEO one day.
You need to weigh it
up - then act professionally and with integrity.
sample letter asking
for a pay rise or salary review
Always try to discuss the situation first, face-to-face,
with your boss - you need their help and guidance. When
and if you decide that you need to write a letter to
request a pay rise or salary review, keep it short and
simple, and positive, with a suggestion of give and
take. Here's sample letter asking for a salary review.
Adapt it or use it as is.
I'd appreciate a review
of my responsibilities/role and salary/remuneration.
I'm very positive about
my job and the organization, and would like to discuss
how to increase my contribution, and the reward I receive.
I'd be grateful for
your advice on this.
Best wishes etc.
asking for a pay rise/raise after being given extra
responsibilities or duties
In many situations people are given extra responsibilities
or duties, with no offer of pay increase or a raise.
Sometimes a raise is warranted, sometimes it's not -
it depends on the circumstances. Whatever the case,
it is wrong for any manager or organization to impose
extra duties or responsibilities on an employee without
discussing and clarifying expectations on both sides
with the employee concerned. Failing to do so usually
creates a feeling of unease, or even resentment, in
the employee. If, as an employee, you find yourself
in this situation and feel that you deserve a raise
(again, sometimes a raise is warranted, sometimes it's
not - it depends on the circumstances) you should ask
for a review meeting. Ideally do not try to make your
case for a raise in a letter or email - save it for
a two-way review discussion, when you should discuss
your manager's (and your employer's) expectations for
your performance (ie., your objectives and standards)
as well as your own expectations (salary, reward, and
To arrange a review
discussion, write something very simple, in an email
or letter, or ask face-to-face verbally:
Thank you for increasing
my responsibility recently. This is something that I
welcome. I think it would help us if we meet up to review
my objectives, my future development and reward, and
any opportunities for me to contribute more to the team
Please let me know a
What you say at the review (especially how long you
are prepared to wait for an increase, and how much you
are seeking) will depend on how strongly you feel about
your situation, in which case you need to think and
decide about your position.
It's rare for organizations
to give more pay or reward to anyone unless the organization
(or a suitably powerful manager) sees the need, (ie.,
they are placed under pressure for one reason or another).
As an employee you will
only generally place your employer under pressure if
you are valued by them, and feel strongly about deserving
a pay increase (or any other rise in reward or benefits).
Conversely, if you do not feel strongly about it (strong
enough to start looking for another job), then at the
review don't bother asking for an immediate extra raise,
ask for some commitment to pay more in the future subject
to performance or achievement of certain objectives,
or maybe to add a performance-linked element now (although
from the organization's point of view the extra reward
would have to be based on extra performance).
Bear in mind that it
is easier for an organization to agree to give a raise
when it is planning the next trading year. Giving a
raise during the trading year is difficult if no budget
exists for it, which is generally the case in most organizations.
Many employees fail to realise that manager's hands
are tied in this respect - your manager may be supportive,
but if the budget isn't there, then usually nothing
can be done immediately. It is often a good tactic to
show that you understand this and that you will wait
a while for your raise, provided a clear commitment
can be agreed. This also gives the organization time
to see you prove that you are worthy of the raise (that
you can adequately perform the extra duties).
sample letter when asked by your employer to write a
letter justifying a salary increase
Sometimes your employer or boss will ask you to write
a letter giving reasons why you believe you deserve
a salary increase or pay rise or other improvement to
your reward package. If so this is an opportunity for
you to present a clear commercial case for giving you
a raise. Always bear in mind that your employer needs
to see a commercial justification above all else - personal
feelings are not a strong justification for a raise.
So think about and explain what you have contributed
to the organization's effectiveness and profitability,
whether saving costs, increasing sales, improving efficiency,
etc., and where possible calculate and show an annual
value benefit for the organization for each item.
letter example structure
- reasons for a pay rise
You have asked for justification
as to why I should receive a pay rise/ improved remuneration/salary
Here are the reasons:
(List the reasons, presented
as 3-7 concise clear bullet points. Where you attach
values show them rounded to nearest 100 or 1,000 or
5,000 depending on scale, or shorten using the k symbol,
eg £50,000 looks tidier when shown as £50k) in a column
ranged right margin one above the other, and you can
even show a total value bottom right if appropriate
- see the examples of reasons below, and tailor to reflect
your own situation).
(Then add) I'm happy
to provide more detail on any of the above if you need
(End with something
positive like) I thank you for this opportunity to present
this information. I greatly enjoy working with the company,
I am pleased to give my loyalty and commitment, and
to take on extra work and responsibility. I am keen
to be trained, to progress, to learn new things, and
I want to contribute as much as possible to the company's
success in the future.
I look forward to your
examples of reasons
for a salary raise
Here are some examples of reasons that you might use
to justify a raise - tailor to your own situation:
Refer to objectives
you've achieved in the past year - attach values per
annum (cost saved or extra profit or revenue achieved)
to the company.
Refer to examples of your achievements outside of your
objectives above, which have contributed to profit by
increasing turnover, efficiency, solving problems, training
others, saving time, saving costs, etc - the more examples
of your achievements in these areas the better - try
to attach estimates of value per annum (profit, cost
saving) each example has produced for the employer.
State the extra responsibility/ies you have taken on
since your last raise, either officially or informally
- make reference to your basic job description and the
additional responsibilities you now fulfil beyond these
duties - attach values or person/days/per year equivalent
of this extra work you do - ie., it's saving them having
to employ someone else to do this extra work.
Refer to any supervisory or management responsibility
that you have taken on informally or formally since
your last raise and attach values as in the items for
If you produce or retain sales/customers, quantify the
value of any business per year that has not already
or fully been compensated via bonus or commission -
it is reasonable for you to be compensated for this
Refer to any qualifications earned since your last raise
or that your employer may not be aware that you possess
- employee qualifications often increase the competitive
strength and/or customer accreditations of a supplier
Identify extra opportunities, responsibilities or activities
that you would be happy to take on in the future if
suitably rewarded, which would benefit the company (increase
sales, profit, reduce costs or save time) - especially
if these items are not being attended to currently.
And optionally, depending on the situation and whether
you think this will be received positively, (because
these items can be seen as threatening by some bosses
Compare your package
with market norms (eg., other advertised rates for similar
jobs - this often provides good justification for a
boos arguing on your behalf).
Suggest that companies who pay more than market average
tend to secure the services and loyalty of the best
people available (this is relevant if you work for an
employer who aspires to be a high quality company as
high quality companies need high quality, and therefore
more expensive, people).
Suggest that you may have to consider your position
if your remuneration fails to match the level that you
could find with another employer (obviously this is
a threat - use only if you have had to resort to such
tactics, eg., if you have an extremely hard-headed boss
who likes to play hardball).
tips on how to handle pay rise request discussions
This is from the employee's standpoint, for example
when a boss or decision-maker has agreed to discuss
salary, when you believe you are not being paid fairly,
and are due a raise.
Generally the best way
to discuss a pay rise situation like this is to look
at the situation objectively together with the boss
or decision-maker, rather than approach the discussion
Discussing the situation
as if you were a neutral outsider, both looking at the
situation, rather than it becoming a face-to-face argument
or justification struggle, is the best way to avoid
emotional reactions and obstacles. (This 'detached positioning'
incidentally is the best way to avoid emotional distractions
and provocations for any sensitive discussion between
two people or factions, even disagreements with neighbors,
disputes with the authorities, complaints about suppliers
or products or services, negotiating with children and
In this way, in a discussion
about salary level or an overdue pay rise, it would
be reasonable to suggest (which you could do as a sort
of neutral commentator) that anyone doing the job concerned
for this level of pay concerned is likely at some stage
to look for and secure a better package with another
employer. Moreover typically before doing so, employees
who feel undervalued (because they are underpaid) find
if difficult to maintain enthusiasm and effort - it's
This would be a waste
for the current employer who had invested so many years
in developing the knowledge, experience, mutual relationship,
trust, loyalty, etc in and with the disillusioned and
later departing employee, which would be a shame.
The employer would then
be forced to recruit, train and invest again in the
replacement person, which is expensive in cost and management
time, not to mention disruptive to the service activities
involved and related or dependent.
It's a shame also for
employees who are forced to leave jobs they love because
they simply cannot afford to stay for financial reasons,
or for reasons of frustration and/or stress (feeling
undervalued is a big cause of stress).
The ideal outcome to
these situations is for the employer to make the employee
a sensible improved pay offer, based on market norms
and the true value of the employee.
Employees normally aren't
greedy - they just want to be valued and treated fairly.
Paying employees what
they are worth doesn't generally open the floodgates
to lots of ridiculous wage demands - it simply maintains
a fair balance of effort and reward that's essential
for any successful and sustainable enterprise.
Employers who intentionally
or unintentionally take advantage of the goodwill and
tolerance of any employee, by paying them less than
is fair, generally end up losing the employee and never
knowing why - here is an opportunity (you can suggest,
if you are the employee) to act before matters become
An optional extra suggestion
is that the best companies generally pay slightly higher
than market norms - this ensures they attract and keep
the best people, which enables the company to perform
better than its competitors. It follows that the employers
who pay less than market norms will eventually end up
with the least able employees, because the best ones
are all working for the competition.
As an employee embarking
on discussions about a pay rise, you might also find
it helps to empathize with the employer as to how the
situation has developed - it's no-one's fault - it's
just the way that things happen sometimes. This will
demonstrate your maturity, remove any perceived threat
of your holding the employer personally responsible
for your mental anguish, and should hopefully ensure
that the compromise is relatively easy for the employer
Big arguments involve
big climb-down for someone, and that someone is rarely
the employer, so don't have an argument, have a mature
negotiation of salary increases and pay rises - frequently
asked questions, and answers
Q: When is a good time
to discuss salary rises?
A: When the organisations
is reviewing performance-related salary increases for
all staff (prior to finalization of the coming trading
year's budgets). Or when you have secured another job
offer. Or when your boss is asking you to take on significant
extra responsibility which you have a choice whether
to accept or not.
Q: What is the best way to approach your boss about
A: Ask for a face-to-face
discussion about your responsibilities, reward and career
direction. Then at the meeting ask for help in formulating
and timing an approach and justification for an increase
in salary that meets (rather than conflicts with) your
organisations' processes, protocols, policies and timing.
Q: How can you prepare yourself for a salary negotiation
A: Understand the policies,
timings, protocols, criteria, etc., within your organization.
Have quantifiable evidence of your value and contribution
to organizational performance and profit. Be positive
and constructive. 'Facilitate' the process. Help your
boss to help you. Avoid being a pain in the ass. If
you are really up against it ideally secure an alternative
job offer beforehand; this is the only thing that will
give you sufficient power and choice necessary to apply
real pressure (and more particularly to provide the
management with justification for breaking policy to
meet your demands).
Q: Where can you find out information like the average
salary for your field, so you are prepared and have
A: Local, national and trade newspaper job adverts.
Online job adverts. Competitors job vacancy adverts
especially. Also pa ywizard.co.uk.
Q: What other things
are good to negotiate at a time like this, why, and
how do you best approach the subject? (ie holiday, bonuses,
work hours etc)
A: Keep the whole package in mind all the time. Think
about it all beforehand and be able to provide market-norm
examples and reference points as justification and evidence.
You will make things difficult if you try add new demands
and after-thoughts in later. Ask for things that are
usual in your organization, and for which some precedent
exists and can be referenced. Strange requests will
meet with far greater resistance.
Q: What should (and
shouldn't) you use as leverage in a salary negotiation
A: Use evidence of your value to the organisations',
directly linked to cost saving, profit improvement,
and other KPI's (key performance indictors), eg customers
gained, retained, problems solved, efficiencies achieved,
initiatives started, positive effect on colleagues/team-members,
customer feedback, business generated. Use alternative
job offers, especially (if your employer is very stubborn
and unfair) from competitors. Avoid using anything that
is not fair, honest, right and proper as this will undermine
your integrity and credibility.
Q: What factors affect
A: Your boss's feelings
about your value to the organisations' and his/her level
of influence in the organisations' Timing, and how this
fits with the organisations''s salary reviews and budgeting.
The value the organisations' places on you to the organisations',
which is partly contribution-related, and partly reputation/attitude/influence-related,
ie., your standing in the organisations' Simply - try
to be a person that is well-regarded by your boss, his/her
boss, and the senior managers/executives who can recommend
and approve salary increases, especially if what/when
you seek is outside policy norms. Your value to the
organisations' also depends on their organizational
priorities, and relevant capabilities and resources
are at the time. Be aware of whether market forces are
on your side or not: essentially the extent to which
the organisations' sees you as being vital to the achievement
of corporate aims and targets, and extending this, how
easy is it to replace you (or to choose an alternative
applicant). No-one is indispensable, but some people
are less dispensable than others, and these people will
always have more leverage when it comes to salary renegotiation.
Be aware that when you
attempt to negotiate a salary that is outside normal
policy or timing, then you are attempting to control
or at least influence the behavior of a very big and
complex system, ie., your organisations' The more you
can understand what this system needs, and how it operates
in terms of making these decisions, including all the
personal factors affecting managers and up line executives,
then the better chance you have to achieve an improvement.
The 1st law of cybernetics states:
"The unit within
the system with the most behavioral responses available
to it controls the system."
This is also known as
the the law of requisite variety. It is also central
to the concepts of nero-linguistic programming (NLP),
which are helpful in all matters of relationships and
communications, not least for salary negotiations with
Your career is a marathon
not a sprint. Consider the longer term and have a faith
in yourself that you will eventually get what you deserve.
Finally, if you achieve a salary increase, especially
one that is outside of normal policy, ensure you deliver
your side of the bargain. This will stand you in good
stead the next time.
tips for job promotions
These tips for getting job promotions are ostensibly
written for employees, but they are helpful also for
managers and employers 'on the receiving end' of promotion
requests, because the principles described indicate
how to approach these issues of promotion and career
advancement positively and constructively - by which
employees can be encouraged to be more self-reliant,
proactive and aspiration al.
Getting promoted is
an aim of many employees in organisations. But there
there are far fewer vacancies than people who'd like
to fill them.
So take a different
While you are waiting
for your dream vacancy to appear, make something happen
Don't wait for a dead-man's
shoes opportunity or vacancy to arise - applying for
an internal advertised vacancy is often no more than
a lottery - similar to getting a job in the first place.
So why compete with lots of other people, all going
after the same single vacancy, if you can instead make
your own opportunities and build your own bigger area
Pay and position and
job promotions are driven and defined by scale and effectiveness.
The first three - pay, position, promotion - are very
difficult to change for yourself in isolation. The latter
two - scale and effectiveness - you can influence all
you want by what you do and how you work. Raise the
scale and effectiveness of what you do, and all else
will fall into place quite naturally in time.
Rather than wait to
be given the new job and new responsibilities, start
looking for ways to become more valuable and effective
in your organisations' while performing your current
role. In so doing you will almost inevitably create
a promotion for yourself - in a job that you love, because
you'll have defined it for yourself.
This means of course
that you need to invest some time and effort. Most people
don't do this because they don't want their employer
to get something for nothing, but think about it:
It's an investment you'll
be making mainly for yourself, for the increased experience
and value you'll derive - which will make you more valuable
to your employer - and any other employer as well.
Of course when choosing
new additional areas to develop for yourself it makes
sense to tell your boss what you are doing and why you
are doing it. Not least so that when you've achieved
some great things, and demonstrated that you work better
at a higher level, you can ask for suitable recognition,
promotion, reward - whatever - you've set your stall
out, and now you've presented an irresistible case.
Employers fight hard to keep people who do this sort
of thing. They'll almost always offer you improved terms
and promotion before you ask for it, because they'll
worry about losing you.
So don't wait for a
vacancy, carve out your own niche - irrespective of
having formal responsibility or position to do so -
develop your activities and level of operation into
higher, bigger, more strategic, more productive areas.
Anyone can do it, and you don't need a promotion or
new job title first.
Let your boss know what
you are doing - especially if you need permission or
approval for new project ideas - and be open to advice,
guidance and support, but (most bosses love to help
people develop - you'll be a breath of fresh air).
If you see opportunity
laying around pick it up
If you see a responsibility
vacuum fill it.
Be mindful that most
job promotions entail managing people. So ensure you
start working on and demonstrating great capabilities
in that area: develop a reputation as someone who helps
others - in whatever way you can. Coach, encourage,
thank, recognised, praise, give credit, listen to, and
always be good to others. Essential responsibilities
of good management are coaching and developing others,
and helping them to do a better job. You can start doing
that tomorrow if you are not doing it already. Now you
have begun to promote yourself.
If you are in selling
or account management, or buying, or any other role
that directly relates to increasing revenues or saving
costs - grow your activities and effectiveness (and
results) to the point that you need assistance, and
then it's easy to make a case for bringing a trainee
in to work under your wing - now you are managing and
training someone else - and you've created your own
promotion where no opportunity 'apparently' existed,
because the scale of what you are managing has increased
beyond your original job responsibility.
Invest your own time,
energy, commitment, enthusiasm in building your reputation
as someone who is proactive, self-reliant, mature, tolerant,
productive and self-motivating. Be the promoted person
you want to become, and the formal recognition and reward
On which point, although
financial reward and promotion generally follow good
achievement, your biggest reward for doing great work
and achieving good things is actually your increased
experience and value as a person, not the pay or the
promotion. It might not seem like it at the time, but
this is a fact.
Think about how you
can help the organisations' to be better, in ways that
you enjoy and are good at:
which produce a high yield or great results from your
effort - you are an expensive resource within your organisations'
- use yourself wisely.
Demonstrate that you
have good strategic judgment by the way you manage your
own time and priorities - if you demonstrate this it
follows that you will be able to manage a larger scale
of activities, and you will be seen by others as capable
of doing so.
Act like the promoted
person you want to be - start doing the things, and
behaving in the way, that (good) higher level people
Where necessary seek
approval of course for new initiatives that are technically
outside your remit. Consider the implications carefully
and help your boss to understand and agree with what
you want to do.
Discuss other new ideas
and projects with your boss. Agree aims and parameters.
Offer to check back at key stages.
Seek approval for starting
initiatives and projects - and choose things which demonstrate
your ability to make good things happen for the organisations'
I repeat - you do not
need to have the formal responsibility or title to simply
get on with doing higher level things.
Imagine you are an external
provider, who is contracted to take on new tasks wherever
a significant and relevant opportunity arises - this
gives you the attitude that the organisations' is your
customer - give them your best - more than they expect
- and they will do almost anything to keep you.
Always be positive and
constructive - become valuable to the team - coach and
help others - lead by example.
Get involved in new
things and initially do not seek additional reward -
tell your boss what you are doing and that you are happy
to do this because you are investing in your own future,
and that you have a confidence that formal promotion
will inevitably follow higher level achievements (or
words to that effect), hopefully with your current employer,
but if not, no hard feelings, with another employer.
Have the faith that
reward and promotion always follow people who perform
above their formal responsibility.
Expose yourself to greater
responsibility, new learning, and higher level experiences
because this will develop you for life, not just for
your current employer - if your employer does not recognised
and reward you for your increasing contribution and
potential to manage a wider scale, then someone else
out there will.
Make a difference -
become indispensable - help to develop and encourage
Doing all this will
generally create a pressure on your employer to promote
you sooner or later- whether or not there is a vacancy.
As already mentioned
above, your working life is a marathon not a sprint.
Invest in yourself. By becoming more valuable you will
irresistibly command a bigger reward and greater formal
And what if your employer
does not allow you to make a bigger contribution? Find
one who does.
Or if your employer
isn't interested in your coming up with creative ideas
for making improvements? Find one who does.
Or if after achieving
great things and carving out your own niche your employer
refuses eventually to reward and recognised you for
your achievements and value to the organisations'?...
Are you not now in a
much better position to go find one who will? You are
So start acting promoted
now. Seek greater responsibility. Help others. Improve
the organisations' Make a difference.
And one way or another,
promotion will follow.
tips on agreeing or negotiating new working hours and
These tips on negotiating working hours and conditions
are written from the employee's perspective, but the
principles described - of cooperation and creative exploration
of change and improvement - are just as relevant for
managers and organisations.
First, consistent with
the tips on pay rises, understand your organisations''s
policies, reasons, decision-making and flexibilities
relating to hours and conditions - ask your boss, the
HR department, anyone who can help you understand.
Organisations are complex
and changing things isn't easy, so what helps is understanding
what kind of change might offer an improvement to the
way the organisations' works, as well as you.
Then think creatively
about ways to change and achieve what you want that
will also benefit your manager, colleagues, the organisations'
and customers, suppliers, etc.
Organisations (and bosses)
often benefit from positive suggestions for change from
their people (because the need or opportunity hasn't
been recognised yet, or if it has they don't know how
to achieve a change) and there can often be be a good
fit between what you need and what they will find helpful.
Be creative and facilitative
in your approach - remember that people need a WIIFM
(what's in it for me).
If your idea contains
no WIIFM for the other person and the organisations'
then it won't get off the ground.
Approach the situation
with an attitude of enabling and facilitating rather
than negotiating, which can be seen as confrontational.
Instead, help your boss.
See things from his/her point of view. It's in their
interest to have happy people with fair and appropriate
working conditions. Be creative; enable, cooperate -
don't impose or go head-to-head.
Look for changes that
contain benefits and improvements for all - they are
there if you look for them.
Be mindful that your
boss is likely to have to sell or justify the change
to the system behind him/her.
Ask yourself and understand:
what are the systemic implications? How can the change
want problems and cap-in-hand requests - they want positive
constructive thoughtful solutions, recommendations and
All this links to other
aspects of pay and reward, career advancement and job
Anyone can complain
or raise problems and awkward requests. Kids do it to
their parents. Victorian factory workers used to do
it to their masters. But now the world is changing -
more and more employers are opening up to the idea that
their people have great potential, and can achieve great
things, can identify and solve problems, can help to
change the organisations' (often where the bosses have
The paternalistic management
style is dead. Because people can look after themselves.
So take responsibility
for yourself, and the organisations', in seeking change
Look for ways to improve
the organisations' and its activities around you, and
you will improve yourself, your opportunities, and your
value at work and beyond.