Monday, February 18, 2008

Tips For Job Promotions To Increase Your Salary

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 aspirational.

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 approach.

While you are waiting for your dream vacancy to appear, make something happen for yourself.

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 of responsibility?

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 organisation 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, recognise, 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 will follow.

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 organisation to be better, in ways that you enjoy and are good at:

Identify activities which produce a high yield or great results from your effort - you are an expensive resource within your organisation - 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 do.

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 organisation.

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 organisation 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 recognise 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 others.

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 responsibility.

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 recognise you for your achievements and value to the organisation?...

Are you not now in a much better position to go find one who will? You betcha.

So start acting promoted now. Seek greater responsibility. Help others. Improve the organisation. Make a difference.

And one way or another, promotion will follow.

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