Category Archives: Raises

Dangers using the job supermarket

Job Supermarket

When I was in Spain in 1977 I knew of no supermarkets there.  You had to go to a small store and ask for exactly what you wanted.  The owner would bring out what you asked for from behind the counter.  There were no food aisles to roam.

By 1979 supermarkets were taking over the country.  Huge places filled with choices.  You could literally make shopping an all day event, and forget to come home with what you needed. Then you would go to that local store and ask the owner for what you forgot, if the store was still in business.

Now let’s talk about the job supermarket.

In 2003 and 2009 jobs were few and far between.  Candidates were happy to accept any job offer if they were unemployed for a few months.  Employers were being very picky.  Salaries were often dropping.

In 2005 and 2014 a job boom started.  Employers were starting to beg for workers in 2007 and 2015.  People who couldn’t get a job in 2004 or 2010 were getting multiple offers.  People fed up with the way they have been treated for years are changing jobs.

Unfortunately in 2007 and again in 2015 some people are going job hunting, changing jobs, and forgetting to improve their situation.  Employers get very wary of people who hop between jobs

The moral:  Be careful you don’t make it impossible to get a great job because you were seduced by sparkling packaging on inferior jobs in the job supermarket. If you aren’t careful the stores you could have gotten a job in will be like the stores in Spain, they’ll be out of business as far as you are concerned.

If you go out and quickly change jobs only for a small salary increase, you will probably be disappointed.  By the time you figure out why you are disappointed, it will be too late to switch jobs again.  Two new jobs within a year just doesn’t sit well with most employers.

Don’t lose your head.  If you want a raise, tell your boss without threatening him. Show him what others are earning.  Educate him. Don’t forget to listen to him.  He may tell you a few things you need to fix to be worth a raise. Giving your boss a month or two to fix a problem gives you more time to improve your marketability.  Figure out what will really be a job improvement.  Take control of where you want to go instead of letting 50 sparkling job ads seduce you.

As the next few years continue to heat up, use the opportunities available to get where you would like to be. Don’t settle for a raise.  Demand an opportunity in your current job and your next job.

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created, created first in the mind and will, created next in activity.  The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination. (Schaar)

Something To Do Today

In your job journal make two lists.  1.  The things you like about your job.  2.  The things about your job that could seriously be improved.

Next write down what can be done in this job and in searching for a new job to seriously improve your situation.

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Next:     Rigor Mortis – signs of job death

Later:    Resumes: trash or treasure

The secret to getting credit and a raise

Eventually every great plan deteriorates into hard unexpected work. The trick is to get credit for it, and a raise.

A newly minted Psychologist went to a new elementary school.  Her job was to help children develop strong characters, overcome problems, and become fulfilled individuals. At 11:15 that morning the Principal poked her head in and said,  ”Come with me.  We need your help.”  A crisis intervention? Her training would really pay off now.  They both went to the lunchroom.  The Principal took the Psychologist over to the milk cooler and told her, “At lunch you sell milk to the children who bring lunches from home.” That Psychologist said she nearly quit.  It took her weeks to realize that every job has some work that just needs to be done.  Someone has to sell the milk.

She works for the children.  She really does change their lives, just not always the way she expected to.

You work for people.  Your boss is one.  He is a customer.  Your coworkers are customers.  The people who see and use your work are customers.  The people who buy your company’s products are customers.  Are you giving them what they need and want?  Are they satisfied?  Can you prove it?

In a job journal you can keep track of how you have served your customers.  Tracking what good you have done will improve your performance.  Telling your boss exactly what you contribute each week will get you a raise as you improve.  If your boss doesn’t give you the raise you have earned, your job journal will help you get a new job.

So, who did you help?  What was their problem?  Did your answer save time, money or frustration?  Write down and report on your expected duties.  Also report on the times you just have to sell milk.

It is not hard.  It’s a great plan.  It just takes a little work.

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Something To Do

Do you have a job journal?  Create one for as far back as you can remember if you don’t have one already.  Unemployed?  Create one for your last job.  Write down what you accomplished. What things are better because you were there?  Did you save money, earn money or keep a customer?  Write it down.

Here is the gutsy part if you have a job. Managers need to know what you accomplished, but most are afraid to admit they don’t know what you do every day. Submit a report to your manager in a format he can use to show his boss.  Do it every week.  Give your manager something to brag about every week.

Write down your failures in your journal too.  That way you can show how much things have improved later on.  Report failures along with how you have fixed them and how much money your improvement will now save.

Your choice: Inferior or vastly superior job

Kids always made fun of the way I dressed.  I had two shirts and two pairs of jeans for the whole school year.  That’s all.  I had cheap shoes.  For dinner our family had beans every night, literally.  We drank powdered milk.  I brought peanut butter sandwiches to school every day with homemade quince jam.  I was different.

We were paying a price.  It was worth it.  My friends had nice stuff while we saved and scrimped for every penny.  We did something they never did.  Each summer we went traveling in our VW Camper Bus.  We visited most of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Europe and Africa.  Most summers we left school two weeks early and got back into school two weeks late.

Being different is not being inferior.  It can be a distinct advantage.  Be different in a way that can make you superior.

How can you be different?  What can you do to dramatically improve over the long run?  I know two guys who never walk anywhere in the office without having a manual in their hands to read as they walk.  They are both considered a little odd, but they are both the undisputed technical experts in their field.  They are paid well for it.

Your goal should be to out-prepare and out-perform everyone else in critical areas.

Critical areas to stand out in are the most visible areas that: 

  1. Earn money
  2. Save money
  3. Improve customer service.

Here’s how you find the critical areas for your next promotion, raise, or job:  Ask.

Your boss wants you to be more valuable, he’ll help you.  The people you look up to at work will want to help.  Go ask them what you should excel at.

Then do it.  Do it in your own way. Eccentric flair or plodding dullness does not matter.  Just excel IN A WAY THAT MATTERS.  It will change your life, not just your pay and job title.

6 things to remember about covert job hunting

Searching for a job when you already have one can be dangerous.  If you are found out, you may be fired.  More likely, your chance to work on good projects, the trust of your boss, and morale of your team will all be gone.

Your best bet may be to tell your boss and give him a chance to do things to keep you.  But, if you decide to keep your job search secret, there are some real basic things you have to remember.

This article has 6 things to remember about your covert job hunt.  Use this link.

Salary negotiation and gender judo for women (and men)

Women have to be careful how they ask for a raise.  Sorry, there are just some prejudices that can cause trouble.

In this article they give several salary negotiation tips that work great for women, and also great for men.

Your sunshine collection can get you a raise or a job

Memory is a fickle thing.  When you are depressed, you can hardly remember cheerful times.  It is a good thing you know how to write.  Keeping track of little things can change your entire career.  Your job journal can be a lifesaver when things get rough. It is your sunshine collection.

Every time someone compliments you, write it in your job journal.  If they like your smile, clothes, attitude, car, clean desk or hard work, write it down.  When someone thanks you for your help, write it down.  Joe Smith says you are more expert than a CPA with a PhD?  Write it down.

Take a second to write down what they said, who said it, and what the circumstances were.  That is sunshine collecting.

Every Friday you should be writing in your job journal what you accomplished this week.  You should also record problems that relate to your job so that when the problems stop, you can show how well you fixed things.

That’s good, but not enough.

Emails and letters that compliment you should be put in your job journal too.  Sunshine collecting is taking the time to collect and write down what others say you do well.  Then when you are mad at Bob, you can go back and find out what he likes about you.  That can change your whole day for the better.  It can keep you from exploding or quitting.

Sure, your sunshine collection can be a big help in a job performance review or job search.  But if you collect sunshine it will do great things for your career whether or not anyone else knows about it.  It will help you remember how good you really are.  It will also help you remember how good other people are.  That’s important too.

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Something To Do Today

Listen for compliments, kudos and attaboys.  Write them in your job journal.  They’re stored sunshine so get a yellow highlighter and mark them too.

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Tomorrow starts easy networking week.  Low effort, high return network tools. One high effort, incredible return networking tool also included.

Tomorrow:     A job and a promotion networking

Later:              A scissors for jobs network

100% exposed job networking

Double your chances after an interview

Linked in

The international manager roundtable method of getting a job.

 

How to close an interview

Like your job search, even lasers have to focus

Careers and lasers are not naturally focused.  Your career focus will determine whether you have the career you want, or the one that is most convenient for your boss and coworkers.

Lasers, by nature, are also unfocused. A common misconception is that the light comes out of a laser in a tight beam.  It does not.  If you take a laser pointer apart you will see a simple lens just in front of the laser. Because of the light’s coherence and origin, the light can be focused into a tight beam. Coherent light waves all marching in step come from a laser naturally.  Focus has to be designed into it.

Most people laugh at the idea of a company president becoming a janitor.  I know two people who decided to do it.  They decided to change the focus of their lives.  Both make a lot of money as janitors because they are focused.

Do you need a focus for your career and job search?  You may be capable of being a manager, worker, company president, and janitor.  With 4 resumes you could apply for each job in a coherent manner.  You could also interview for each and present yourself as the perfect employee.  But should you?

What are your talents?  What do you do better than others?  What do you want to learn?

Inability to get ahead in a career is often caused by a lack of purpose or focus.  You are happy to float to wherever there is an opening today.  Everyone always tells you what a great team player you are.  The trouble is that your raises are small and you get passed over for promotions.

So you decide to get another job.  You apply for every job you can.  Your new job is outside of the field you were in before.  Once again you float into whatever needs to be done today.  Your career goes nowhere.

Do you WANT to go nowhere as fast as you can?

Stop today.  Focus on a goal.  What is the next job, responsibility, or promotion you want?  Turn down urgent requests to do something else.  Stop letting the minor inconvenience of other people decide what you will do.  Focus on a goal.

One way to tell if you are focused is to count how many people YOU ask to help YOU reach YOUR goal.  Ask for help.  Network.  Talk to people doing what you want to do next.  Get their advice.  Focus on one goal.

But what if you are unemployed?  It still works.  Decide on a specific job, title or assignment you want the most.  Find people doing that job.  Ask them to help you figure out how to get to that job.  That’s networking.  That’s laser like focus.

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Something To Do Today

Talk to someone doing the job you want for your next job.  Ask them the steps you can take to get the same job.

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Tomorrow:  Why lasers work – part 3

Later:  What time is it?

Put your feet up on his desk.

Sunshine collecting

Your job search: the poker game

If you look at every job search decision, action, and result as a measure of your worth, you are setting yourself up for massive failure.  In this article a world renowned poker player talks about evaluating decisions based on the information you had at the time you made the decision.

There may be absolutely nothing you can do to win a job you are perfectly qualified for.  If one of the other candidates is married to the boss’s daughter, you lose.

In survival, you control what you can control, and let God take care of the rest.  In job hunting, interviews, negotiations, and job performance, you control what you can control and let go of the rest.  You can’t win every hand.

This is a great article on poker and business.

Your job search is mortal combat: win every time

If you job hunt (or go to work) expecting mortal combat, where the other guy must lose, you will fail.  If you have a strong attitude that, “The company, my manager and I are going to win big,“ you will succeed.  In job search mortal combat you must defeat the real enemy every time. You will lose every time if you fight your allies.

I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly combat.  (Plato)

Are companies idiots for not hiring you?  Is every interviewer prejudiced?  Let’s look at your job.  Do you assume that your workplace is run by fools?  Do you know more than your boss?  Do you hang around the complainers and whiners at work?  Are you the ringleader?  Are people out to get you?

People really may be out to get you if you have a bad attitude.  A hiring manager wants someone who will help and support him.  Promotions come to people who help raise team spirits and achieve goals.  Raises are given when a person is worth more than they are being paid.  The manager interviewing you for a job will get a feeling how you treat your current boss.  Your attitude will come through in the interview.

So how should you treat your current boss?

She should be your ally.  In mortal combat, you help your allies.

Often you have to train your manager.  She doesn’t have your perspective on problems.  You need to constantly bring things to her attention that she may not know. You need to train her patiently, the way you would like to be trained.

Would you like to get pats on the back for the good things you do along with the occasional pointer on how to correct a mistake?  Do the same with your boss.  Positive reinforcement sets the stage for your negative comments to be heard.  Take an attitude check today.  Are you saying 5 positive things for every negative you voice?  Keep track.

Are you job hunting?

Can the interviewer tell how you engage in destructive mortal combat?  Is that why they are avoiding you?  Do you treat your current manager as your best ally?  If the right attitude shines through, they will hire you.

Business really is mortal combat.  You have to plan on winning every time.  Are you going to defeat stupidity with perfect logic and rapier sharp attacks?  No, you will lose.  Do you plan on patiently helping everyone learn, grow and win?  Your victory is assured.

An attitude of constant improvement will win. Constant carping criticism loses every time.

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Something To Do Today

Keep a notepad with you.  Make two columns.  Put a check in one column for every positive thing you say.  Put a check in the other column for every negative thing you say.  Do the positives outstrip the negatives by 5 to 1?

Every Friday document your week at work in your job journal.  What are your quantifiable achievements and failures?  Make an upbeat report for your manager in a format she can use.  Turn it in whether she asked for it or not.

How to promote yourself at work

This slideshow is aimed at women, but very applicable for men.  You need to learn the best way to promote yourself.  No one wants to be called “A legend in his own mind.”  But you want to be noticed and rewarded for all the things you make work.

Here are some hints on how to do it.