Tag Archives: portfolio

Blackmail your boss?

Progress always involves risk, you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first base. (Frederick Wilcox)

While I worked at EDS a man quit three different times.  Twice he actually left the building and went to work for someone else for a week or two.  He resigned but let his boss know he didn’t want to leave and could be enticed to stay or return.  Each time his boss finally gave him the raise and promotion he wanted. It was blackmail, pure and simple.

By the way, what do you think it did to morale?  Well, everyone started saying, “I’ll have to quit to get a raise or a promotion.”  Some just quietly started looking for another job, never to come back.

So blackmail works. Right?  Sort of.  If you want to work for a company where you have to threaten your boss, yes it works.

Try something a little different.

Get together proof that you deserve a raise.  Put together a dynamite resume that is a list of accomplishments.  Assume your boss knows your responsibilities.  Make a list of provable accomplishments.  Put together a portfolio if you can.  Do a salary survey.  Make sure you believe in it and can prove it.  Get 5 people to write references saying how well you do your job.

With this project you have gathered proof that your boss would hire you for more than he is paying you now.  Go present the proof to your boss and put it in those terms.  Tell him he would have to pay more to hire a replacement, so please pay me more right now. Don’t threaten to quit.  Give him a chance to do the right thing.  No blackmail.

See what he says.  Give him a month or two to come up with a raise and promotion.  If you don’t get it, go ask your boss, again, what he intends to do.  Don’t threaten or plead.  Just find out his intentions.

If he’s not moving, use all that material you gathered to look for a new job.  Don’t blackmail your boss.  Give him a real opportunity to reward you.  If he won’t give you what you deserve, look for a new job. Don’t look back.

Something To Do Today

Start your employment upgrade project.


Tomorrow:     I just quit and my old boss wants me back!

Quit or be fired?

What is your portfolio?

…rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science. (Gary Zukav)

 I recommended Ben for a job as a programmer.  He had been programming intensely for 6 years.  He had proof of his skills with C++.  He had produced a video game that was more complex than many in the stores at the time.  I was enthusiastic and said he was a junior, perfect for a 3 month programming job.  The hiring manager agreed to an interview.  I forgot (really just forgot) to mention he was a high school student, not a college student.  The manager, out of courtesy, let the interview go on anyway.  The portfolio (the game), the enthusiasm and knowledge of the kid were so great, that he was hired.  Let’s not forget he was cheap too.

How can a high school junior get a job as a college junior?  It took an enthusiastic mistake and a portfolio.  You can create your own enthusiasm.  See my post about motivating your friends to help. Don’t try to make a mistake, just capitalize on them.  The portfolio is not as easy as it looks.

Your portfolio is separate from your resume.  Your resume is a list of accomplishments. It is a list of what happened because you were at a job, a list of improvements.  Your portfolio is concrete examples of your output.  In marketing it is letters, brochures, ad campaigns and internet links.  In programming it is websites you created or programs that actually run, all with examples of your coding.  Graphics artists often carry a huge folder of their art with them.  Some leaders actually write a book about their performance and get it published.  A network technician can dial in to the five computers in his basement from the interviewer’s office. A writer should have documents he produced.

Put proof in an envelope, on a CD, or in an internet site.  Show what you have done.

Proof can flat out get you hired.  No question about it.  Can you prove what you have done?

Something To Do Today

Ask your boss what you could put in your portfolio that proves you deserve a raise.  Put together that portfolio and see if he gives you one.  If he doesn’t, show that portfolio to other employers and get a new job.


Coming next:     Blackmail your boss?

I just quit and my old boss wants me back!

Quit or be fired?