YOU NEED A NEW AGENT- NOW!!

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Do you believe Queen Elizabeth II, { Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith} deserves more pay than her husband, Philip, Prince Consort?  Imagine trying to put the Queen’s formal title on a business card.  With a title like that, I side with the Queen!  {And anyway what on earth is a consort?}    Netflix disagrees with me and in the highly rated series “The Crown” paid the female actress, Clare Foy, (a mere woman after all) playing the starring role less than the male actor, Matt Smith, playing her husband.  Fair?   Claire Foy earned a Golden Globe award for Best Actress and an Emmy nomination —but she’s a woman who was still paid less than her male co-star.  I have never understood why a female is paid less than a male doing the same job.  Are we sure it is 2018?  And who on earth is her agent?  I bet it’s a man!

Majority of Hollywood stars, professional musicians, book authors, major league athletes, etc. have an agent.  Your agent’s job is to get you the best contract and compensation.  She/he has a vested interest, as they get a percentage of your pay!  There are actually a minority of corporate people who retain an agent.  But for the rest of us mere mortals (99+%) we need to act as our own agent.  Not only in procuring the best jobs and compensation, but also in negotiating new compensation packages and promotions in our current companies. If your plan is to wait for your boss to recognize you arrive early, depart late, exceed all expectations and are her go to person – PLEASE WAKE UP and expect a 0-2% annual raise.  Most likely she is too busy representing herself!    We need to ask for the compensation we are worth.  Ask for deserved promotions and pay increases. Hoping for fairness is NOT a strategy.

A Bank of America survey found 80% of millennials who asked for a raise reported getting one. Think about that.  You have an 80% chance of success if you simply go in and present why you deserve a pay raise. For the majority of jobs where I presented my case for a raise or promotion, I was successful over 50% of the time.  What is the worst thing a boss can say?  No.  We hear the word “no” everyday and we move on.  DO NOT  just give up when your boss refuses to fairly compensate you!

Part of growing your Net Worth is finding more money to invest.  When is the last time you had a raise?  Do you deserve a raise or a promotion?  Know what your time and skills are worth on the street and don’t be afraid to get your worth.  ASK!!!!

LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND MEET YOUR AGENT- (GOOD LOOKING RIGHT!)

Businesswoman Addressing Meeting Around Boardroom Table
Businesswoman Addressing Meeting Around Boardroom Table

Some of you may have a peer who does the same job or less work and is paid more; or maybe you are constantly being told what a great asset you are.  If you believe you deserve more compensation take below steps.  Be prepared with your specifics and avoid phrases like “I need” or “I heard”.  I read a joke that, “Ninety percent of people do not care about your problems and the other 10% are happy you have them”.  Your boss cares about her own career, compensation and job security.   If you take care of your primary job – making your boss look good, she will want to keep you!   If you are exceeding expectations, prove your value and you will justify your raise or promotion.

When asking for a promotion, leadership is going to want to know what kind of value you bring to the business. Rather than trying to remember all your great accomplishments from several months ago, keep an ongoing portfolio throughout the year. Keep this portfolio in whatever media/app you prefer.  I like Apple “Notes”.  When you get an email stating, “great job” add that to your file.  When your team increases sales 56% in a tough year, document, add to your portfolio and make sure the people who control the purse strings know about it. Do not just focus on what you delivered, include your successful strategy and actions taken.  Provide the details your boss should know.  This is not kissing up.  This is keeping your leaders informed.  It actually makes their job easier as many bosses are willing to pay you more, but they must justify that promotion/salary increase. When noting your successes, focus on the most important details.  Are you indispensable?  Are you the go-to person for something your peers cannot do? Document this.   Are you carrying more responsibilities than you were hired for?  Sought after by coworkers to help solve problems?  Document this.

Today with downsizing, companies are constantly reducing headcount but NOT reducing work output. Are you carrying a heavier work load than your peers?  Do you bring in more clients?  Make more sales?  Get better customer satisfaction scores?  If you deserve more money, document it.  If you answer yes to majority of the above questions, you DESERVE that promotion/raise.  Companies love to brag in their annual reports how the productivity has increased.  That’s you and your hard work!

So lets get you ready to sit down with your manager and sell yourself.  You are a great agent with a fantastic client. Sell your client, like it’s your money.  Because it is.
1.     First and most importantly, your boss has a budget and most likely has other people to answer to.  Out of cycle raises require extraordinary circumstances and usually need additional approvals. The change affects approved budgets so the rationale has to be strong enough for a second and sometime third level manager to agree. Best time for requesting out of cycle raises is when there’s a change in the job, such as additional responsibilities, added travel, increased client base etc.  You must document your job changes.
2.     Share your goals and accomplishments and ask for feedback.
3.     Communicate your wins.  Be enthusiastic.  Sell.
4.     Demonstrate the value added to your boss’ objectives and the company’s.
5.     Focus on why you deserve a raise or promotion. (not why you need it).
6.     If you have talked to others in your company or external sources and have salary data to back your request up, present that data.
7.     Practice your pitch with someone who will coach you and anticipate questions.
8.     Be prepared to hear no.  Then re-strategize and make the request again, with more to back you up.
9.     Schedule a meeting with your boss.  Do not catch him/her by surprise.  Give a heads up you want to discuss your compensation and are seeking their advice and council.  This should not be an adversarial conversation.
10.   Go into that meeting and sell yourself.  If the immediate response is NO, suggest a reevaluation in three months if you cannot lock down a “yes” right away.
11.   Never be afraid to look for better opportunities.  But consider your pension (those are becoming rare) and any stock awards you may lose.  Do not make a hasty decision that will cost you in the long run.

Your career is your largest asset and is literally worth millions of dollars.  There are proven actions you can take to make it worth millions more.  Lets’ Get It Started!

Before I conclude, let’s return to the lack of pay equality for women.  Here are some facts, reported by Bloomberg Business-Week, April 2, 2018.  The UK mandated that 9,000 companies measure and report actual pay gaps between men and women, no later than April 4, 2018.  Here is some of that data:   At HSBC Bank PLC, the average woman working in the UK, makes 59% less than the average man. At Goldman Sachs International, women make 55% less.  Barclays Plc, women make 48% less.  These horrible stats go on and on and most likely are replicated in the U. S.  This is NOT a woman’s problem.  Men, and ladies, think of your mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends.  Is this acceptable for the women you care about, to work as hard or harder and be paid less?   If you have authority in your company, now or in the future, do the right thing and stop this discrimination in pay by sex, race or anything else.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” –Jim Rohn

Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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