The Boodle Blog

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29 December

Get ahead with a little career planning

According to a recent article salaries are increasing at a slower rate than a year ago. At the same time nothing is getting any cheaper with the cost of living constantly increasing. So you should make sure you're in the best position that you can be - from earning the best salary you possibly can, to getting that promotion. It's the time of year for taking stock and setting goals for yourself. You’re not doing anyone any favours by treading water so here are some ideas that will help you to get ahead in your career.

Get promoted

As obvious as this may sound, the best way to get promoted in your career is to do your job really well. Come five minutes early and leave five minutes late, be professional in your appearance and helpful to your colleagues, and upskill if necessary. Position yourself in a company with scope for growth and be aware of when opportunities make themselves available. Also make sure that your supervisor knows that you are completing your work to an excellent standard.

Best foot forward

Your busy supervisor might not know all of your success stories. Keep a journal of your achievements and save complimentary e-mails from colleagues and clients. Having this information on hand will put you in a good bargaining position to ensure that your work is appreciated. Promotion is not the only way of getting ahead, increased responsibility or salary are also ways that you can progress.

How to ask for a raise

This is a delicate proposition that mustn’t be undertaken at the wrong time - for example when you’ve had a few too many at your end-of-year function. Find out when raises are allocated. They could be given at the end of the year or after evaluations, and this information might be included in the company handbook. Give your boss a heads up that you want to talk to him/her about your salary by saying (or e-mailing) something like “could we schedule a time when I can make a case for a raise in salary?” Again you could prepare your argument with how you have benefitted the company in terms of making money through sales or saving through productivity. You have helped make the company a success and you would like to see this reflected in your career.

Know your worth

You may have taken on more responsibility than is reflected in your position or paygrade, could you find out what is commensurate for your output? What is the average annual increment or is there a merit-based increase? Check with other people in your field, consult a recruiter, or look at job listings so that you can get an idea of what your market worth is. This information could be key for your career planning. Could you use a counter offer from another company to bolster your case?

Turning a negative into a positive

If you ask for a promotion or a raise and get turned down you could use the opportunity to ask what you have to do/learn to be eligible in the future. Take it on the chin and use the information to make a plan for what you have to achieve to get where you want to be in your career. Could you take a short-term loan from Boodle so that you can do a course and get more qualified? Or consider using a loan to get a wardrobe overhaul or make-over for the more professional image?

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