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Revealed: How to Ask (and Get) a Raise You Deserve

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Revealed: How to Ask (and Get) a Raise You Deserve

Another disappointment in the annual review. No pay raise once again. The salary has been frozen for recent years while there are more responsibilities on your shoulders. You truly feel you deserve a pay raise but it never comes. You begin to wonder: Is it the time to actively ask for a raise? How to ask for a raise?

But you are hesitant, fearing you can’t get the desired raise and ruin the relationships between you and the seniors. You are also concerned about how your colleagues would think of you when they hear your request.

Instead, you shouldn’t worry, and you should go for it!

Do your homework before asking for a raise.

Here are all the do’s and don’ts in demanding a pay raise.

1. Find the best timing to request.

Most people ask for their pay raise during the annual review period and get rejected. You may think you’re rejected because you do not deserve a raise in their eyes, but the truth is – It is TOO LATE.

As early as 3 to 4 months before an annual review, the seniors have to plan the coming fiscal year’s budget. And most importantly, the budget includes the sum of raises and salary adjustments. So, if you demand a raise in an annual review, the budget is already fixed and you usually can’t get the raise. Request a few months in advance instead!

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Besides, analyzing the current status of the company is crucial. Imagine you still ask for a raise when the company is experiencing stagnant or even negative growth, it would be a disaster.

On the other hand, if the company’s financial growth is on the rise and has recorded greens in consecutive seasons, then it is your opportunity! Your boss is more than willing to reward everyone who makes the growth possible (if your boss is a nice and generous one).

2. Maximize your bargaining power.

There are a few things you have to know and prepare before your request.

How much your colleagues of the same rank are earning?

Knowing the salaries of your colleagues is important. You have to know the discrepancy between yours and theirs to request for a reasonable raise. Otherwise, you will sound greedy. You won’t want it to happen.

What are your accomplishments and contributions?

Keep a detailed and specific log of how your have added values to the company. State the nature of the project or task clearly and how successful it is. It is also important to mention how your contributions have helped the company to grow.

You have to be clear and specific about your accomplishments because your boss has to take care of so many matters. He/she really needs your reminders to recall your contributions.

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What are your responsibilities and duties?

You have probably looked into what your colleagues are doing and it’s important to compare the responsibilities you and your colleagues have.

Having more duties should probably earn more. If you happen to earn less by doing more than your counterparts, it is perhaps the time to ask for a raise.

3. Know the amount you should ask for.

There are no norms for how much a raise should be. It varies greatly across industries and companies. While a rapidly growing startup can review salaries on a quarterly basis, a well-established multinational company may do so yearly.

However, there are some suggestions on how much a raise you should be requesting.

  • If there is a promotion in rank, around 10% rise in salary is reasonable.
  • If you stay in the same position, it is advised not to ask for more than 3% raise.

If not carefully requested, you may end up appearing ignorant or greedy.

4. Rehearse what you are going to say in front of your seniors.

It is highly advised to rehearse the meeting beforehand.

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Try to play the role of your boss and yourself, and think of the questions you will be dealing with. It is likely that you’ll be asked for the reason to raise your salary. If you practiced well, you should have a nice and convincing answer.

It may sound weird but this rehearsal can worth a few hundreds or even thousands of money. Think about it.

Talk politely and skillfully during the meeting.

Now you’re well-prepared, here are a few more pointers to help you during the meeting.

5. Get straight to the point.

You have clearly stated the purpose of the meeting and it’s best to be on point. Go straight to the topic as you have prepared. Tell your seniors your positive impact to the company and everything you know that are proof to your below average salary.

6. Mention your ambition and loyalty to the company’s future.

Seniors love to see your devotion to company. In spite of talking about how much you worth, also mention what you have planned for the future and your prospect in the company.

Talk about how you wish to help the company. It is also good to stress your commitment to the company.

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7. Don’t suggest counter-offers or threats.

Sometimes, you are offered a raise but not exactly the amount you desire. Remember, don’t make any counter-offers and threats about quitting. You are here trying to look for a win-win situation.

Don’t make it into a lethal negotiation where both you and the seniors feel the uncomfortable tension. Things usually go more smoothly in a harmonious setting.

8. Don’t complain about your current job situation.

Maintain a positive tone throughout the meeting. Imagine if you were the boss, would you like to hear “I have been working here for 4 years. While I am having to do more, I have nothing more in return!”?

Remember you are here to request for a pay raise and you need the boss’ support to do so. Don’t piss anyone off and ruin your future.

9. Prepare for rejection.

Prepare to receive a cruel rejection from your boss. Instead of a promotion in position or a raise in salary, you may also suggest looking into the options of incentives, bonuses or stock options.

Also, it is good to ask for an interim performance appraisal. It may be that your performance is not impressive enough at the moment but your boss definitely sees your efforts and progress. A raise could be happening anytime in the future.

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If, unfortunately, everything is rejected, it is still fine. It is good to ask about rooms for improvement because you may have overlooked some of your accomplishments and performances.

Don’t be deterred by refusal. After all, if you don’t even ask at all, you won’t stand the slightest chance to have a raise.

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Jeffrey Lau

Editor. Sport Lover. Animal Lover.

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

“Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set Limits

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a Not-to-Do List

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be Vulnerable

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t Be a Copycat

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say Yes to Less

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn How to Relax

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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