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If You Need to Ask for a Raise You Deserve, Probably You’ve Made This Mistake

If You Need to Ask for a Raise You Deserve, Probably You’ve Made This Mistake

So you put in those long hours, excelled at many projects and earned far more than your keep at the company you work for. Understandably, you now expect the company to reward you for your efforts with a promotion and a long-due raise. And when the company doesn’t really rise up to occasion as we expect it to, many of us lose patience and begin to think of ways as to how to ask for a raise. The only problem being, you really shouldn’t!

Asking for a Raise Is Difficult Because Your Boss Doesn’t Share the Same View With You

We all tend to think highly of ourselves as employees – and feel that we give a lot more than we get in the professional environment we spend half of our lives in. On the flipside, our bosses may feel that we are lacking in some essential quality and even if we work hard at our desk, the company might feel that our current salary justifies the hours we put in.

So the core problem lies in the perception of our work and that of the company’s view of our work. Frankly, if you need to ask for a raise, you are either not as much of a star performer as you thought you were or the company thinks you are lacking in an essential skill.

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Payscale did a recent study and the odds seem to stand against you, even if you know how to ask for a raise. Some 30,000 workers were surveyed and 43% reported that they had indeed asked for a raise but only 44% of them actually got what they had asked for, while 25% did not get a raise at all. 57% did not ask for a raise at all, though 38% of them got one without asking for it.[1]

Being Too Modest Will Make Your Contribution Unseen

Frankly, while the economy is starting to look up – the raises haven’t exactly started to flow out till now. Since the percentage of people asking for raises and actually getting them is not particularly bright, it’s time to concentrate on how to get the company to value you enough to automatically give you a raise – without ever having to think about how to ask for a raise![2]

Remember that being modest does not work in the workplace – if your company does not realize your value, you have to work towards making them see all that you have done and achieved for them, and what more you can do for them as well.[3] Try and work towards the company giving you a raise by itself, rather than you having to ask and negotiate for one… Here are some tricks and tips.[4]

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How to Make Sure You Don’t Have to Ask for a Raise But You Still Get What You Deserve

If You Have Been Appreciated, Ask People to Speak Up on Your Behalf

If you are an awesome worker with a mile-long success list; chances are that your colleagues, counterparts or clients appreciate your work. The next time someone shows you their appreciation, as them to put it in writing to your immediate senior. This way, your boss will always know that you are a star performer.

Reclaim Your Territory Without a War

There might be times when people (read colleagues) take your ideas and turn them into their own, especially in front of the boss. Don’t claim the idea for your own for that will not help your case – instead, present more data and all the research that your colleague wasn’t able to steal from you and turn the spotlight back on you, cleverly.

Make Sure You Are Put in the Spotlight

The next time you are given an opportunity to present in front of the manager or the big boss, research your points as well as you can and try your best to make an impression. Go well-informed and armed with all the answers beforehand – shine in the time you have, the boss shall remember you in good grace, as will the head honchos.

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Word Your Achievements Right

The next time your immediate supervisor wants to know how you spent your week, don’t just list out what you did. Word it differently, to show how you worked for the company’s benefit, and what you have to show for it. For instance, if you reached out to 15 of your clients with a fresh offer – talk about how the clients are responding to it instead of just talking about your e-mail.

Keep Your Boss Updated

Send your boss a weekly or fortnightly mail on what you have achieved or plan to for the next few workdays. Along with letting your boss know that you are working to make the company a more successful one, it also establishes a work record and accomplishment of yours.

Be an Informed Employee

Beyond the necessary skills you need to do your job, make it a point to be better informed about your company’s brands, competitors and all things on the anvil. This will make you a person better equipped to speak up in discussions, talks and meetings and make sure the spotlight is often on you. Anticipate your boss’s needs and questions too – and instead of fumbling for an answer, be ready with answers and if you can, pre-empt the questions as well… So don’t just research on how to ask for a raise, research about the company before.

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Own Up to Your Mistakes

Most workers try to cover up their mistakes, afraid of the repercussions of the same. Stand apart from the crowd – if you know that you have made a mistake, own up to it in front of your boss and also let him or her know the solution that you have worked out to even things over. Ask for any further advice. You may get a cold shoulder for a bit, but your boss will remember that you are an accountable and responsible employee.

Be Proactive in Work and Training

Don’t ask your boss for work or training. Create your opportunities for your work to shine – and join up on some online courses in your free time to further your talent. Just make sure that you casually mention it to your boss if your work didn’t speak up for you…

Make Good Intra & Inter-Departmental Relationships

Being good at work is good but being a team player is even better. All companies appreciate a good worker all the more if he or she is able to successfully cultivate and maintain human relationships within the company and even outside – be it with clients or sister concerns. A smile and a cheerful tone of voice get things done much faster and far more smoothly.

Be Calm & Keep Working

All bosses appreciate a calm and unruffled employee who can truly weather a storm – be it work, a personal crisis, or even just a general instability of the workplace. Let your work talk for you always – and keep your mind and eye on the goal ahead, instead of getting distracted by the various disturbances around. Be the first to chip in, offer an out-of-the-box solution or even those extra man hours if needed. Instead of wondering how to ask for a raise, put your nose to the grinder with a cheerful attitude and come up with innovative solutions every now and then.

Follow these steps long and well enough, and there won’t be a company who wouldn’t automatically give you a good raise for they would want to retain a hard-working, smart-thinking and non-complaining employee like you – who truly knows how to turn things around in his or her favor! That said; if you still end up wondering how to ask for a raise, remember three things: build your case, research pay scales and then research your pitch to smoothly ask for what you deserve.[5]

Reference

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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