Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to give yourself decision deadlines. For some of us, making decisions can be hard, even painful, at times. There are so many choices for everything these days, and choosing one can be a difficult process. With so many options available, it can be massively overwhelming to be forced to only choose one. And, it can be tempting to put off your decision for fear you’ll make the WRONG choice. However, putting off decisions results in stress, anxiety, and frustration. It’s also a big waste of time. That’s why it’s important to start developing your decision-making skills so you can be more efficient and confident in your choices. Not only will this benefit you, but it will also benefit employers. Giving yourself a time limit to make decisions will help train you to make choices more quickly, which will save you time, frustration, and stress. Today, give yourself decision deadlines. Whether you only allow yourself five minutes to make a decision or 30 seconds, force yourself to stay within your deadline. For example, if you’re asked to choose where you should go to dinner tonight with a friend, instead of saying, “I don’t know, whatever!” Give yourself 30 seconds to think about it and make a decision. What makes sense location-wise for both of you? What are you in the mood for? Are there any new places you want to try? You have 30 seconds to run through all of this in your head. Giving yourself these decision deadlines will force you to think on your feet, go through the pros and cons faster, and come to a decision in a more timely fashion. It might be hard at first, but it will get easier the more you do it. You’re just building up your decision-making muscles! What’s your secret to making faster decisions? How long are your decision deadlines? Tell us!
Maybe you like your job, but you’re just not where you want to be financially. What do you do? Apply for a position with a different company? Or approach your boss and ask for a salary increase?
The ability to negotiate a salary increase can place you in a better financial position: extra money can help you qualify for mortgage loans or refinancing, or if you’re trying to build a rainy day fund, a raise can jump-start these efforts. However, it’s important to research and know your value before approaching your boss.
In other words, you can only approach the conversation with a fair number in mind—based on the average salary for professionals in your industry with your experience and skill set. Of course, it isn’t enough to only research your value. You need to know the best ways to approach your boss.
Here are four things you should never say when asking for a raise:
1. Don’t Threaten To Quit
Some employees think they can get the upper hand by threatening to quit their job. However, this isn’t recommended, even if you’re prepared to follow through with the threat. Remember, the goal is to get on your manager’s good side, not tick them off. If you approach the meeting with an abrupt or aggressive attitude, your boss may not respond favorably—they may actually call your bluff!
A better approach is to explain how much you enjoy your work. Let your boss know that you're interested in growing with the company. Next, state your argument for a salary increase. Be professional and keep your negotiations brief.
2. Don’t Mention A Co-Worker’s Salary
If you learn that a co-worker in a similar position earns more than you, don’t mention this when speaking with your boss. There may be valid reasons why your co-worker earns more. Maybe they have an advanced degree, or maybe they took additional courses to improve their skill set. Then again, maybe they have more experience than you. Don’t immediately assume that your employer is giving you the short end of the stick.
Rather than bring up a co-worker's salary, you could say:
"I've been researching the going rate for this position, and the average salary for workers with my education and experience is _____. I feel that I've been doing a great job and would like to discuss increasing my salary."
3. Don't Choose The Wrong Time
Don’t ask your boss for a raise out of the blue, and you certainly shouldn’t ask during a meeting on an unrelated topic. Once you’ve completed your research, schedule an appointment to meet with your boss privately. Additionally, prepare for this meeting by practicing responses. In all likelihood, your boss will question why you want a salary increase. The way you answer this question can determine the outcome.
Prior to this meeting, compile a list of all your accomplishments during the last 12 months. When your boss questions your reasons, be ready to run down this list and mention any other selling points. For example, you can mention any classes you've recently taken, and if it's been years since your last raise, bring this to your manager's attention.
4. Don’t Whine About Your Personal Problems
Do you have debt? Do you need to complete repairs around your house? Was your spouse laid off? These are all valid reasons to negotiate a salary increase. Understand, however, that your personal problems are not your manager’s problems. They no doubt will empathize or sympathize with your situation, but you shouldn’t expect them to automatically fix your problems by increasing your salary. Not that you shouldn’t ask for a higher salary, but keep the focus on your performance.
You could say:
"In the past ___ months I've taken on several new responsibilities (list them), and I know that you were satisfied with many of my suggestions and changes."
Getting paid your worth can improve job satisfaction. And if you’re already completing assignments outside your job description, why not take a chance and approach your boss? They just might comply with your request. Just remember to avoid making these four mistakes when asking for the raise you deserve!
Need help with your career?
Check out our FREE resources page!
Or, join our career growth club today and get access to one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities—all in your back pocket!
If you want more FREE career advice, follow us on TikTok!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.