13 ways an employee can bring more entrepreneurial thinking to their current job to make more $, get promoted, and or get a raise:
13 ways an employee can bring more entrepreneurial thinking to their current job to make more $, get promoted, and or get a raise:
1. Enough is enough! No more trading time for dollars
Instead, think in terms of “value-added”….not hours put in or work output.
Many employees think that if they just work harder/longer hours they will earn job security; a better salary, promotion, stock options, etc. which isn’t necessarily true.
You earn these things, not in years/time – the hard work put in but in proven value and growth created for an organization over that period of time. It’s important to remember that you get paid a salary for your role performance according to your job description, not how “busy” you look at your desk, how many emails you have written, how quickly you answer your boss, or how long it appears you stay after they have left. It all comes down to THE VALUE YOU CAN ADD.
And the more value you can add quarter to quarter to the continued success of the organization, the more you will prove yourself worthy of a better position, which will increase your positioning for a raise, a promotion, stock options, or any other reward you want to ask for.
2. Negotiating from the “Bottom Line”
Most businesses make decisions that best suit the continued future of the organization and the financial bottom line. If a business isn’t performing well, or the market crashes, the first thing it will do is reduce its financial loss by firing any unessential employee (like what we saw during March and April of 2020)
So, if you want to position yourself for improved job security and a favorable position for salary renegotiations….
“How can I make myself more essential to this business?
How can I add more value to the bottom line of the business?
What can I do to contribute to the organization that will make my position to the company harder and more costly to replace?”
When I say “value” I mean improvements that are measured in percentages and or dollar amounts which grows the business and positions it for greater future success.
If you are in sales, what is the % of sales growth from each account or the amount of new business you have brought in from last year to now?
If you are in operations, someone responsible for the effectiveness of the processes of the business…. how can you reduce the % of defects/waste/returns, speed-up delivery times, increase % of customer retention and overall satisfaction, etc.?
If you are in marketing, how can you improve the effectiveness of every dollar spent on an advertisement that captures a certain % of sales from a new sought-after target market?
When you can prove quantifiable growth that you have personally created for the business, it is way easier to ask to be rewarded with a fraction of that success when renegotiating for your desired outcome in a raise, promotion, and or stock option.
Remember, you don’t necessarily get what you work for, you get what you fight for and can quantify in dollars and cents to a business and its future.
3. Be a Pro not a Joe/Jill of all Trades = Master of None
Remember, you are a professional, a pro at what you do; this is why they hired you specifically and not someone else. Professionals are people who have a very specific skill set, knowledge base, and business acumen that when applied greatly contributes to the success of a growing business, project, and or team.
The success of the business is not your sole responsibility, but the success of your role certainly is.
It’s important that you take total ownership of your job deliverables and put your focus on doing extremely well in the job they hired you to do.
We all have a finite amount of time each day, so commit yourself to mastering and meeting the responsibilities of your role.
If you are doing the job of 2-3 people or if your role is unclear, I would highly recommend having a role clarifying conversation with upper management.
4. Valuing your time, aka saying “no” to calendar invites, CC’s, and chasing other employees
If you are finding yourself in meetings that clutter up your calendar, unnecessary emails that fill up your inbox, or feel as if you need to chase other employees in order for them to effectively do their job…
I would highly recommend that you take a few steps back.
Take an inventory of your role/responsibilities versus your daily actions, then respectfully remove yourself from meetings and CC’ed emails that you don’t need to be on.
If you are in fact needed in the meeting or on the email, you can ask your boss to clearly state why and reaffirm their reasoning and your value add for being there.
And if an employee from another department is hindering you from effectively doing your job, simply make it known to leadership and empower them to handle it, so you can remain focused on excelling at your own.
Unless “chasing other employees to do their job” is written in your job description, then by all means.
Be careful to not get caught up taking on more responsibility and tasks than you are being paid for.
Typically, a business that isn’t well organized will demand whatever it needs from its employees to take care of getting the “job done” aka continuing to grow the business. So if you are a highly responsible, engaged, and multi-talented employee you may fall for taking on jobs/tasks well beyond your job description and or level of compensation.
This may be due to lack of staffing, underperforming employees, or a lack of professional boundaries on your part and or that of the business to value your specific job expectations and the professionalism of your role.
After reviewing your role vs daily actions… are there are any additional tasks and or time-wasters, which don’t fit your job description that should be analyzed, questioned, and cut if need be?
If so, it may be time to take your power and time back.
Set professional boundaries so you have more space to focus on your role, the bigger picture, and the future of your career.
5. Own your role, Own your day
Owning your role and expertise also comes with owning the timeline of your to-dos and how you spend your work time day-to-day to get them done.
Managers above you will always want you to get things back to them ASAP once they assign a task to you. Why wouldn’t they?
The more you deliver and get done, typically the faster things should grow for the business, right?
However, as a professional, you also have a right to say when things get done and “no” to asks that are unrealistic in nature and or compete with other prior assigned, more important work.
If you don’t think you can deliver something by a certain timeline (without compromising your self/wellness), don’t promise the delivery. It’s always best whether working with a client or a boss to under-promise, and over-deliver according to the realities of your current work volume and previously promised commitments.
Whether it be insecurity, not wanting to be judged, and or appear unproductive to the very person who decides your paycheck….many employees opt to leave their managers in the dark about how they spend their time.
Ironically, this usually leads to even greater micromanaging by your boss and over time, a lack of trust that you can get the job done.
If you want to empower yourself as well as your manager to improve the efficiency of your work; I would suggest reprioritizing your work-week based on what you feel to be the most needle-moving tasks according to current business goals and the deliverables of your role.
Then for full agreement and transparency, simply send your manager a list of what you plan to focus on at the start of each week.
ps. This works best when you create the list at the end of the prior week on Friday afternoon when work is top of mind. That way, they can give you feedback on what’s most important to do and what is not.
They should really appreciate you taking the initiative with this, as transparency usually creates greater trust and they will feel able to course-correct your focus (if need be), share in your project process, as well as celebrate your wins as you complete successful projects.
Make sure you also include them on CC ONLY when big things happen or when you need their input. Do not CC them on all things. Ideally, they want to trust you to execute your job without having to hold your hand.
6. Embrace ongoing feedback
Instead of fearing critique, ask for frequent reviews of your performance.
There is no need to dread your yearly review.
Personally, there is much power to ask frequently for performance reviews.
When you ask for feedback ongoingly, it not only shows that you are secure and confident in yourself but you are willing and open to improve your work performance.
Many employees don’t know how they can add more value to the business, and contribute in a way that can get them promoted because they are too afraid to ask due to having a “potentially” confronting conversations.
Even if you think you know, you want to keep an ongoing conversation about where the company is heading, how you can grow within the organization, and where the new job opportunities are forming.
This will help you align your career path with the needs/growth of the business, without having to guess so you can act with greater certainty to position yourself for your career advancement.
7. If you are willing to own the wins, own the losses too
Becoming an established pro in anything, in a sport, skill, role, and or business market requires plenty of trial and error and embracing the process of failing forwards.
Too many people are afraid of owning their losses.
Instead, they blame others and avoid the responsibility altogether.
Most do this to avoid looking bad and or get labeled a “failure”, which dramatically holds them back from having important transparency and honesty with themselves.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to accept failure, but rather you should be willing to, as hard as it may be at times, to own it when it happens.
That way, you can fully extract as much learning and lessons as possible and you don’t
Dishonesty with oneself in business and or in life dramatically prevents someone from accurately reading their current circumstance. If you don’t know where to begin when looking at what to change, how can you accurately pivot and improve your approach/strategy to create a better future outcome?
There is so much value and personal power in taking ownership regardless of it being a win or a loss.
Doing so allows for creating faster more accurate solutions which is a great predictor of whether someone has the staying power to create ultimate success in their chosen path or not.
If you get sidelined with every loss, winning the ultimate game of success will typically take much longer.
8. Find a mentor who is where you want to be
There is a lot of advice out there, as well as a lot of people who are very willing to share their opinion on how you should approach just about anything and everything.
If the individual you are speaking to hasn’t walked your chosen career path, hasn’t supported others in accomplishing exactly what you want to achieve, I’d refrain from asking for their advice.
Not all advice is created equal. Choose to seek out mentors and people who have the titles, success, and most importantly the experience you are looking to learn from on your career path.
If they take a liking to you, they can help you shortcut a great deal of time, answer best approach questions, and avoid career-limiting mistakes/ pitfalls you can struggle through in your journey or with their help avoid entirely.
They have already paid the personal cost for the lessons you want to learn, why should you as well?
9. Find a career, not a job
If you aren’t growing professionally, are you really in the right career?
I say career because a career is by definition very different than a job, which is trading your time for money during the hours of 9-5.
In a career, there is room for advancement and growth, something I strongly suggest you seek out if you have an entrepreneurial spirit.
There is nothing that kills the spirit of a self-driven and ambitious person more than a lack of new opportunities to challenge oneself and grow.
If there is little to no opportunity for career advancement and growth opportunities offered in your current role, it may be time to create it on your own and or seek employment from a corporation where you have a better shot to build a career.
10. Learners are earners
Use your job as a training ground. Learn skills that will be applicable to your next higher-paying role or the business you want to start.
If you learn skills that you can eventually bring to your own business, why not get paid a salary to do so? You don’t need your job’s permission to learn a useful skill.
Because the more you know, the more value you can bring to your role and provide the company.
This will position you nicely for a raise and promotion.
There are online classes/courses for quite literally anything you want to learn. Find a class that teaches you something that adds significant value to your role and resume.
Oftentimes, if it benefits the company it may be worthwhile to ask if they would be willing to pay for it and or at the very least split the fee with you.
11. Don’t wait for permission to elevate yourself and your role
Most entrepreneurs who are designing a business to scale, focus on the most critical expertise-laden tasks (the ones, truly ONLY they can perform for the business) and then choose to outsource the rest.
Are there tasks you don’t like to do or admin activities you can easily train someone to do for you every week? Whether you are an employee or solo entrepreneur, there comes a time in any business when there is a diminishing financial return you get from doing a certain task yourself.
This is a major growth inflection point where your time spent on a certain task is more expensive for you to do, compared to paying to hire outside help.
For example, if you hired someone to do a task that costs $100/hr and that frees you up to make an additional $300/hr for the company or your business…. don’t you think having the space to make an additional $200 is worth it?
The most precious thing we have on this earth is time, and as they say, time is money so use it wisely!
And if it is increasingly clear that you’ve outgrown certain daily tasks, maybe it’s time to hire an assistant and build your team?
If you are employed, be VERY CAREFUL to not elevate yourself fully out of a job just yet. Make sure there is a clear new role agreement for a more senior position and a contract signed and sealed in place before you fully train up someone to do the majority of what you do day-to-day.
12. Got a need? Make it known. Ask for the promo/raise at the appropriate time(s) and follow up often
Your employer isn’t a mind reader, so if you need something speak up!
What are your current needs to do your job more effectively?
Need an assistant to free you up to focus on higher revenue-generating activities?
Need a certain technology or computer program to help you and the business grow?
Ask for it.
Are you overdue for a raise and promotion?
Then you should make an ask for one, even if you think the answer, in the end, will be “NO”.
Well, management’s job is to say no to paying you any more than they have to for you to do your job.
That said, many employers will expect you to take on more and more responsibility BEFORE compensating you for it.
If this is the case, it may be time to speak up until you are fairly compensated and officially promoted to your next elevated role.
As they say, you can’t get what you don’t ask for so make sure you ask for the promotion and have facts and figures to back up the next level value you are bringing to the organization.
13. The grass is not always greener on the other side
A human fallacy is to think that our next job, our next group of co-workers/employees, our next boss, etc will be better than our current situation, which isn’t always true…
As active contributors to our current circumstance, we too are responsible for improving how we connect, communicate, and collaborate with the above people to cause a better outcome.
So before you move from employer to employer, try first to water things where you stand, and see how things improve….
We improve what we work on, so if work hasn’t really been going your way, ask yourself if you’ve really been bringing your most engaged efforts to the performance of your role and your work relationships?
If not, why not?
This is especially true if you are a leader with employees underneath you; the more people that work underneath your leadership, the more important it is to be on top of your game both practically and personally.
A few personal examples….
Every business will have 1-2 people that slack off —- learn why they aren’t feeling engaged; ask them about their why, understand their circumstance, ask them about their career goals and motivate them accordingly.
Every business will have 1-2 people you don’t necessarily vibe with —- learn how you can relate to them. What is it that you appreciate about them? How are their differences a strength?
Every business will have frustrating bottlenecks caused by inefficiencies in people, processes, and or politics —- learn how to spot them and head up conversations and dialogues that improve them.
My point is, you have more power and agency sometimes than you may realize to create a better outcome for yourself.
Learn what you can do today to improve your current circumstance, before thinking it’s time to move on and create something “better” elsewhere.
Did you find these 13 in-depth tips helpful?
If so, email me back your favorite tip and how you plan to implement it in your business or career.
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