Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tea's Business Tips: Part 1

I'm off work today. I love the irony of giving people tips for the workplace and being off work. LOL! Whatev...

I'm pretty successful in my job (5 promotions in 4 and a half years if you want to be specific), but I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. I want to share what I know in the hopes that it'll help someone else. I have the belief that there is an infinite about of knowledge, goodness, success, love and money in the world. So if others are doing well (or even better than me) in any of those categories, it doesn't make my position any less wonderful.

I've also been to my fair share of conferences, read a lot of books about being successful in the work place and I actually listen to my mentors, so I feel like I have a lot to offer.

So enough of the PSA, but here are Tea's Top business tips.

7. You have options - A lot of people HATE their jobs. I want everyone to stop feeling trapped. So long as your brain is working you are valuable asset to any company, but that doesn't mean every job is going to be a good fit. Even in a recession, there ARE opportunities. I believe everything happens for a reason, so if you absolutely cannot find a job in your field, perhaps God is trying to tell you to switch fields, go back to school, start your own business or to open yourself up to something you would have never even imagined. At the end of the day work is work, but no one should be miserable at the gig.

6. Ask for what you want - If you want more money, more time off, more responsibility, tuition assistance, flex time, to be on a different client/account, to work on new business, to transfer departments... whatever ASK FOR IT. Your job is not master and you are not a slave. The worst thing that could happen is that they tell you no.

Now people, don't be in HR all willy nilly with your indignant selves talking about what you deserve. Present a case. In a VERY professional manner say: this is what I'm worth, here are the successful projects I've completed that show my worth, here's how I contribute to the company above and beyond my required tasks, here's the kudos from my managers AND my managees and here's the offer I have from our top competitor and I'm prepared to BOUNCE if you can't match it.

There's nothing wrong with switching jobs (or attempting to switch jobs) if you have some experience under your belt. You can't expect a promotion every six months, but if you're underpaid and someone else is paying better or another company's perks are better or another company is a better fit, you owe it to yourself to ask for what you want where you are or get what you want elsewhere. SO many people sleep on this.

Your company is only loyal to its bottomline and you should show yourself that same respect.

5.Present Your Ideas - As I said in 6, you ARE a valuable asset. Do you see a process that's inefficient, do you notice a way the company can cut costs, do you have vendor suggestions, do you have new business connects, do you have something from your former company that worked extremely well that you think you can implement at your new workplace?

Your ideas ARE valuable. They're intellectual capital, which your company actually owns while you're with them, so you might as well make them known.

Again, the worst thing that could happen is that they say no. (Side note: why are people so afraid of no... hmm... I feel another post comin g up on that). I think it's better to have dumb ideas than to have no ideas. Doing what's laid out in your job description isn't enough in 2009. Company's want people who will contribute and not just ideas that benefit you, but ideas that benefit the well-being of the company as a whole and ultimately the company's bottomline.

4. Know when to be quiet - I might print this out and put it next to my desk because I've had to learn this lesson over and over again... while your ideas ARE valuable, you don't need to speak up about EVERY thing. Lord, I have this bad. In college on organizational boards, it was my way or the highway. People ended up agreeing with me, not because I'd convinced them, but because they grew weary of arguing with me. Trust me, you do not want to be that person.

Learning when to speak and when to let things go and/or observe is a very important skill that I think I'll be mastering for the rest of my life. Sometimes the client gets exactly what they want, sometimes we need to provide smart pushback. Sometimes your managers get exactly what they want, sometimes you need to ask them if you can complete the tasks a different way and present ideas for why your way could be more efficient, beneficial to the client, the team, the company, etc, etc.

What we have to remember is even though we may think we have a stupidvisor rather than a supervisor is that they're there for a reason. Most times, they have more experience than you and even if they're dumb as a sack of potatoes, they made it far enough to manage you, so you HAVE to respect their position and try not to go against the grain on EVERY SINGLE THING.

This is getting long, so I'll give you the top three tomorrow.


identitycrisis said...

I definitely needed to read this today, esp. #7. I'm struggling with whether to stay on the path of the degree that I spent the last 3 years working on or going in a different direction. Like you said, everything happens for a reason so we'll see...
Looking forward to the top 3.

BTW - I like the new background. (I might be late but I've been using my google reader lately.)

K to the... said...

I'm definitely working on #6...geez!

Anonymous said...

i haven't even finished reading it and I love this post already. Ok, just had to get that out! back to reading...