Archives for salary

Dear Soon-To-Be Graduates: 3 of 7 Things You May Not Want to Know, But Need To

The Graduates by Luftphilia of Flickr

 

I went back to college this weekend. It was horrifying to discover that these girls were born the year I pledged. My sorority invited alumnae back to campus to say farewell to the house that has been ours since my senior year. It was a time to reflect on some of the most impactful years of my life, but also to remember the fear, uncertainty, and sadness that accompanied leaving college, where your best friends were often just a door away. I had no grand plan, like some of my friends, and no full-time salaried job as an aspiring radio personality. I was under the impression that if I could not make it in radio, I would be living in a ditch begging for change to buy a meal.

That never happened, though hard times did follow. When asked, “What’s life like after graduation?” I had to remember that some of the best things in my life happened after college – my band, my husband, my company, my kids, and teaching, in that order.  As my friends now turn 40, (I’m the youngest, so I get to watch them all get there first) I see that for some of them, it means it is all downhill from here. That was an exact quote from a 40th birthday party I went to last night. (Happy 40th, Neal!) Looking back at the last decade, at what I have learned, how I have grown, what I’ve been able to accomplish and contribute, I am excited for the next decade.  I’m looking forward to it, and I think there are amazing things yet to come.

BUT, there are some things that I would have wanted my younger self to know, which I felt compelled to pass on to the graduating seniors in my sorority, and my students, as well as ALL soon-to-be graduates. I feel these things would have potentially catapulted me so much further so much faster if I had known and applied them.

Before I get into the hard truths, I most want ALL people, but particularly young people, to know that there IS a formula for success, and no matter what family structure, social or economic status, education, circumstance, or hardships you are from, they DO NOT limit your future at all. At any time you can improve your life. The tools, technology, and teaching exist – all you have to do is harness them.

Okay, now on with what you may not want to hear, but need to know if you want to make your 30s onward the best years of your life.

  1. Unless you land at Google, Apple, Disney, a Big 4 consulting firm, or a company with a similar colossal reputation, it will not be as easy as it is right now to land a job.

The co-op program where I teach is world-renowned. The biggest, most admired companies want these graduates badly. They come out of school not as entry-level workers who were getting coffee and observing leadership, but as junior business stars who have already solved real business problems. By the time they take my mandatory career management class, many of them already have jobs lined up from campus recruitment efforts and co-ops that led to offers. While you may be recruited aggressively if you work for a company with clout for hiring and developing the best talent, the legwork to find your next gig, even internally, if you don’t is on you.  AND, furthermore, even if you are aggressively recruited, you are not necessarily managing your career optimally by being reactive to recruiters’ sales pitches. This is why the class that I teach is not “Get a Job 101,” but Career Management and Professional Development. See your career growth as a trajectory and learn how to course correct early. Learn and master the life skills of personal branding, networking, and career management.

  1. The bottom is often the best place to start if you want to be a great leader.

Many of my clients are influential leaders today because they were once in the trenches. Isn’t that the point of Undercover Boss? Making well-informed business decisions can be easier when you have first-hand knowledge of business from the front-line to the executive office. Those that have been successful in implementing massive change say that they were able to rally the troops because they were once the troops. Empathy, as we have stated before, is quickly gaining popularity as one of the most effective leadership tools.

Also, even for those students who were solving real business problems in their co-ops or internships, it might be worth considering starting even lower if the target role or company is worth it. I can speak from experience here.

While I was on air, reporting news, DJing, producing live talk shows, and operating the board for remote broadcasts at a small community radio station, my fellow Communications majors were putting up flyers at concerts, dressing up in costumes, and handing out chotchkes for the major media radio stations. I figured I had the advantage, but I was wrong. I moved to the Jersey Shore and did get to work producing talk shows for an AM station, while digging into commercial production and more part-time work. I temped to pay the bills. Meanwhile, my fellow classmates went on to full-time jobs eventually at the major media stations. Granted, some of their jobs involved much less glamorous, even undignified tasks, like getting shot from a cannon. Guess what – they are STILL THERE, loving their jobs and making what is probably good money. Casey is the Executive Producer of a VERY popular morning show that is streamed worldwide.  Matt is a Regional Director for Advertising for the conglomerate and Joann is Traffic Manager for a radio station in the same company.

When it came down to it, I had recognized after a year in radio that I was not really willing to continue working awful hours, get paid peanuts, do the boring parts of the work OR keep moving from market to market in order to achieve my ultimate position, but that was what I had learned was necessary from the people who were more senior than I at the station where I worked. At the larger station I would have had a completely different experience, and even though I might not have started out on the air, perhaps I would have found a different niche in radio and stayed there until today, too. Not that I have regrets – I think things worked out just as they were supposed to. However, I’ll always wonder.

  1. In time, you will earn the right to demand certain accommodations IF you are a top performer. But for now, you have to play their game.

Older generations will tell you that they had no illusions – work hard, get a job, work your butt off, save your money, and you’ll be fine. That is not what the younger generations have seen, though, so it is not what they will believe. With diminishing financial security for employees came resentment to employers for taking more than they give. This is what has led to a perceived sense of entitlement.

Even though there are talent gaps, and certain skill sets are very high in demand, most are not. Yes, talent is hard to find, but that does not mean companies are willing to bend over backwards to hire you. Ultimately, there has to be mutual respect and value in the deal.  Many things ARE negotiable, but that depends highly on the company, their policies, their culture and what you have PROVEN you can do to make it worth giving you more than they have given to employees before you.

If you are really that good, get in and prove your worth. You may earn the right to ask for more flexibility, more money, extra vacations, or perks. In the meantime, understand that though your package should remain confidential, IF anyone were to learn of you getting preferential treatment, you would not like the climate that breeds.

 

As graduation month ramps up, I hope this food for thought is helpful, even if it may not be encouraging. In a way, your adult life does not really begin until after college. Adulting is not always fun, but being armed with wisdom and systems for success will make it much more enjoyable.

Follow me and stay tuned for more things you need to know, but may not want to hear.

Share this with graduates you know.

 

Did Your Job Break You?

Hands and Head by Timothy Actwell of Flickr

Hands and Head by Timothy Actwell of Flickr

When you are in an airplane far above the ground, you often consider that if anything were to go wrong you would most likely plummet to your death. It is very easy to see the risk. It is also easy to understand why some fear traveling by air and yet we know statistically we are far more likely to be hurt or die in a car accident. However, this is everyday life. We do not think about the risks as much, even though they are there all of the time.

Similarly, when we are faced with an offer for a less-than-ideal job while confronting mounting bills and not knowing where the money will come from, the decision seems obvious. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the risk of accepting a bad job. Therefore we do not mitigate the risk of having a job that breaks us.

What do we mean by this? There are two ways a job can break you and often times these ways coincide. One break is spiritual and the other is pragmatic.

If you have been working for a while, you might have had one of those days where you feel broken, where you have had a bad day. A bad day is not the same as having a job that breaks you down bit by bit psychologically and spiritually every day. It is much harder to notice when this happens because it usually happens gradually. Sadly, most people do not recognize how they have changed until they have reached a point of resignation.

Another way a job can break you is by breaking your path to prosperity. I understand that when faced with no income, accepting a lower income seems like a better choice, but please recognize that a setback in your income usually is not temporary; it impacts your trajectory for the rest of your life unless you know how to recover.

Spotting an employer who contributes to breaking you is not easy, even with sites like Glassdoor.com. It requires you to have the confidence to qualify them.

Furthermore, if you have not acquired the life skill of career transitioning, then you also lack the confidence to know that you can make something better happen. In turn, this makes you susceptible to being a victim of a bad employer.

If you do not think looking for a job sounds like fun or is something you would enjoy, I understand. It is like budgeting, not everyone enjoys it or finds it fun, but if you want to reach your financial goals it is worth doing. Additionally, there are many teachers and products to make the process less painful.

The same applies to your job search. Most people struggle to make something happen in their job search because they are unaware of the best ways to produce results. They make decisions based on fear and wind up in jobs that break them. However, everyone has the ability to learn and the capacity to apply better tools and techniques to produce greater momentum and better job offers. In fact, that is why we are here.

 

If you have found yourself broken by your job, or you balk at the process of job searching, check out our do-it-yourself tools or fill out a needs assessment form to have a free consultation and to explore one-on-one branding and coaching.

 

3 Ways to Overcome Having Been Overpaid

All in a Day's Work by Damian Gadal of Flickr.jpg

All in a Day’s Work by Damian Gadal of Flickr.jpg

 

While research shows and some politicians feel that most workers, particularly women and federal employees, have been underpaid for far too long, some have been blessed to be very well paid. If this is you, I hope that you are taking full advantage of it and, rather than increasing your standard of living, are using the money to pay off debts and saving for the future. Experience has proven that being paid above market value puts you on the chopping block if your company ever decides that the money is better spent elsewhere.

To boot, if you are separated from your company it can be that much harder to find a job above market pay or even to convince employers that you are willing to take a pay cut.

Employers have justifiable concerns hiring somebody above market range. You could be asking for more than your boss is earning, which usually does not produce strong rapport to build a good relationship.

As with most situations, this poses a challenge, but is not necessarily an obstacle. There are ways that you can conduct your search and mitigate any potential perceived risk you pose by being someone paid above market.

 

  1. Know your numbers

If you are someone who excels at managing personal finances, you probably have strong accounts of what your monthly expenses are, and you also probably have very clear-cut savings goals for retirement. Evaluate whether there are areas of your living expenses or entertainment expenses that can be downsized.

If you have not been keeping very clear records of your monthly expenses and do not have clear-cut retirement, or other savings goals, now is the time to meet with a financial advisor.  (I know a few great ones, if you need a referral!)

If this task seems daunting to you, I can relate, and it can be tempting to guesstimate, but this is potentially very dangerous for you. If there is something you do not account for, like if you own a home and you are not accounting for an emergency fund for all the unexpected, very expensive repairs that come along with owning a home, you could be underinsured for some acts of God. Another example could be that you need to increase in your life insurance coverage if your standard of living has increased over the years. If you had a 401(k) with your previous company, a financial advisor will help you determine the best way to reinvest that to match your desired level of growth, risk, and future life needs. This is something you want to expert help on. Even if you are an expert at these things, it is wise to obtain a second opinion. Just make sure that, whatever decisions are made and whoever makes them, you are fully educated on the options and apprised of the ongoing status. Always maintain control and awareness.

If you genuinely are able to take a pay cut because you are earning above your means, coming in with specific substantiation of that will show an employer that you are fully prepared, and not guessing. Many employers have personal experience with this that they will trust over your word. You can convince them that you are not a flight risk by taking a salary cut if you write or say something specific, such as, “My house is paid off, my kids’ college is paid for, I have no debt, and I can afford to take a $43,000 pay cut.” You can do this from the get-go in an approach or cover letter, you can empower your recruiter to negotiate this on your behalf, or you can state it upfront in conversation when you have a chance to speak one-on-one with your next potential boss.

By the way, just because you are willing to take a pay cut does not mean you should not try to negotiate your package, especially if in your role you are expected to be a strong negotiator. Focus on some of the perks of a package, like a corporate car or car expenses. Perhaps you already have health care through your spouse. You can either negotiate for them to replace some of the perks they would have offered you with compensation, or where they cannot provide you with compensation, ask for perks. Come in knowing which perks have a monetary value to you.

 

  1. Know the market

Indeed, Glassdoor, and Salary.com are all places that will give you some good numbers around what the market is paying for particular roles in particular geographies. However, you may bring with you some niche skills or experience that has additional value in the market. A niche recruiter can be a very good resource in these situations. If you are going to ask for a higher salary than what the market seems to be paying generally, you need to bring with you some substantiation of your requests, and know that even if you are able to educate an employer on why you are worth more than the average candidate and are offered what you ask, ultimately if they have not budgeted for such things,  you risk the chance of being the first to go should the financial constraints of hiring you prohibit their strategic plans to invest or spend in other areas. You are also going to be held to a higher standard and had better not only deliver the goods, but continue your campaign to promote that you are delivering the goods; do not assume it will be acknowledged. People are usually very skeptical of an “overpaid suit.” You will have the stigma to combat until you earn people’s trust.

 

  1. Have a Plan B

If you really cannot afford to take a pay cut, or you really do not want to lower your standards of living, you can find other ways to make up the difference in your salary, such as investing in real estate, businesses or other financial products. You could do some consulting or coaching on the side, pending it will not be a conflict of interest with your employer. You could write a book or develop an online course. You could become a paid speaker. Let’s face it: you have managed to earn more than your professional counterparts, others will want to learn how you did it – you have something very valuable to teach.

 

You might not have thought being well-paid was such a detriment until you find yourself justifying it, defending it, or even wanting to hide your pay. (I do not recommend hiding your pay. People have their ways of finding out and you pose an even bigger risk as someone who is not forthcoming or even deceitful.) Keep in mind the employer’s perspective. Chances are if you have been on the hiring side you can completely empathize with their concerns, and, if this is so, definitely express that.

You may have to address your salary upfront, which is contrary to other negotiation advice, to get the chance to interview and establish your value, and then, once you have them interested in your value, you will have to address it again when it comes time to design a compensation package that works for all parties. Keep in mind that most employers want you to be a creative problem solver, so think of this as one of the things that you can creatively resolve in partnership with your employer to further demonstrate that you are exactly who they want.

 

Are You Being Underpaid? Recover Your Salary!

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2012 on flickr creative commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2012 on flickr creative commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Here’s a common scenario: You have been underpaid throughout your career and you struggle to catch up because your future compensation seems to be determined by your past compensation. You’ve been with your current company for a year, or perhaps a few years. When you originally accepted the job, you didn’t really negotiate your salary. You may be scrambling for a way to ask your boss for a raise. You don’t want to come off as envious of your coworkers, but you do want to be better compensated.  Fortunately, there are a number of ways to catch up on your salary if you’ve been underpaid.

Know your market worth and know the market:

You probably wouldn’t consider a project without doing some research first. For example, you wouldn’t repaint your house without knowing which types of paint to buy. The same thing can be said about your market value. It is important to know how your positions to compares to others in your field. That is, what are people with the same experience and skills being paid for doing the same, or a similar job? There are a number of ways to research salary amounts for your position. Glassdoor is a great resource for discovering what people in your company and your competitors are being paid. It even offers reviews of a company from current and former employees. PayScale offers a personalized salary report and includes job title, skills, education level, and location in determining a salary range. Salary.com is a little simpler to use, and provides a median snapshot of your pay range based your job title and location. In addition to online salary calculators, ask HR people and niche recruiters about the pay range for your position. Use LinkedIn to build relationships with recruiters, and ask them about average salaries for your job. If you want more information, ask a manager several levels above you what they were paid when they did your job. There’s one caveat: This approach may provide some information, but it doesn’t account for how the economy can greatly impact salaries. It can help in the justification if you are paid less than someone who had the same job years ago. You can also research your company’s competitors to see what they’re paying for the same position.

Now that you’ve done your salary range research, there is another research step to consider—your company’s finances. Having data on pay for your position is fantastic, but your company needs to be in a position to give you that raise. A company in poor financial shape may not be able to give you a raise, or the raise may fall short of what you wanted. If your company is publicly traded, you can find financial statements online. If your employer is private, discovering its financial health may be a bit harder. Some potential signs to look out for are the number of clients, and how well top executives are spending. A healthy client base and confident executives are signs your company is doing well, and can afford the raise. It’s critical to evaluate how YOU make an impact on the financial health. Even an administration position can indirectly impact the top and bottom lines of a financial statement. Also, take a moment to research your company’s budget, if you don’t already know it. Raises may have already been given out for the quarter, and you may have to wait for the next budget period. Or you can take a huge step, and see what another company is paying for your position. If you can’t get that raise, you may need to make a change in order to catch up.

You should never accept a counteroffer because it can be tantamount to career suicide. A counteroffer is designed to prevent you from leaving. In other words, you haven’t become more valuable as an employee to your boss, but it would be more of a hassle to immediately replace you. Your boss would have to deal with the disruption your departure will bring, as well as hiring someone else to fill your position. If your work was highly valued by your current employer, you wouldn’t have to resort to finding another employer to work for. Worse yet, if you make the decision to accept a counteroffer, there’s no guarantee your boss won’t fire you in the next few months. Consider this: the very act of flirting with another company can raise a red flag, and your boss may no longer trust you. When the opportunity arises, your boss may let you go at their earliest convenience. If you’ve made up your mind to resign from your company because you are underpaid, stick to your decision. Scott Love, a columnist for The Vet Recruiter, has a few stories about executives who accepted a counteroffer, and were later fired from their companies.

Build your personal case:

A demand of, “Give me more money, because I deserve it!” isn’t enough to get that raise. You may be underpaid, and have the market value data to prove it, but you have to provide your boss with a compelling reason to give you a raise. List your accomplishments and show the value you bring to the company. Illustrate the ways you help your company save money, or how you really get projects done. Name some of the most successful projects you’ve worked on. If you’re constantly praised by your clients, coworkers, and superiors, save those letters and e-mails. Pursue your case for a higher salary in a similar manner to your job hunt. You didn’t hold back on your accomplishments or recommendations. Why should it be different when it comes to catching up on your salary? Coupling market value salary ranges with your accomplishments make it much harder for your boss to dismiss your request for a salary increase. You deserve to be appropriately paid for your work. Last week I discussed how you can negotiate perks and other benefits that have monetary value to you, if pure compensation isn’t a viable offering.

Practice your pitch:

Practice making your request, sharing relevant data, and countering possible objections before you actually meet with your boss. No one is perfect, but practice certainly never hurt anyone! If the thought of talking to your boss about raises makes you nervous, a practice run with a coach or a mentor could help you get your pitch down. Alternatively, if you’re the more forceful type, practice could help you be assertive without being overly aggressive. Meditating and visualization are a great way to ensure that you approach this from the right mindset and optimize the outcome.

Negotiate a competitive pay raise, rather than a merit-based raise:

You have the market data that shows what your position is worth; now is the time to formulate a salary increase based on that information. If you’re underpaid, use the salary information to calculate the number of percentage points your raise should be. For example, if you’re paid 7% less than the market rate, ask for a raise of 7% in the form of a competitive pay raise. Pat Katepoo, the founder of Pay Raise Prep School for Women illustrates the point wonderfully in her article, “How to Get a Pay Raise of 10% or More.” Anything less than a competitive pay raise for someone who is underpaid means, he or she will never reach the baseline starting point for the job. For example, if you are being paid 10% below the market average, your boss may offer a merit pay raise offer of 5%, but that still won’t catch your salary up. There is also the risk of being paid above the market value—finding yourself on the chopping block. Catching up is a priority, but the way to get a raise above and beyond the market value for your job is to find a way to increase YOUR market value—A certification, taking on  a new project, enhancing your role, or landing a big client (even if you’re NOT a sales person!). In short, a smaller pay raise will increase your salary, but you’ll lose income potential in the long run by accepting much less than what your position is actually worth.

Additionally, you could use an offer for more money from a competitor as a way to leverage your negotiating power with your current company, but by doing this you should be prepared to resign. As I stated earlier, accepting a counteroffer from your boss does your career more harm than good. You may gain a raise in the short term, but lose your job in the long run.

Once you’ve figured out how much you should be paid for your job, request a meeting with your boss. You should ask for the raise amount you’d like, show how the raise is competitive with other salaries for your position, and highlight the many tasks you perform for the company. After the meeting, follow up with a prepared document stating the terms you are requesting. Writing a letter to your boss after meeting with him or her in person allows you to plead a genuine case, versus writing the letter first. Sending a letter first can allow your boss to easily dismiss your case.

Consider a job transition:

If your bid for a higher salary fails with your current employer, consider working for another employer. Transitioning to a new company and negotiating for a salary at or above market rate is another way to increase your pay. Work your professional networks and don’t be afraid to jump ship, if you really need to. On average, an employee who stays at his or her job for two or more years can expect a pay raise of about 3%. Employees who switch jobs can earn average salary increase of 10% to 20%. If your employer can’t see your value, and won’t or can’t afford to pay you at a market rate, find someone else who will. That said, it is important to move on in a civil manner, if you do decide to work somewhere else. You never know when your boss or coworkers could provide you with valuable professional references. Burning professional bridges may make for an entertaining TV show plot point, but it is never a good idea in real life.

Salary negotiations can cause some initial trepidation, but they can be successful. Not negotiating for a high salary means you’ll be leaving money on the table, especially if you’re underpaid. The amount of money you lose in the long run can easily add up to millions of dollars. Think about it. If your boss suddenly spread out millions of dollars on a table in front of you, and said it was yours, would you say “No thanks,” and leave it behind? Probably not. This happens whenever you’re paid much less than you’re worth. You can reverse the trend of being underpaid by taking action NOW. Discover what you should be paid, formulate a new salary, practice your pitch, and make a compelling argument as to why you deserve a competitive pay raise. If your company won’t or can’t provide you with one, be prepared to look for a new employer. Think about the quality of life you could be enjoying if you are paid what the Abundance calculator determines as your present-day income. Again, being underpaid can really throw off your income track and you can lose millions throughout your career by not taking control. NOW is the time to correct that course!

Money – Pink Floyd HD (Studio Version)

Money – Pink Floyd from the Dark Side of the moon in HD quality [Lyrics] Money Get away You get a good job with good pay and you’re okay Money It’s a gas Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash New car, caviar, four star daydream Think

2 key social media activities that increase your visibility and hireability exponentially!

If you want employers to know how valuable you are, be valuable to others.

Two job seekers volunteering in the 2009 Helping Hands Job Fair - Shari Shaw Leibert and Linda Penrod

Two job seekers volunteering in the 2009 Helping Hands Job Fair – Rita Woodward and Linda Penrod

The Jobvite 2012 Social Recruiting Report rated recruiter reaction to certain activities. Of the activities evaluated, professional organizational membership and charity/volunteering activities left the most positive impression on recruiters. Why would that be?

Two reasons:

  1. Involvement in professional organizations demonstrates a personal investment in your career and can serve as evidence of your passion.
  2. There is no greater evidence you can provide to prove that you enjoy making a contribution than to take your personal time and money to assist in an important cause. There is an assumption that you will spend your time similarly within your own organization if you are on board with their mission.

The level of your involvement is commensurate with the positive impression that you make. Social media makes it very easy for an employer/recruiter to see how involved you are:

  • If you are an inactive observer vs. an active participant in online group discussions.
  • Furthermore, if what you post/comment reflects naïveté vs. expertise.
  • If you hold a membership vs. attend events (which can be evidenced by an expanding network and “check ins.”)
  • If you are using your status updates to ask for personal favors vs. assist others in your network, raise awareness or funds for your cause, or share relevant, valuable industry news.

Additionally, the more active you are in your career and in your community, the more valuable you are -> more in demand you become -> the more confidence you have -> the more choosy you can be -> the greater the compensation you can negotiate!

So, there is ROI for the investments of time and, potentially, money that you make in professional organizations and volunteering activities. Of course, the spirit with which you do it should not be focused on what you get out of it. That will most certainly backfire and have the opposite effect.

UNVEIL YOUR BRILLIANCE!

Why some people never get ahead

Businessman crossing the finish line by Meridican of Flickr

Businessman crossing the finish line by Meridican of Flickr

I found an excerpt this week that I wanted to share because I so often run into hesitancy among job seekers to portray their value at the level that is necessary to inspire their network to make powerful introductions and entice employers to make optimal job offers.

While I certainly relate to the inclination to be meek and humble (a Catholic school lesson I took way too literally when I was bullied and teased), the cost is often too high. Not only does the job seeker suffer, but so do employers who really need what they have to offer. People who offer tremendous value deserve really great jobs. The whole economy suffers when people who perform their job well fail to connect with companies, and when companies are challenged in identifying great talent mostly because they only see who is in their direct line of vision.

The book is called Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. I have posted before about his Millionaire Mindset Intensive, which I recommend (go to www.MMIgift.com and enter the Ambassador 2.0 code MMI39526 to get a FREE ticket!). Most people there had already read this book, but I am doing so now. What T. Harv Eker aims to do with his book and the MMI is to help you diagnose the thinking patterns that keep you from realizing your financial potential and direct you in rewriting your patterns to support your success, thereby resetting your financial “thermostat.”

The excerpt below may help those job seekers and careerists who experience discomfort around self-promotion understand the source, which may consequently unlock them from the limits that these emotions put on their career growth and salaries.

“Resenting promotion is one of the greatest obstacles to success. People who have issues with selling and promotion are usually broke.

‘It’s obvious. How can you create a large income in your own business or as a representative of one if you aren’t willing to let people know that you, your product or your service exists? Even as an employee, if you aren’t willing to promote your virtues, someone who is will quickly bypass you on the corporate ladder.

‘People have a problem with promotion or sales for several reasons. Chances are you might recognize one or more of the following.

‘First, you may have had a bad experience in the past with people promoting to you inappropriately. Maybe you perceived they were doing the ‘hard’ sell on you. Maybe they were bothering you at an inopportune time. Maybe they wouldn’t take no for an answer. In any case, it’s important to recognize that this experience is in the past and that holding on to it may not be serving you today.

‘Second, you may have had a disempowering experience when you tried to sell something to someone and that person totally rejected you. In this instance, your distaste for promotion is merely a projection of your own fear of failure and rejection. Again, realize the past does not necessarily equal the future.

‘Third, your issue might come from past parental programming. Many of us were told that it’s impolite to ‘toot your own horn.’ Well, that’s great if you make a living a Miss Manners. But in the real world, when it comes to business and money, if you don’t toot your horn, I guarantee nobody will.  Rich people are willing to extol their virtues and value to anyone who will listen and hopefully do business with them as well.

‘Finally, some people feel that promotion is beneath them. I call this the high-and-mighty syndrome, otherwise knows as the ‘Aren’t I so special?’ attitude. The feeling in this case is that if people want what you have, they should somehow find and come to you. People who have this belief are either broke or soon will be, that’s for sure. They can hope that everyone’s going to scour the land searching for them, but the truth is that the marketplace is crowded with products and services, and even though theirs may be the best, no one will ever know that because they’re too snooty to tell anyone.

‘You’re probably familiar with the saying “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Well, that’s only true if you add five words: ‘if they know about it.’

‘Rich people are almost always excellent promoters. They can and are willing to promote their products, their services, and their ideas with passion and enthusiasm. What’s more, they’re skilled at packaging their value in a way that’s extremely attractive. If you think there’s something wrong with that, then let’s ban makeup for women, and while we’re at it, we might as well get rid of suits for men. All that is nothing more than ‘packaging.’

‘Rich people are usually leaders, and all great leaders are great promoters. To be a leader, you must inherently have followers and supporters, which means that you have to be adept at selling, inspiring and motivating people to buy into your vision.”

Ahh. The end of the world as we know it.

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Over the past few years I have been doing some “light” reading on quantum physics in my “spare time.” I say it was light reading sarcastically; the content was so technical that I often had to re-read the same sentence several times to absorb its meaning. It was my “spare time” because I could rarely capture moments of silence to focus on these incredibly mind-flipping concepts. It took me a whole year to read one book (The Field by Lynn McTaggart.) It was substantiation that I needed, however.

When I first started Charésumé, The Secret was making its rounds in some of the circles in which I was networking. I didn’t read The Secret, but I did watch the video. I wanted to believe in the Law of Attraction (that which we focus on, we attract) because it meant that I had the power to create my circumstances and that I could create circumstances that led to success. At the same time, I didn’t want to believe in the Law of Attraction because it meant that my current circumstances, which were not very conducive to the success that I sought, were my creation as well. In the end, I wasn’t going to believe anything that had little scientific basis, so the books I read chronicled the progress of quantum physics studies and their implications on the universe and its laws. I found that some of the concepts in The Secret were supported by science.

So while I did have to confront that some of the unfavorable conditions in my life were my own doing, I also had to be proud of what I had accomplished knowing that it was more than luck. And, if I could figure out how to continually recreate the conditions that led to my successes, I might just reach all of my goals. I thought to myself, if I can just train myself to calibrate my energy, how easy it would be to make the impact and contribution that I’m driven to make with all of the collaboration and resources of an abundant universe.

In the past couple years I had been gaining a new understanding of reality while hype around the end of the Mayan calendar, prophesies of Nostradamus, and Harold Camping’s rapture predictions continued to build. It led me to wonder – if there was an end coming, maybe it was the end of thinking of ourselves as separate physical entities and the beginning of worldwide acceptance of our true energy nature. Furthermore, if the whole world understands the implications of their energy, then we can intentionally and naturally align ourselves with like-minded individuals who will give and receive generously to make things happen.

If this were the worldwide approach to success, everyone would approach careers from a starting point of passion and contribution. Adopting this paradigm requires that you have faith that the universe will furnish for you what you desire and what you need to fulfill on your missions, not just what you need to live.

The more I immerse myself in this new (to me) idea of reality, the more I meet people who have studied the same. Some of them have invested tens of thousands of dollars on their education, and they are realizing amazing results in their lives and careers. The old me might have met these people and believed that I was not on the same level, that I was unworthy of the kind of success that they have achieved, or that this level of success was for other people, not for me. Now, however, my recent breakthrough has allowed me to receive these people as kindred mentors and see myself as someone who can add value to them as well. Already (since mid-December) I have been approached for 2 jobs (I am not looking), was introduced to a powerful potential speaking partner, inspired 3 great talents to join my Board of Advisors for my mobile app, and managed to save money for the first time since I had kids. I’m learning new investment strategies and preparing the infrastructure of my life to support wealth, in anticipation of great wealth. I am asking new questions and getting new answers.

This is not the start of my journey, but I know it is a turning point. I am so grateful that you are reading this and that you are experiencing my journey with me. I would love to hear about your journeys. I hope you know me as someone who would jump at the chance to be of assistance to you. If I have wisdom, resources, or connections that will move you forward in an authentic direction, I am happy to offer it. I believe that this moment in time could be the end of the world as we know it, and what a wonderful world it could be if we change our approach to intention, vocation and collaboration.

Picture it. What would you give, do, have if you knew that money would always be there?

Please add your comments.

Need a financial breakthrough? Get thee to the MMI!

Millionaire Mindset Intensive review:

As much as I complain about the amount of incoming e-mail, junk and relevant, some times I come across complete gems.  I received, by way of a marketing guru’s e-mail list, free tuition to a seminar that promised to reset my financial thermostat, which was a very intriguing concept. I had read books on the psychology of money (check out Crazy About Money, by Dr. Maggie Baker). A financial thermostat is a concept to explain why few people accumulate ridiculous wealth and, even if they lose it (eh-huh, Trump), can easily rebuild it while most others struggle to break through income barriers. It also explains why some lottery winners lose their fortunes.  Upon viewing the video, I made a reservation. Then I had to figure out how I was going to get there – who was going to watch my kids, since it was my husband’s crazy-busy work season and swim season, where I was going to stay in Baltimore (the closest and easiest location), and even how I was going to pay for the trip, since it was Christmas–time.  It’s funny how once you decide to do something, some things just fall into place.  I had no problems figuring any of this out.

As easy as it was to make the weekend happen, I had no traffic getting down to Baltimore on a Friday afternoon, I arrived early at my hotel, had no problems checking in or parking, and found out that the convention center was just on the other side of the parking garage. Then I find an Ale House right across the street from the Convention Center (Pratt Street Ale House), AND they had a homebrewed New Zealand Black Ale. I digress…

I was just as eager and anxious to find out if and how this weekend-long financial freedom seminar was going to deliver as I was to leave my babies for my first weekend away.

There were about 200 people, and apparently that is a light crowd, as they have not done this yet in Baltimore. As the weekend progressed, I realized that there were people there who were hoping to overcome tremendous adversity and there were people there who had already achieved millionaire status through the teachings of T. Harv Eker and wanted to get to the next level.

The education was about more than just being a wealthier person. It was about being a more genuine, more generous, more self-actualized person. It was about breakthroughs.

break·through noun, often attributive ˈbrāk-ˌthrü

Definition of BREAKTHROUGH

1: an offensive thrust that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line in warfare

2: an act or instance of breaking through an obstacle <a breakthrough agreement>

a : a sudden advance especially in knowledge or technique <a medical breakthrough>

b : a person’s first notable success <a breakthrough novel>

Though I do believe that financial freedom is everyone’s to achieve, I recognize that it takes a person of certain qualities to go out and get it. It takes open-mindedness, a sense of hope, self-worth, coachability, drive, and commitment. Of those qualities, coachability is the most critical, because with coachability, anyone can acquire the rest of the qualities, for they reside within all of us. In many of the personal and professional development workshops I have attended, I have seen closed minds open, hope restored where it was lost, unworthiness shattered, drive discovered and commitments made all because a coach had the keys to unlock a spirit that had shut down, perhaps even long ago. The MMI provided this for those present and participating.

Even though the “apocalypse” could have been approaching, no one there was counting on it. For a moment I wondered if the end of the world as we know it could really be a new beginning and, if everyone could attend a weekend like this, what a wonderful world it could be. I decided to write a couple of blogs on that very idea.

This blog, my first educational review blog as promised in my newsletter,  was much more important to do first, however, because there are a few MMIs coming up and if anyone reading this wants what the workshop has to offer, the time to sign up is NOW.  When my financial thermostat was turned way up, I immediately wanted everyone to experience financial breakthrough. I signed up as an Ambassador for the program and can offer you complimentary tuition (valued at $795!)

All you have to do is sign up and show up (and whatever planning that requires.)

Go to www.MMIgift.com and enter the Ambassador 2.0 code MMI39526.

That’s it.

As far as the upcoming blogs, there are really two things to consider, and therefore two blogs will be written: 1) What would the world be like if no one HAD to work – what would people choose to do, contribute, learn, be? And 2) What would the world be like if everyone effectively applied the best practices of career transition and management?

Stay tuned and keep sharing!

I will look forward to hearing about your new financial future.

Disclosing your salary

Let us All Apply for Our Stimulus by Robert Huffstutter of Flickr

Let us All Apply for Our Stimulus by Robert Huffstutter of Flickr

Recently, many employment professionals weighed in on whether or not they would work with a candidate who did not disclose his or her salary. This is a very important topic, I feel, because there are so many factors that should determine the answer and some outplacement firms and other career coaches seem to definitively advise their clients NOT to be the first to divulge. This can be dangerous advice. Read some of this feedback straight from employers’ mouths:

“It is important to know if you are pursuing a candidate that you can afford. I’m not going to pay them less than the range nor more. Candidates unwilling to give that basic information are likely going to be a problem child on other items as well.” – Corporate Recruiter

“I won’t waste my time, or the candidate’s for that matter, if I don’t know if we are even in the same ballpark. You are there to help him. You can’t do that if you don’t have all of the information.” – Internal Recruiter

“99% of your interviewees don’t have a problem with discussing salary. Why waste time with the 1%?” – President, Executive Staffing Firm

“During my twenty years of overseeing recruiting in almost every conceivable specialty there is one and ONLY one reason a candidate would not reveal salary- that reason quite simply is: He is embarrassed at how low his salary is compared to your opportunity (assuming you have revealed the figure for your search), and even if you did not reveal the figure for your search, he has come to the conclusion revealing his salary will hurt his bargaining position due to it being below market value.” – President, Executive Staffing Firm

 

The majority of these professionals understand the importance of earning a candidate’s trust. If they recognize that there is none or that it is unidirectional, they may decide that their time is better spent working with a candidate who is willing to share the information that they need to earn the trust of the hiring manager, which is much more valuable. Certainly it is recognized that power in negotiating can be gained by holding your cards close to your chest, but the gamble that you take to have the position of power is that you will be left out of the game completely.

 

Listen to how the question is formatted

There is a difference between a salary requirement and a salary history. At the very least, confidently state your salary requirement. It can be in a range, but be able to verbalize what would make you consider the lower end of the range versus the higher end. If salary history is requested and you are asking for more than 10% of what you had made, be prepared to justify your request without being defensive. Educate yourself on the market and the value of your skills. Remember that the process is a give and take, so ask them what you need to know as well.