The art of getting a promotion

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I’m sure you won’t be surprised by this revelation.

Men are four times more likely than women to ask for a raise—and when women do ask, we typically request 30% less than men do, says Carnegie Mellon University economics professor Linda Babcock, co-author of Women Don’t Ask. 

Doing a great job is arguably pretty easy. Getting paid for what you deserve, a whole different ballgame. Asking for a promotion or even negotiating a salary can be daunting and demoralising when you are rejected. How can you master the art of asking and getting a promotion? It certainly takes time, guts, tenacity and luck amongst other things, but here’s a few starters…

Be ballsy and ask! 

If you don’t ask, you don’t get, right?! The worst thing your boss can say is no. You might be surprised to find that you do in fact receive a promotion and pay rise.

Do your research

By taking the time to do in-depth research on average salaries for your job, which will vary based on sector, location and seniority. Linkedin and Glassdoor are great places to start but ask around and pull insight from key family and friends who work in your industry, look a the average salary advertised and industry specific state of the workplace reports/surveys. Arming yourself with this information and evidence puts you at an advantage to fight your corner. Always try and earn the same if not more than what you’re earning now.

Start a brag sheet

As women we’re not nearly as assertive in the workplace as we should. As soon as you start a job, start a brag sheet which is essentially a list of your headline achievements at work. Think about ways you’ve implemented a new system which has streamlined the business, achieved an increase in sales or on-boarded new clients, or perhaps you’ve provided stellar customer service. Having these to hand at your promotion discussion will help provide logical reasons why you deserve a pay increase.

Add value to your company

Make yourself valuable to your employee by increasing your company’s value. Firstly raise the bar. Take pride in how you work and how you present yourself and set the standards high, never let it drop. Have a positive attitude, good vibes and love your job, even if you don’t, as it will show. Work hard and achieve your goals, never letting anyone or anything stand in your way and remember, if you can’t get in through the front door, try a window or the back door! Don’t just solve the problems you need to but think outside the box. How you can solve HR issues or wider business challenges? Suggest, or start implementing, solutions to help.

Earn your stripes

If only you could stroll into your new job and instantly receive a 10K bonus right? It’s important to show your worth and work hard at everything, trying new things and going above and beyond to achieve. You shouldn’t just focus on your immediate job description, but think ahead – where you want to be in 5 years’ time? With the right positive attitude, work ethic and eagerness to run with tasks that are beyond your job description, you’ll be noticed and rewarded in no time.

Make yourself indispensable

You don’t have to stay till 8pm to be indispensable. Be proactive, organised, and efficient. Seek to take on extra jobs, responsibilities, and ways of doing this better or more streamlined, and muck in, whether it’s making the tea or jumping in last minute to help with a presentation or pitch, can make a massive difference, helping you to move up the ranks.

Here’s hoping you pluck up the courage to seek the promotion and pay you truly deserve, don’t ever undersell yourself!

Love Career Girl xo

Network like a Pro

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Networking is daunting, for sure, especially the first time you go solo. Whether you’ve been roped in to attend an event on behalf of work, been coerced by a friend, want to meet new people or need to build your connections, it does get easier the more practise you have. You don’t have to attend a ‘networking event’ as such, to network, establish connections and land yourself a dream job. From merely chatting to the girl sat next to you at the nail bar, on a night out or within a work situation, there are so many benefits of networking.

It has certainly helped push me out of my comfort zone, helped improve my small talk, presentation skills and increased my confidence. Big glasses of wine also make networking events much more bearable!

Here’s how to master the art of small talk, business card swapping and networking like a pro…

Business cards & LinkedIn

Bring your business cards with you and have LinkedIn at the ready. When swapping business cards with connections you’ve made, remember that quality is better than quantity. Take the extra effort to touch base after the event with a quite note to show your enthusiasm and gratitude. By remembering to connect and message your newly made contact in a friendly and professional manner could lead to you landing your dream job!

Maximise your time

Aim to arrive at the event early, allowing time to quickly freshen up and regain composure. Stay till the end too, if you can. This is a great way to mingle with guests while it’s not too busy and to introduce yourself and chat to the hosts and staff. Don’t stick with the first person you meet, and don’t feel bad about moving to another person or group. It’s important to meet as many people as possible, so make sure you work the room, after politely excusing yourself. If you know in advance who is attending, you can research and prioritise speaking to them.

Start the conversation

Most people don’t enjoy networking events. Many individuals will be nervous, just like you. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there by saying hello to everyone, initiating conversations and being bold enough to join in with groups of people. If you are shy, speak to the organisers who can introduce you to people who are similar to you, or position yourself near the bar/food so that people can come to you.

Confidence

Be confident in yourself. Smile, have a good firm handshake and be comfortable talking about yourself, your job, inspirations and aspirations. Also, be inquisitive about the people you meet, open minded and listen to their stories. Everyone you meet should serve to educate, motivate, challenge and surprise you. You can learn something from everyday encounters with people. Today, whilst volunteering, I heard an incredible story by a lovely lady who was recently held at knife point in her own home, by an intruder and how she coped. It’s so easy these days to stare at your phone and pretend there’s something more interesting, in situations such as networking. However, by putting your phone away, opening up yourself to the people around you and taking the time to listen, appreciate and be emphatic – wonderful energy can be created.

I have attended countless blogging events, networking events and have attended events or occasions solo. I often find it’s better going solo as sometimes, bringing a friend can limit you. Take the leap and challenge yourself to attend some events solo. Attending blogging events have made me meet incredible friends, travelling solo has seriously improved my confidence and attending a networking event landed me an interview!

I hope you enjoyed reading,

Love Career Girl

xo

Redundancy Warning Signs

pexels-photo-346740It’s been over two years since I was made redundant. A lot has changed since then and I’m now working in a sector which I absolutely love. At the time however, it was not a pleasant period. I was at my lowest, already feeling miserable as I was constantly failing my driving test. My gut was telling me at the time that something wasn’t right, but I kept convincing myself of other things. I remember it was a normal working day when I was told in the morning that I was to be made redundant and it’s a strange mix of emotions.

Hearing those words, I just couldn’t face carrying on at work. The news hit me smack in the face. I instantly felt emotionally drained. I had to force myself to contain the tears at work and later, as I was on public transport, until I arrived to the safety of my home where I just cried, and cried, and cried.

After a day of wallowing in my sorrow (not a massive fan of showing my emotions, I prefer to bottle things up!) I decided to re-think a lot of my goals, follow my dreams and bounce back. A week later, with a few interviews lined up, I felt a lot more myself. Eventually I built up my confidence, but losing your job is a frighting experience.

How can you spot the signs and move on before it’s too late? Based on my experience, here’s some warning signs and red flags….

The company is making a loss

If the company is making a severe loss or is in a significant amount of debt, then it;s inevitable that your boss will want to make cost savings and re-adjust budgets. This could be instigating a hiring freeze, stagnating wages, postponing company perks, the list goes on.

Promises aren’t kept

I was promised training and on the job experience, a new laptop, and a pay rise for hard work, all in exchange for an initial low wage. What I received instead was lies, non of the above, and having to lug my laptop to and from work. It’s heart-breaking when you are so eager to learn and work and your dreams are crushed by the reality of a broken promise.

No contract

This is a huge warning sign. Never receiving a signed contract from either party isn’t best practise and doesn’t assure job security. No signed contract shows the company has no commitment to you and can get rid of you at the drop of a hat.

No real job title or job function

I was increasingly being left to fend for myself in the office, even within my first month. It was soul destroying not being given enough work to do. The cognitive dissonance experienced of having a fancy job title which isn’t reflective of your actual day to day activities and responsibilities is frustrating. In this instance I was clearly hired for a role which didn’t really exist, nor was there the scope of work to conduct, especially considering the lack of investment in training and support received. If you are often left alone in the office and spend most afternoons twiddling your thumbs, there’s no place for you.

Reduced contact time with your boss

All these points could be due to other factors, but rarely are, and should be addressed or resolved with your boss. If your boss is acting shady, being elusive and non-committal, it’s time to update you credentials and start job hunting.

With reflection, this was possibly one of the best things that could have happened to me. It allowed me to gain knowledge and experience, re-focus on cementing a career in marketing and I used the redundancy money to pay for a course which further added to my skill set. It was a blessing in disguise, especially when you power on with a positive outlook despite the negative experience.

Have you lost your job? How did you cope and bounce back?

I would love to hear your experience in the comments,

Love Career Giril

The Redundancy Rollercoaster

crew-56831.jpgAt 22 years young, the one thing I never anticipated, happened to me. One Friday morning I was made redundant. I think it was amazing to  my colleague and me that I didn’t cry when told! Instead, I calmly left and proceeded to wander aimlessly, like a zombie, in disbelief wondering what the hell I was going to do. It’s funny, it’s the situation you think you’ll never find yourself in. It happens in movies, to other people, but me?!

After allowing myself one day to wallow in sadness and cry my eyes out, I decided to set to and find another job. For someone who has always worked since the age of 14, to be out of work with no income, mounting debt and bills, was pretty scary! One of the first things I did when I arrived back home was hit Google. I stumbled upon an article which really sums up the surreal Rollercoaster emotions of Redundancy. This blog post is my experience of it, how to deal with it, and how to bounce back!

Shock 

Initially, my first response wasn’t actually to cry. Instead, I was completely stunned. Fortunately, it didn’t come as a massive shock, (read my Redundancy Warning Signs – up soon!) due to a multitude of reasons; I had a hunch it would happen.

Anger

I was surprisingly furious with everyone… What did I do to deserve this? Why me? I was devastated. Did I deserve to be treated like this?! In fact, I was so angry that I often lashed out at the ones who love me the most, and were there for me when I was sad. I turned really ugly towards my parents, who have always had my back.

Depression

Right now, I’m alright. I’ve had a lot of time to relax, think and pursue what I want, and I’m happy. At the time, it was a completely different story. People offer kind words like ‘when one door closes, another opens,’ which is lovely. However, in no way does it compensate for how borderline depressing it is. Going back to the drawing board of applying for jobs, interviews and being rejected is no joke! I felt a complete failure, my confidence and outlook on life was rock bottom. I put on a brave face to friends and family, often laughing about the shitty situation. However, deep down, I was upset. I had many sleepless nights and cried an awful lot. Also, because I was in this state, I refused to socialise with friends which, with hindsight, was probably counter-productive. For days on end I would suddenly become so teary, so wobbly and, because I was so ashamed about the situation, I didn’t really speak to a lot of my friends about it. Sounds terribly selfish, but the last thing I wanted to hear was how amazing their jobs were when I no longer had one. It was an incredibly stressful time!

Relief

I mentioned my situation to friends, family and strangers too, and they have all been surprisingly encouraging. Some gave me hope that this could be a blessing in disguise, giving me the freedom to pursue what I really want, with the knowledge and experience that I have gained thus far. Others have offered their own experiences of redundancy, how they dealt with it, and, that sometimes it propels you into something better.

I will never forgot that feeling of hopelessness, being unemployed is a horrible predicament to find yourself in. I am a true believer in trusting the universe. Sometimes it takes extremes like this to re-evaluate your life, focus on what you want, what benefits, excites and challenges you, as that is what you should pursue. A quote from Em Sheldons‘ blog, “Rainy days make flowers” is scrawled on a post it note above my desk, which really helped motivate me. Things do work out for the best, and if it hasn’t yet, there’s still time.

Have you ever lost your job or been made redundant? How did you cope? Can you relate to my experience? Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below.

Love Career Girl

xoxo

So You’ve Graduated! Now What…

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Graduate or soon to be graduate?! Congratulations! Now the hard graft really starts!

If you are lucky enough to have already bagged yourself an internship or job – well done! But if you haven’t don’t worry. From my experience, I don’t know anyone who really achieved their dream job straight out of university.

Many graduates will post the perks of their new job on social media, portraying a perfect working life, but behind every beautiful promotion is a struggle which isn’t splashed all over Facebook or Twitter.

Finishing university with an amazing degree is life changing. University is a roller-coaster with many ups and downs with  friends for life made. Being a Graduate, you feel euphoric, you can conquer the world right?! Yet what many of my friends and I didn’t bargain for is the reality of life after Graduation and entering the big wide world of working 9-5.

Life After University

After all the Champagne Celebrations & Graduation Gown selfies, life after university is very different!

Being at university is definitely a surreal experience whether you enjoyed it or loathed it. However, the readjusting to living back at home with your parents (so lame right?) combined with societies pressure to ‘get a proper job’ mounting and university debt and lack of funds is a daunting prospect and a tad depressing.

The change of living independently on your own terms to living under the parents roof; with a dramatic change in social life (I live in a village and it’s hell!) and facing rejections from jobs you’d kill to have is challenging to say the least!

It’s not unreasonable to assume given you’ve spent 3 years studying your craft; gaining experience, knowledge and skills, that you’d receive a job matched to your skillset…. No?

Unfortunately, the reality for so many of my friends and I is that, unless you’re really, really lucky, for quite a while after leaving university, the jobs you accept might be far from desirable! Even if your first job after graduation is working in a bar, restaurant or even retail, at the end of the day, a job’s a job and it’s all vital experience!

I worked in one job that I hated but managed to pay off my (horrendous) overdraft in 2 months. There’s a silver lining to every shitty situation! Just kept hustling!

Love Career Girl

Xo

Ruthless Recruiters

jacob-nizierski-29120.jpgOne of the easiest traps to fall into is to rely on a recruiter and recruitment websites such as Higher the Talent. I don’t know about you, but graduating and having to enter the big wide world of full-time employment, to gain “a proper job” is possibly the most terrifying and stressful thing ever!

I uploaded CV’s & cover letters to just about every one of these sites thinking that was the way forward. I inputted my job requirements such as role, pay and location etc. The following day I received an overwhelming number of voicemails – all these recruiters want me!

I felt over the moon, seriously. Over the phone and face to face interviews scheduled, I thought I was going to receive the job of my dreams, with an insane pay packet – all based on conversations with recruiters. However, I made the very expensive mistake of trusting them, ultimately costing hundreds to attend interviews in London.

“OTE 40k!!”

I endured hellish interviews with recruiters, some of which were an utter waste of time. Many lie through their teeth about the job specification, or even salary and location, just to persuade you to attend. They receive X amount of money based on the number of CV’s they screen and candidates they push forward. Most don’t care about you. They will cold call and cold email you repeatedly – they don’t think you will be great for the job, they just need their pay cheque.

Sugarcoated lies

These ruthless recruiters seduced me by telling me how amazing I was, sugar coating job roles and promising the world with the opportunity to earn 40k in year one. Guys, if it sounds too good to be true… it is!

Some recruiters might be great and may find you the job of your dreams. Some may be lovely, but that will be incredibly exceptional! My advice? Stay clear of ruthless recruiters as the majority of them are charlatans. Apply for jobs from the source via the hiring manager or company website, Linkedin and by social networking but beware of the recruiter!

 

Good luck job hunting!

Love Career Girl

Xo