Current IT field related information

15 Oct 09 Get A Raise During A Recession

Getting a raise in a recession is not easy, but can be accomplished.  Even if your company is cutting jobs, and looking for new ways to save money, you can still find a way to get a raise.  Or even a promotion, if the situation warrants such a thing.  The road is especially difficult, but nothing is impossible if you play your cards right.  Just be careful in how you approach the situation, or else you could find yourself on the money saving chopping block.

First off, ensure that you know the situation.  If your company is basically on fire and jobs are falling left and right, and not even your boss seems to be safe, probably not the best place for a raise.  But if things seem fairly comfortable, with a few worries here and there, you could have a good shot.  Just make sure you don’t paint a target on your back by asking for more than the company will think you deserve.

Asses your worth to the company before asking for a raise.  If you find people have been laid off or fired in your department, but you have survived the scrutiny, there has to be a reason for that.  Asses your accomplishments and your skill set, so that you can see why the company values you.  This will give you good groundwork to make use of in an argument for why you deserve a raise.

Finally, using your track record as a resource, go in and ask for a raise with your previous accomplishments as your foundation.  Be prepared to get rejected, after all it’s recession, and this is more of a long shot than anything else.  But be courteous and stay positive, and illustrate this isn’t a deal breaker for you, as to whether or not you’ll stay with the company.  You’d just like a raise or a promotion for your continuing efforts in helping the team strive for success.  Make that point evident, and you’ll be fine.

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06 Oct 09 Make Yourself Into A Leader

Becoming a leader is different than becoming a manager at your place of work.  Not everyone in management knows how to lead, and the problem that sort of manager, is that they don’t last very long.  To truly become a manager worth your mettle and paycheck, able to lead a team to success, you have to develop your leadership skills.  Developing those skills is hard work, and can take a very long time.  But in the end becoming a true leader is worth your time, because leaders always distinguish themselves.  Because the leadership quality is fairly rare, employers are always willing to stick with a good one.

Think of what you would expect from a leader, and what you hope to gain out of becoming one.  If it helps make a list of each, preferably side by side, to figure out your motivation.  These factors will give you a guide to follow.  By writing out what you want, and what you expect, you have a good idea of whether or not being a leader works for you.  In most cases being a leader means taking a back seat for the better good of the team sometimes.  If you aren’t prepared to do that, you’ll have a hard time developing your leadership skills.

To be a leader you have to be prepared to take charge.  Being a leader is just what the title implies, you are expected to lead your followers, or your team.  The best way to do that is to lead by example.  You have to be the best performer, so that the rest of the team can feed off your leadership.  Nobody wants to follow a coworker that can’t achieve goals as well as they can.  This doesn’t mean you have to be the best at doing the job, but rather the best at meeting goals and following directions.  This way you inspire through example, making yourself a natural leader before you ever have the title.

Finally, you have to be the anchor of the team.  When the cards look like they’re stacked against everyone, you have to be the person to bring the motivation to get the job done.  A leader motivates the team by any means available.  So if you want to be a leader, you have to be able to stay positive to help your team get the job done, no matter the situation.

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