TEA TIME THURSDAYS: TEA WITH MY B'S

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HEY LADIES, IT'S TEA TIME.

Each and every Thursday, we host "Tea with my B's" where the #BossTribe can submit questions all week long and on Thursdays, we will answer your burning career, branding, and business questions. Remember to submit your questions here each week to have them answered!  Enjoy.

I need some advice on how to communicate with my boss/make my case for a promotion. I know this is something you have done or are extremely familiar with and I am looking for tips and advice ahead of a meeting I have with my boss this Wednesday.

Every company I have worked for has a self-review process where I had to the opportunity to put into writing all of the things I had achieved in the past year, along with how I was tracking towards goals I set the previous review cycle. Whether your company has a self-review process or an in-person process where you will have to make your case in person to your boss, I recommend doing the following:

1) Print out your current job description and the job description for the role you want to get promoted to and have examples ready of how you are doing your current job well as well as you are already doing work for the next role.

The shitty thing about Corporate America is that the expectation is that you are doing your job well and are already "playing up"and doing the next job well too. So it's important to make it plain that why you are wanting a promotion; truth is you probably have already been doing the work of the next level. Therefore, I would be sure to spell this out to your boss in your review. For example, when I was looking to get promoted, I made sure my manager was aware of all the work I was doing well but also the work I was doing that was technically above my job title i.e., mentioning something like " Over the past year, I have managed a budget of $XX amount of dollars. This is a responsibility that is typically handled by an Account Director, however I have successfully been able to take on this task as an Account Supervisor.

2) Keep track of all of your verbal/written compliments and kudos to reference in your review. 

Year round I keep a folder in my outlook inbox titled "Girl Boss". Every time that I get a compliment from a client, colleague, manager etc. I save it to this folder. During review times I always go to this folder and sprinkle them throughout my self review. So for example, if Communication/Relationship Management is one of my areas I sat out as a goal I wanted to improve in, I would write something like "This past year, I have been able to improve my communication and relationship management skills by fostering relationships with this new client. This client even mentioned that "Thanks for the quick response Sade. Your ability to solve problems for my brand is greatly appreciated" -Client exec.

**Pro Tip: This folder is also something good to keep on days you are having a bad day. When I feel off my game or if a client just read me my rights, I would go visit this folder and  read over the past year all of the compliments, kudos, etc. I had received and remember that I was capable and culpable and everyone else is just annoying that day. Obviously it's a little difficult to reference this if you haven't been doing this since day one, but i'd go back through your emails as recent as you can and make a note to do this moving forward. 

3) Tell your boss you want to be promoted. 

It sounds simple; but the mistake people often make is that they don't  just say it. Similar to dating, if you don't tell a guy that you are ready for a relationship or are looking for one, you just going to get stuck in some long, drawn out situationship. I always set the expectation with my boss year round that my goal is to do my best work for our clients but also grow my career. In my bi-weekly 1-1's with my manager, I always make a point at least once every two months to drop a line about "What can I be doing more to deliver at the next level, as that is a goal for me, to take the next step in my career to be a [insert title]." Other times, I'm less direct and I will schedule one-on-ones with different people at work that I don't report to but are at the next level or two levels up and purposely ask them questions about the role I want to be in. Then when I talk to my manger, I'd drop hints like "I met with V.P Joe Schmo., who gave me some interesting insight about how at an A.D. level I should be able to do XYZ. I've been working on that and wanted to get your thoughts as I want to ensure I'm making progress so I'm ready for that role when the time comes". Again because this is more of a year round expectation, if you haven't been throwing hints I would say for your upcoming meeting - go all in on #1 and #2.

What are the keys to negotiating salary, and getting it for a new job?

This is a tough one, as it varies based on what level you're at, how much experience you have, and how hard of a worker you are. Something I encourage anyone that I work with, is that before you go into salary negotiations for a new job, looking for a 10-15% increase... make sure you are worth it. I know we all want to make more money, however I can't tell you the number of times people have come to me and tell me they want to make more money. But then when I ask them, what have they done to deserve an increase... they can't name three things they have achieved in their current role. If you can't convince a stranger, who has no idea of your day-to-day that you are worthy of a higher salary, chances are you won't be able to, to a new employer who will know the ins and outs of your role. That aside, here are my top level tips:

Know your value, do some research! Glassdoor is your friend. The first step in negotiating a salary is to make sure you are being paid market value. If you’re going to get the pay you deserve, it’s crucial to know the going rate for your position in your specific industry and in your geographic location.

Talk to Recruiters Another way to do some research? Pick up those calls from recruiters. They know what people with your experience and expertise are worth, so use it to your advantage! The next time one reaches out to you, engage in a conversation about the position’s responsibilities and pay. You may not get a specific number, but even a range is helpful.

Pick the Top of the Range As you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. It can be tempting to ask for something in the middle of the range, but instead you should ask for something toward the top. First of all, you should assume you’re entitled to top pay, says She Negotiates founder Victoria Pynchon.

Know the (Exact) Number. According to researchers at Columbia Business School, you should ask for a very specific number—say, $64,750 rather than $65,000. Turns out, when employees use a more precise number in their initial negotiation request, they are more likely to get a final offer closer to what they were hoping for. This is because the employer will assume you’ve done more extensive research into your market value to reach that specific number.

Be Willing to Walk Away When considering your numbers, you should also come up with a “walk away point”—a final offer that’s so low that you have to turn it down. This could be based on financial need, market value, or simply what you need to feel good about the salary you’re bringing home.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

In all honesty I really don't have the best work/life balance. In fact, I'm currently up writing this post at 1 in the a.m. However, I will say my work/life balance most definitely comes in ebbs and flows. There are some months where I am operating like a well oiled machine and  I hit a stride where I have the perfect work/life balance. However, there are other months (more often than not) where I feel like I'm constantly under water or in a hamster wheel doing endless circles. 

However, I will say this. On the months when I am achieving a good work/life balance, I will say that I am getting 7-8 hours of sleep, exercising, and only allowing myself to check work emails once in the evening. Another tip, is don't wake up checking your email. When you wake up, take a shower, brush your teeth, listen to some music, cook some breakfast, anything.

If you're like most people, you wake up to an alarm ringing on your smartphone. Then you probably roll over and check your work email. Research shows that if you wake up and read your email, that's a dangerous way to start the day, Reading just one negative email could lead you to report having a bad day hours later, says Michelle Gielan, former national CBS News anchor turned psychology researcher and best-selling author. The same goes with reading stressful or negative news, according to a study Gielan conducted with Arianna Huffington and her husband, happiness researcher and author Shawn Achor.

My advice...make sure you take the time to ease into your day as well as ease out. This transition helps you decompress so you're either ready to take on the day or leave the previous day behind you.

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