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How To Increase Your Pay and Grow at Work

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You must never underestimate the importance of improving your skills as you advance in your career. After all, every successful person has spent a considerable amount of time learning and developing their skills at some point.

However, as the professional world becomes increasingly competitive and is constantly changing, this is more imperative than ever. If not, you’re going to miss out on new opportunities — and potentially more money.

With that in mind, here are 11 ways to increase your pay and grow at work.

1. Develop yourself personally.

It is vital to learn personal development skills to create a strategic and practical plan for professional and personal development.

How can you enhance your personal development skills? Some examples are learning from others, taking classes, and adding to or improving your skills. But, you also try the following strategies to develop yourself personally.

Become fearless.

You can’t develop and progress if you’re afraid. To overcome a fear of public speaking, you might join a group that teaches people how to speak effectively. Or, consider starting a conversation at a networking event or introducing yourself to a new person if you are shy.

You can build your confidence and make good decisions with the help of a mentor if you are afraid of taking risks. Trying things that may feel uncomfortable can help you grow and learn.

Read.

Keeping informed and expanding your knowledge can be achieved by reading. Reading can also improve your critical thinking skills and stimulate your mind. Aim to read at least one article each day or one book each month that is educational or motivational. We ask that our employees read at least this much — personally, I read at least one book a week and have done this consistently for years and years.

Write in a journal.

Daily or weekly journaling can help you become aware of yourself, reflect on recent events and decisions, and learn from your mistakes. Your journal might be hand-written, or you may wish to blog about your experiences and thoughts. Journaling can also be helpful in assessing your progress and setting goals.

Observe others.

Keep an eye on the people who inspire you and learn from them. An example could be a supervisor, family member, or public figure that you respect. Consider the traits you admire in them and try to imitate them.

Be an active listener.

An essential part of being an effective communicator is listening to others. Understanding what your co-workers and clients are saying will allow you to remember what they say and respond appropriately. You should have professional listening and communication skills, whether addressing a phone call or interviewing for a job.

Meditate.

Meditating can help you to reduce stress and anxiety, gain clarity, and increase self-awareness. Focusing on your self-development and goals while meditating can help you stay positive, calm, and focused. Relaxing and focusing can be achieved even with a short break from work.

Prepare your time, work, and materials in advance.

You can accomplish tasks more quickly and easily if you plan ahead. When you have several tasks at hand, know what to prioritize. An organized and disciplined individual may be better able to meet deadlines and work together more effectively.

2. Keep tabs on your wins and losses.

Tracking your victories is a great way to improve your motivation at work and recognize your true worth. Of course, this might not be something you’re used to doing if you’re modest. But it’s not like you have to purchase a billboard here. Instead, write down your wins, both big and small, in your journal weekly or monthly.

What about time wins? Describe the role you played in its success. With time, wins will become a clear indication of a specific skill set, whether leadership, project management, or technical expertise.

Additionally, you’ll find writing a cover letter or updated resume more manageable when you keep track of your accomplishments.

At the same time, you should also record your losses.

You may have made a simple mistake that caused you to get reprimanded. It could even be big, like missing a deadline or losing a client. Regardless, mistakes are one of the most effective ways to learn and grow.

3. Level up.

You’re more valuable when you possess more skills—as such, having additional qualifications is a surefire way to put forward a compelling case for your salary increase. Or, this can improve your chances of receiving a promotion or landing a better-paying job.

Training on the job, online certifications, and continuing education courses can all benefit your career. In addition, several employers may provide tuition assistance and cover the cost of new training. For more information about the policies at your workplace, speak with your HR representative. Even if you’re a freelancer, your clients may be willing to cover your continuing education.

4. Seek out feedback.

If you have recently completed an important project or achieved an important goal, ask a family member, friend, colleague, or manager for feedback. Take advantage of both constructive criticism and positive comments to measure your progress and ensure that you’re on the right path.

5. Emulate your favorite talk show host.

Whether you’re a fan of Letterman, Oprah, Conan, Ellen, or Fallon, you can certainly mimic some of their attributes. For example, they’re all confident in who they are. They’re also outgoing, have a passion for connecting with others, and can think on the fly.

Moreover, they have thick skin so that they can handle negative feedback. Finally, and most importantly, they’re all excellent at marketing themselves and their own unique brands.

6. Take on more responsibilities.

This is an excellent way to signal to others that you’re ready and capable of more responsibilities. Increased responsibilities are also a good indicator as a base for a salary increase.

In addition, you may want to ask your employer if you can assist in some of their managerial tasks. As an added perk, this allows you to learn more about the processes involved.

At the same time, don’t overextend yourself. If your calendar is already jampacked, wait to do this until it’s not as cluttered. Need help getting started? Here are a couple of tips you can use to declutter your calendar;

  • Acknowledge that you can’t do everything within a day. As such, you may have to eliminate certain items from your schedule.
  • Take an inventory of your calendar and track your time.
  • Question all of your recurring events.
  • Delete old tasks that can be either deleted or outsourced to someone else.
  • Use the “Rule of Three” by only focusing on your three top priorities.

7. ABN

Elvis may have popularized the phrase, “Taking Care of Business.” Mine? “Always Be Networking.”

To advance your career, you must network. Whatever your goal, you want to be able to have support and assistance from those around you. No matter their industry, all professionals need to know how to network. It’s been reported that a whopping 85% of jobs are secured via networking.

Also, through communicating and working with different types of people, you can learn new ideas and develop communication skills. It’s also possible for you to develop relationships that could be useful in the future.

Attend conferences and events on topics that interest you, or join industry organizations and shared interest groups. You can also pencil-in meetups. And definitely utilize online networking by joining relevant LinkedIn groups.

8. Pursue mentorships.

Over 30 years of research shows that employees with a mentor earn higher compensation, receive more promotions, and are more satisfied with their careers than those without a mentor.

Identify a mentor who has achieved the success you hope to achieve. By learning from their experiences, including both successes failures, you can make more informed decisions. As a result, this can minimize workplace mistakes and advance your career.

However, make sure your mentor is a good fit for you. They hold (or held) the position you seek is no guarantee that you’ll click. To make such a relationship work, you have to find someone you respect and can connect with.

Ask a professional you trust for guidance and advice if you are unsure. In addition, you might find it worthwhile to work with two or more mentors who represent different facets of your field.

9. Master the art of negotiating.

While this may not always be top of mind, negotiation is an essential skill that you’ll use across all aspects of your life. Want a better credit card rate? Negotiate? Want the salary or promotion you deserve? You guessed it. Negotiate.

Prepare yourself with research, numbers (if applicable), and potential outcomes before requesting anything. The key to a successful negotiation will be your ability to present confidently and persuasively. Remember, it will take practice to master this skill. So, be patient until you feel that you’ve mastered this skill.

And, if you don’t think that becoming a proficient negotiator is worth it, Mandi Woodruff-Santos would beg to differ.

“I started my first full-time job in 2010, at age 22,” she told CNBC. “Since then, I’ve quit jobs six times — increasing my salary by nearly $194,000, and by an average of 39% each time I left for a new opportunity.”

“I went from making $31,200 per year in 2010 to $225,000 per year in 2020,” she adds. “And that’s just the base salary; when you factor in the signing bonuses I negotiated, I added an additional $160,000 to my income during those 10 years. Now, at 34, I’m on track to achieve a net worth of $1 million by my 40th birthday.”

Here are some of her tips to keep in mind;

  • Don’t quit your job just for a bigger paycheck
  • Never be the first to give a number
  • Practice negotiation skills when the stakes are low
  • The first offer isn’t always the final offer
  • Negotiate by phone instead of email
  • It’s not all about the base salary
  • Gut check your offer with trusted mentors

10. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

“There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.” — Carl Sagan

Always ask questions using the open lines of communication you have. When you do, you’ll find out about specific workplace changes, upcoming projects, and chances to continue your education.

Also, the more questions you ask, the more engaged you are as an employee. And the more you are dedicated to learning and progressing within the organization. What’s more, whenever you need help, you’ll already have a rapport with people at work who are willing to lend a hand.

11. Give back.

If you can fit this into your schedule, volunteering is a win-win. For starters, you’re helping others. Of course, that is awesome, but it also makes you feel like a million bucks.

Another perk? Volunteering allows you to enhance or develop new skills. These could be soft skills, such as communication or collaboration skills. You can use these in both your personal and professional lives. There’s also a chance to hone in on your existing hard skills so that you can work smarter and faster.

If that’s not enough — volunteering offers a chance to expand your network.

While you can do this on your own time, you could show some initiative by making recommendations on how your business or employer can change the world. As an example, according to Amnesty International, you could support refugees by;

  • Enable team members. A corporate volunteering program could be created to join during work hours. Also, consider creative fundraising ideas like donating a day’s pay.
  • Use your company’s purpose to create a social impact. For example, a social network giant might partner with non-profits to alleviate the unemployment rate; an internet provider might extend service to refugee camps, or a bakery might offer training programs.
  • Create opportunities. Despite having excellent education and skills, many refugees have difficulty accessing employment due to government policy, discrimination, etc. The documentation required, costs, etc., can also make recruiting refugees challenging for employers. Companies could urge governments to make refugee hiring easier by changing laws and policies.

How To Increase Your Pay and Grow at Work was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels; Thank you!

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Food Is Medicine And What We Eat Is Important

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Your mental state is a critical component of your physical health. And when you’re under a lot of stress, you might not be eating the healthy food that provides nutrients for fighting anxiety and depression. So when we examine what we’ve been eating, most of us discover that the decisions we’ve been making in the name of simplicity, convenience, or saving time have been damaging to our total health – body, mind, and spirit.

A person’s diet is a direct reflection of their health. When a person does not eat the right foods, their body breaks down. This can lead to an overall decrease in quality of life and many other diseases linked to improper nutrition. In North America, our current diet mainly consists of an excess of grain, sugar, fried and fatty foods. As a result, disorders including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and certain malignancies are becoming increasingly widespread.

The science of food has always been discussed; however, with recent technological innovations in food processing and agriculture, people have enjoyed more convenient foods that are less expensive than ever before. Unfortunately, with every convenience comes a trade-off. Smart foods are often packed with sugar, salt, and calories, leading to poor health in some individuals. 

To understand what a person is putting into their body, it’s essential to realize that the small molecules in food are responsible for allowing our bodies to function. These small molecules are called nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes. A nutrient is not a value unless absorbed by the body through a specific pathway. For example, if you absorb calcium without vitamin D, your body will not use that calcium. 

Eating a balanced diet keeps you healthy, but it helps reduce your stress. For example, eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants because they help augment your immune response and prevent toxins from damaging your cells. Vitamins A, C, and E serve as antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals are toxic products of metabolism that cause damage to your cells. Experts claim that they are responsible for the aging process. Good sources of these vitamins are deeply-colored vegetables- green leafy, yellow, and orange vegetables, such as squash, broccoli, kale, spinach, and carrots.

Iron is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, and it mainly functions to deliver oxygen to your cells. Hence, an iron deficiency, medically termed Iron-deficiency anemia, is associated with weakness, easy fatigability, and pale skin. Tea, coffee, red wine, grapes, and berries are rich in antioxidants that function the same as your vitamins A, C, and E. 
You need a diet that’s healthy and balanced – and one that can fit comfortably into your busy lifestyle.

Here are some of the recommended dietary guidelines.

Eat a diet high in fresh vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. 

Exercise every other day to release endorphins, feel good, get the blood flowing, and reduce stress levels. 

Eat salt only when you need it, but not too much as your body does not need it. Many people with anxiety are hypothyroid or have low magnesium. When your body needs more sodium, it can indicate that you are not producing enough cortisol or are dehydrated. If you experience chronic anxiety, I recommend working with a physician to run tests on cortisol levels and then take salt supplements as needed. Use spices like turmeric, ginger, curry, and aromatic herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage, and basil.
Eat low-fat meals because they will cause a minor spike in blood sugar levels: think lean meats, eggs, vegetables, and nuts; avoid dairy if it makes you feel anxious. 

Drink lots of water — keep hydrated all day — ideally at least half a gallon if possible — your brain needs water to function optimally! 

Avoid foods that you know will make you feel bad, such as dairy, even with low-fat content. You can cut out dairy and not worry about it! 

Avoid sugar, caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, and any other substance that makes you feel bad or increases anxiety levels. Also, avoid coffee — drinking more than one cup a day can cause anxiety in some people. Coffee is also dehydrating and inhibits the absorption of minerals from food/water/supplements — try caffeinated water as a substitute for coffee if you like the caffeine kick. 

Find a natural health professional that you can talk to or work with to quickly get the results you want. 

Healthy foods and nutrition can help you stay fit, but they can also assist you in treating disease. When you nurture your body physically with these nutrient-dense foods, your mental capacities improve, as does your spiritual welfare. Moreover, because your spiritual health is at its best, it will radiate to the exterior world, causing others to notice you’re happier and more relaxed, and your stress levels have decreased dramatically.

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The Points of Light Civic Circle Offers Real Ways You Can Change the World 

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Sixty-six percent of Americans don’t believe they can make a big impact in the world. 

That figure is according to Points of Light’s research on civic engagement. But what if I told you there are actually many ways to drive change? 

Today’s political climate can feel divided or even stagnant, but the truth is, you really can make things better, starting with your own community, one act of kindness at a time. And those aren’t just words. I’m here to share real, practical ways for you to make a difference. 

The Points of Light Civic Circle helps people connect to opportunities and understand that doing good comes in many forms. It is a framework that represents your power to lead, lend support and take action for causes you care about and live your best civic life. 

The Civic Circle provides actionable examples of all the ways you can change your community to reflect the world you want to see around you. In fact, you’re probably doing some of these things already. Are you helping a neighbor by picking up groceries or chaperoning on your child’s class field trip? You’re volunteering. Did you vote in the last election or help others get to the polls so they could vote? Those acts of civic duty illustrate the “vote” element. When you buy a product, do you choose to support companies that reflect your values or advance a social cause? That’s called “purchase power.” There are nine elements of the Civic Circle, and countless ways to bring each one to life. 

This blog is the first in a five-part series that will help you find real and manageable ways to activate the Civic Circle through apps, documentaries, podcasts and books. 

We also offer other resources to help you connect with all the ways you can become empowered to be the change you want to see in the world. Check out our videos that provide an in-depth look at each element of the Civic Circle. And don’t miss Civic Life Today, our digital magazine series. Each issue takes a deep dive and provides materials, ideas and inspiration so that you can become civically engaged.  Get started today, and launch your own civic engagement journey with these tools. 

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Are you an Amateur or a Pro? 30 Differences to Help You Decide…

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My client, Sebastian, thinks he’s behind on “life”.

He thinks he missed the memo the rest of us received on how to live a happy life.

I know better.

Sebastian hasn’t fallen behind and there is no such memo.

We’re all just trying to figure it out.

Unless we’re not. And there are a lot of people who simply are not trying to figure it out.

My friend and Professional Coach, Elaine Taylor-Klaus, calls them Status quo-ers — as opposed to Growers.

Anyone who makes a serious commitment to working with a Professional Coach is by definition a “Grower” and Sebastian is no exception.

Growers want to know, feel and live more. They push every boundary and sometimes fall off cliffs. They say “yes” to way too many things and often feel overwhelmed and over committed. They have a congenital distaste of the status quo and will sabotage any situation if it feels like “settling” to them. They’re insatiable and often don’t know what exactly will assuage their hunger.

Growers often appear to the world as troubled, frustrated and critical.

Inside they feel unfulfilled and misunderstood.

The truth is that they can’t help but be driven by Oscar Wilde’s belief that,

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.”

Growers will break every piece in the china shop when they find themselves just existing and not living as they see fit. And they suffer for it.

That is… until they turn pro and transform their life!

Steven Pressfield famously states in his book, Turning Pro

“Becoming a pro, in the end, is nothing grander than growing up.”

Sebastian thinks he’s falling behind because he’s still living life as an amateur at 34.

To put the above into context, I didn’t turn pro till well into my 40’s!

Best move I ever made! 

So what’s the difference between living life as an amateur vs. a pro?

Although there is no one size fits all manifesto on “how to turn pro”, here are thirty distinctions I’ve learned which apply to ANY Grower who is truly committed to living a life of purpose, fulfillment and ease.

  1. Amateurs look for hacks and shortcuts — Pros do the work.
  2. Amateurs speed up — Pros slow down.
  3. Amateurs are busy — Pros are focused.
  4. Amateurs sell first — Pros serve first.
  5. Amateurs think it’s about them — Pros know it’s never personal.
  6. Amateurs think life is short — Pros know life is actually really freakin’ long.
  7. Amateurs are reactive — Pros are responsive.
  8. Amateurs live with constant misunderstandings — Pros take the time to get clear.
  9. Amateurs don’t know what success looks like (to them) — Pros  know their definition of success and aren’t afraid to change it.
  10. Amateurs don’t know their core life values — Pros do.
  11. Amateurs want to feel happy — Pros want to feel alive!
  12. Amateurs play to “not lose” — Pros play to win.
  13. Amateurs are harsh — Pros are fierce.
  14. Amateurs secretly enjoy being in the “Victim Mindset” — Pros are a “Hell No” to that!
  15. Amateurs wonder what people say about them when they leave the room — Pros know.
  16. Amateurs have false and limiting beliefs around money — Pros don’t.
  17. Amateurs are constantly searching for life balance — Pros are living an integrated life.
  18. Amateurs think everything matters — Pros know what few things actually do matter (for them).
  19. Amateurs set boundaries defensively — Pros simply honor their “operating system”.
  20. Amateurs think help is a four letter word — Pros actively seek opportunities to help and be helped.
  21. Amateurs don’t have a relationship with their “Future Self” — Pros are best friends with their “Future Self”.
  22. Amateurs confuse knowing with doing — Pros receive knowledge and apply it (EVERY moment of EVERY day).
  23. Amateurs love information — Pros love insights.
  24. Amateurs have intentions — Pros have commitments.
  25. Amateurs have expectations — Pros have agreements.
  26. Amateurs compare — Pros create.
  27. Amateurs live from probability — Pros live from possibility.
  28. Amateurs are focused only on the “Goal Line” — Pros are focused on both the “Goal Line” and the “Soul Line”.
  29. Amateurs set goals with contingencies — Pros know contingencies are just excuses and NOW is the time!
  30. Amateurs create from the past — Pros create from the future.

Now that you are aware of the 30 differences between an amateur and a pro, where do you see yourself?

And I’d love to know why. Get in touch with your answer.

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