Especially in this economy, job hunters and promotion seekers are subject to excessive No’s. “No, we’re not hiring,” “No, there is no money for raises,” and “No, we’re laying people off, not promoting them.” If you accept a No at face value and believe what you’re told you’ve put your career on hold. Never take No for an answer is excellent advice. Here are the facts.
Take a No personally. If you’re told you won’t get a raise even though your performance “exceeds expectations” you are not hearing the back story. Someone, perhaps your boss, has concluded that you’ll stay without a raise so raise money will go to those who’ve made it clear they are moved by money. Career satisfaction is a private please — like child rearing — and not an excuse for abuse.
Set deadlines. If you boss said she’d revisit your request for a promotion in six months, in three months you should be preparing your case, updating your resume, and letting headhunters know you’re ready to move. Nothing quickens a boss’s pulse, and excites her problem-solving skills as much as finding out that a key employee has options.
Be in a permanent job-hunting mode. Even in this economy I have clients who turn down interviews! Can you imagine that? Unless you’re in labor or under anesthesia for open heart surgery say yes to any interview. It’s an unparralled learning experience. What does the market value now? What kind of salary is offered? Nothing but interviews and offers supply facts.
Never hesitate to tell your boss you’ve been offered a better, higher paid job — if you would accept the offer if your boss doesn’t meet it. Do not bluff. Any boss can tell if you’ve got one foot on the threshold or are trying to hustle her. You have a three to one chance she’ll match it. Do not do this more than once a year.
Loyalty is a word that’s gone the way of chastity — and is equally quaint. Your boss wants results only and doesn’t much care how you feel. If that’s not true — she wants you to want to be there — the organization is doomed and you should be actively looking for a new job.
Finally, do your No’s mean anything? Is you tell someone you can’t or won’t do something do you stick to it? Just a thought.
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