While we'd like to believe that people with the best experience and track record get the raises and promotions they want and deserve, anyone who has worked knows this isn't always the case. Some call it office politics. Others say managers have favorites. The hard truth is personality plays a bigger role than experience in the success of many professionals.
What's your preferred Interaction Style?
The way you interact with others on the job creates your workplace persona. It's how others perceive you. People get to know your style and make assumptions about what you can or can't do. It's called your Interaction Style. There are four main styles: Commander, Contemplator, Empathizer, and Energizer. All it takes is a short quiz to help you determine your dominant style at work. Each style has strengths and weaknesses. There is no one better style to be. That said, one of these is more likely to get passed over for a raise or promotion.
"Every time I open my mouth, it's a window to my soul."
Of the four styles, the Contemplator is the one that suffers the most in career advancement. They are the patient, calm, quiet thinkers. The are careful with words. A Contemplator client of mine shared the quote above when I asked him why he was so tactful in his speech. The problem lies in how the other styles perceive the Contemplator's demeanor. They don't play office politics. They don't gossip. They don't look for praise and recognition. They just keep their heads down and do great work with consistency. As a result, I've heard more than one manager of a Contemplator say,
"He doesn't want a bigger job, he's happy. He would have spoken up if he did."
Or, "She's likes her job. I don't think she can handle more work or she would have said something."
The assumption is Contemplators are "just fine" with where they're at because they haven't said otherwise. And yet, Contemplators are very sensitive people, who on the inside fume about not getting rewarded. But, they also don't like confrontation or anger. So, they keep it inside. Meanwhile, they get passed over for a promotion or raise in the process.
If you're a Contemplator, here's how to get what you deserve.
For those who are realizing they fall in this category, fear not. Here's how to put a raise or promotion in your future.
1. Make a list of all the ways you save or make your employer money. The goal is to justify not only the current cost of employing you, but also how much extra value you provide above and beyond. Quantifying your experience is part of establishing your value. This will make you feel more confident and give you valid data to work with.
2. Set a one-on-one meeting with your boss. Give her plenty of advance notice and let her know you want to talk strategy on how you can take your career to the next level. This literally may be the first time she's ever considered it because you are stepping up and expressing interest.
3. Be prepared to propose a salary goal. Do some research on the going rate for your skill set and experience level. If it's lower than what you are currently making, present it towards the end and let your boss know you'd like to eventually earn $___ and wondered how you can work together on a plan to get you there. This allows your boss to consider what additional skills and abilities you'll need justify the pay raise and can articulate how you can gain them so you can earn an increase.
Don't let your Interaction Style dictate your financial success at work. Once you know the strengths and weaknesses of your style, you can start to use techniques to help you get what you want!