2016 will be here before you know it. Where did the year go? Anyway, if you are smart, you are likely already thinking ahead to what the next 12 months will look like. I have said before that money isn't everything, but I believe it is worth discussing how you are going to get to the next level, no matter what "next" means for you. But let's assume for a moment that "next" does mean "more cash" for some of you.
If you have worked for any length of time, you know how difficult a raise is to come by. I am not talking about a 3% cost of living increase. I'm talking about a substantial increase.
But there is a problem. You do not have the final say in whether you get a raise or not -- you are not the boss (even though you might wish you were). So, here is the good news. You can do something to greatly improve your chances, starting right now.
I am just one CEO in a world of tens of thousands, but here is what I look for and suggest.
Great companies need people who are not only responsive and kind, but work hard to reach their goals. They show appreciation to each other, but realize the urgency of the work at hand. I am proud of what we are building at Aha! -- and none of this would be possible without a stand-out team who has internalized our company values as their own.
Like many companies, we value action that yields achievement. And my experience is that only purpose-drive action leads to outcomes that are sustainable and everyone can be proud of. I never fault the team for failing short of a stretch goal, but I am allergic to a lack of effort. You need to stay hungry if you are going to be your best, even when everything is going your way.
So if you want a raise in 2016, I suggest that you must do one thing. You need to hustle. Really hustle.
By hustle, I do not mean a frenzy of activity that leaves you exhausted and without much to show for your effort.
When you hustle, you align your goals to the goals of your organization. You know what you have to do and you do not waste any time doing it. You tackle each task with intention and purpose, and you systematically work through any roadblocks that threaten your progress. It's simple when you think about it -- you consistently add value to the organization.
When you start to hustle, here is what the boss will see:
You are a self-starter and dependable. You display confidence and do not have to be told what to do at every turn. You also believe in the company and its goals and want to see it succeed. Your company will want to reward team members like you who are clearly motivated for success and hungry for more.
Your enthusiasm and positive attitude is contagious to others. You set goals and knock them out -- and then you look for more ways you can contribute. The boss will notice that you accomplish meaningful work and that you set a positive example for other members of the team.
The world needs fewer yes men and more people who are willing to challenge ideas and bring forth new ones. Show management that you are unafraid of a challenge and unconcerned about what others think of your audacious ideas. Step up whenever there is a new opportunity. Great companies reward the bold thinkers.
When it comes to awarding raises this coming year, do not give management a good reason to pass you up. Be the first to volunteer for the tough jobs and show everyone how to get meaningful work done.
Great companies want team players who can contribute to the company's goals and lead with conviction.
Remember that you might not be the boss, but you certainly have control over your own actions and decisions, and make 2016 the year that you took charge of your own career.
When you start showing that you can hustle, you will not have to ask for a raise. The company will want to reward you for making it a better place.
How do you show that you can hustle?