Over the past several weeks, we have seen financial media flood televisions and the internet with ways people can save/limit consumption to combat the adverse effects of inflation. While this is certainly a worthwhile exercise to make an immediate impact, I want to offer longer-term advice to help people maintain their quality of life and stay ahead of the inflation that is likely to be with us for a while.
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This advice involves simple changes in one’s work mindset to improve your work performance, make you more valuable to employers, and offer greater upward mobility. While these steps are no guarantee of a promotion/raise, your chances of advancement without them are slim.
Show Up to Prove Reliability
One of the easiest ways to improve your value to an employer is to consistently show up on time with a great attitude. As an employee, you want to send the conscious message that your job is meaningful, you are happy to be there, and you can be relied upon to show up on time and ready to work. While this step seems simple, it can be a challenge if you don’t have a healthy work/life balance. Recommendation: Try to separate your work life from your home life. While at the office, give your projects and co-workers your full attention. At the end of the day, leave work in the office and transition your full attention to personal growth. This work/life balance is key to being successful in your profession.
Think Like an Owner
As an employee, there is a tendency to adopt a reactive mindset of executing only assigned tasks vs. being proactive and thinking ahead. To fight this tendency, think about working to a particular standard and not necessarily to a time. For example, if you are a salaried employee and there are tasks requiring you to stay longer than required work hours, be willing to go the extra mile to complete the tasks consistently. Remember, business owners do not have set works hours. They work to a standard, not to a time! The key here is to develop a habit of going the “extra mile” to add value to the organization and create additional value for yourself.
Request Periodic Performance Reviews
One of the best ways to show an employer you care is to request formal periodic reviews of your performance. The primary purpose of these reviews should be to learn about areas you can improve and discuss your accomplishments and goals for the future. These reviews are vital to determining the steps you need to take to advance to higher levels of greater responsibility and make more money. Recommendation: While employers will certainly help your growth and development, no one cares more about your future than you do. It is up to you to take the initiative and take control of your future!
As you continue to grow in your career and increase your salary potential, be sure to consult with your primary financial advisor about adjusting your 401(k) and other retirement savings goals that reflect your new salary.
Marshall Clay CFP, J.D., is a Partner and Senior Advisor at The Welch Group, LLC, specializing in providing Fee-Only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. Marshall is a graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. In addition, Marshall is a frequent guest on local television stations as an expert on various financial planning matters.
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