Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”
“The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form.”—Stanley J. Randall
I learned a lot from Jennifer Martin, a fun-loving, free-spirited woman from England who worked as an account executive at the employment agency where I was the office manager. Jennifer was in sales, matching prospective employees with prospective employers and receiving a commission from the fee paid to the company for this service. She had fun, she stood her ground, she made a lot of money, and she wasn’t afraid to tell you the truth, even when it hurt. My meek little co-dependent soul lapped up her lessons in self-esteem.
Grumbling about the state of my finances, one day I said to her, “I’m not making enough money. I’m going to ask for a raise!” “Is that right?” she said. A chill went through me and I spilled my coffee. You see, Jennifer only said “Is that right?” whenever someone said something particularly stupid. As I stood there fumbling in my mind, trying to figure out where I went wrong, she decided to help me out.
“What makes you think you deserve a raise?” she inquired. I didn’t know what she meant. “Well, I’ve been here a year now,” I replied, to which she answered, “So what? Just warming the seat for a year isn’t worth anything.” I was shocked. She was my friend! How could she say that?
As I stared at her with my mouth open, she smiled. “Come with me” she said, and sat me down and gave me some lessons in selling. She explained that asking for a raise was like a sale. I had to convince the buyer—my boss—of the benefit to him of paying me more money. And I needed to back up my request with proof of my value to the company. I needed to document my accomplishments and show how much work I did above and beyond my original job description. I should stress my commitment to the company and that I would continue to grow and improve in my job. A cost comparison of what salaries were paid other people in similar positions would help to make my case as would any accomplishments of mine that had helped save the company money.
What an eye-opening experience and valuable training that conversation was. I took her advice, did my homework, prepared my presentation—and got the raise.
So are you warming the seat or are you making a valuable contribution? Prove it.
Today’s Affirmation: “I am paid very handsomely because I’m worth it!”
Jennifer and I stayed friends over the years, through different careers and life’s ups and downs. At one point she went back to school to become a nurse – a lifelong dream that she had started once in England but given up. While she was studying, she worked for my bookkeeping service for a time. When she got her nursing degree, she started traveling the country taking different jobs in a variety of locations, and enjoyed the adventure of living in different cities. Eventually, we lost touch with each other, and years passed with no word.
Then came the internet and google, and I tried finding her, but there were too many Jennifer Martins – one directory listed 3254 of them – and I gave up. But then Facebook came into vogue, and one day earlier this year, she found me and sent a friend request! (I think they should have a “renew old friendship” request.) I was delighted to find my old friend again, who now lives on the East Coast but is still happily nursing people back to health. She loves her job as I love mine, and we are both happy campers.
I often think of the old song “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.” Jennifer is definitely a gold.
Treasure your friendships – that is the real gold on this Planet Earth. Reach out and touch someone today!