Navigating the corporate world can be tough, especially when you are young and just starting out (like myself). There are many lessons to be learned. And no matter how many books you buy, or articles you read, some of these lessons you can only learn by doing. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to share my experiences as a young professional in the hopes that one day my experiences can prove useful to someone in a similar situation.
I want to preface this post with one hard truth. Life is not fair. This is something that I am reminded of time and time again. Just because you share your food with someone, doesn't mean they will share with you. Just because you lend someone money, doesn't mean they will pay you back. This same principle applies in the workplace as well. Just because you are doing the same exact work as someone else, and may even have the same credentials, doesn't mean your boss will pay you both the same salary. There are many people that feel as if they are overworked and underpaid, but I wonder how many of those individuals have ever ask to be paid more?
For all you young professionals out there - remember that:
In order to reach your goals, you will first need to make them, and then bust your butt in order to achieve them. This means asking the hard questions, knowing what you want and clearly articulating the reasoning behind it.
When the day comes for you to negotiate your salary or ask for a raise, remember these key points:
1. Know Your "Why"
This is perhaps the most important of them all. You should know exactly why you are asking for a raise in the first place. What prompted the thought? Did you take on more responsibility? Have you figured out others in your same position are making far more than yourself? Do you find yourself spending far too much in gas and travel expenses? Are you starting a family? Whatever it may be, your ability to articulate why you are looking for a raise, can directly affect if you receive one.
2. Do Your Homework
Research comparable positions and salaries within your company. Then, research salary ranges in comparable positions within your region at various companies. Be realistic in determining a salary range. I did google searches for my job title and included the keyword "salary" in the search box. A number of sites came up that assisted in finding the average salary for that position.
For the men out there. Flowers for your lady are always a good idea. Always. Even if she's allergic to pollen, buy her flowers. If she doesn't have a vase to put them in, buy her flowers. If, for some strange reason, she doesn't actually like the type of flower you pick out for her - she will still be so touched and so happy that you bought her flowers anyway.
Whether you've never bought flowers for your lady before, or it's been more than one week since you last bought them - it's time to pick up the phone and call a florist or stroll on down to the local grocery store (great for if you're in a pinch).
Even if you know nothing about flowers. You will still look like Prince Charming holding that bouquet in your hands! And she will be so honored that her man is thinking of her and can express his love for her in this ways!
For the single ladies out there. Buy yourself flowers! Don't just wait around for a man to buy them for you. If you like flowers, buy them and show them off to the world! It's your gift to yourself, and it is well deserved! They look great, and you feel great looking at them!
It's a win - win!
And who doesn't like winning?! (Rhetorical Question!)
Stasia | Rose