“How To Be A Star At Work and Get a Raise Fast!”

During a review with a client we came to the conclusion that to reach her long-term retirement goals she was going to need more income. She blurted out, “I need a raise.” In talking through her gifts and value to the organization I thought others might benefit from my experiences and education and created this piece for publication on my blog.

During my career, I’ve worked in a number of different organizations, small and large, public and private, profit and non-profit. As a graduate student I also spent time understanding organizational culture, and how to build great teams and, profitable ventures all while learning How To Be A Star At Work and Get A Raise Fast.

In a booming economy, it is crucial to know your value to the organization.  Once you do it is easier to ask for a raise. Most bosses will only loosen their purse strings for an employee that has proven to be invaluable to the organization. Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can get that raise you so richly deserve.

Tap Into Your Boss’s Mind

A good way for you to stay ahead of the curve is to anticipate your boss’ needs before they tell you what they are. It makes their job much easier. Bosses love an employee who can show that they don’t need someone to constantly watch them or tell them what to do next. They want an employee who can take the ball and run with it. Taking extra initiative can be the thing that separates you from your fellow employees. This will also help your boss score points with their own superiors for the great hire they made and that is the sort of thing that can always help your case.

Be Eager to Learn

Whenever you have an opportunity to learn skills that can make you better at what you do, it is in your best interest to take it. Your eagerness to learn will shine through as you volunteer to shadow other employees in other areas or work on a special project. Learning everything you can about your industry, company, and department will make you invaluable and set you apart as a star.

Prove Your Worth

Simply doing your job will never set you apart and get you the raise you are looking for. One of the things that make bosses stop and take notice are the efforts that are completely unexpected. For example, if you see that a new employee is struggling, you can take them under your wing and show them the ropes. This will show your boss that you are a team player and that you have the best interest of the company in mind. Sharing your knowledge with others will make your star rise in the eyes of your employers.

Know the Company and Department Goals

Become aware of the goals that your company has set for the year and align your priorities toward them. Your star will shine brightly as you discuss how the work you are doing will help achieve the goals the company has announced. It will also show that you understand the individual contributions each employee can make toward the overall mission. Your boss will be completely impressed that you see yourself as a contributor to the big picture objectives.

Get In Early and Stay Late

All too often, bosses, especially at smaller firms, feel the weight and pressure of getting more done with few resources. If you are there when the boss arrives and there when the boss leaves (working of course) imagine the impact that will make on their perspective of your value. When my son graduated college I gave him this hard learned piece of advice. After just over one year of regularly “turning on the lights” when he arrived and making sure everything was “locked up” when he left, he was rewarded with a promotion, a raise, and in my son’s words “a huge–it left me speechless” bonus. Conscientiousness, dedication, and loyalty are treasured, and often rare. Your star will shimmer as your commitment to the organization shines through.

Bide your time, and make yourself invaluable.

Then you too will Be A Star At Work and Get A Raise Fast



Life Insurance … not a fun topic but…

important for review on almost every financial plan

If you have never purchased life insurance or if it has been a while since you bought your policy, then you may be under-insured. Use these tips to help calculate your life insurance needs.

Plan ahead for life-changing events: Marriage, retirement, childbirth, starting a business or even buying a home can alter the amount of life insurance required to care for your family. Make a point of reviewing your life insurance needs at least once per year.

Define your goals: Depending upon your life stage, the purpose of life insurance may be to replace a lost income or supplement a retirement pension and health benefits. Whatever the main financial goal may be, include the actual annual amount needed plus benefits and intangibles such as health insurance, care-taking and help with household duties. Remember, it will be necessary to pay someone else to perform those same duties in the event of an untimely death.

Add Inflation: After you have derived an estimate of the total base benefit amount, include anticipated rates of inflation. Don’t use the average government inflation rate, especially for college or health care expenditures which tend to rise far above those of other goods.

Draw-Down Period: Ideally the “perfect” amount is one that allows your family to use a combination of interest on the funds plus principle until the amount is exhausted.

Taxes: Depending upon how the life insurance is purchased and held, some portions may be taxable.


Have a Great Week!



Picture this…

A recent story featured on CNBC.com Canvas and easel on Beach Horizontal(http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/08/happiness-in-retirement-is-about-more-than-account-balances.html)  stated, “Happiness in retirement is about more than account balances.” Sure, money is part of the equation. It reduces stress that can be brought on by inadequate finances.

But those whose identity is wrapped up in their work, especially for those who climbed the ladder especially well, retirement can be an uncertain transition. Many, delay retirement, opting to work well into their 70s or even 80s.

Of interest is that a 2013 British study cited in the same CNBC article showed that retirement may actually increase the risk of depression by 40%. Think about it–your routine has been interrupted, and the bonds you’ve formed with your co-workers will forever be changed.

All of this can have substantial implications for your health…but don’t overlook the psychological implications that may inevitably be a part of retirement.  So what is the answer…?

Be proactive

Retirement is much more than just finances.

  1. If possible, transition into retirement. Recall the scenario above. You’ve worked a full week, it’s Friday, but you’ll never go back to work. It sounds enticing, especially if your job is just that…a job.

However, a recent Transamerica study found that 61% of American workers hope to transition into retirement by shifting from full-time to part-time. Yet, only 25% said their employers offer such options.

A recent study  noted that 47% of retirees have either worked or plan to work in retirement, and 72% of pre-retirees say they want to work in retirement. Simply put, if you want to work or feel you need to supplement your retirement income, you aren’t alone.

If your firm offers a flexible schedule, seriously consider it. If not, could you contract on a project-by-project basis, consult, or find part-time employment elsewhere. It will not only keep you busy, it will keep your mind sharp and supplement your retirement income.

  1. Talk to your spouse or partner if you are in a relationship. This is critically important. What do  you want to get out of retirement? How can you get on the same page? How much time will you be spending together?

In the past, you’ve been apart during your weekdays. But that will change. Find ways to integrate each other into your daily lives through activities that you both enjoy. But you may also want to spend time with your own friends and family. Consider mixing things up. Variety really can be the spice of life.

  1. Set new goals. You are embarking on a new venture. But unlike decades of work, your new life won’t have the structure it had before. That can be disorienting for many, creating drift, depression, and possibly magnifying health issues.

Consider coming up with an outline or schedule of activities. Having a daily or weekly plan can help prevent loneliness.

Keeping active via part-time work is one option. Another–volunteer. What are your passions? Who or what cause would you like to assist? Your church or a familiar community organization can benefit from someone that has years of experience in the business world and decades of accumulated wisdom.

In addition, volunteer work helps expand your social network, a network that can quickly fray when you no longer have the comradery that your current job offers.

  1. Eat well, sleep soundly, and play often.

Happily retired people treat themselves like a good friend. They keep themselves well-fed, exercise at least three times a week, get proper rest, and maintain strong social connections.

Don’t isolate yourself. Stay active.

  1. Exercise. This is a subset of number four. Keeping busy enhances your mental capacity. If you can, incorporate some type of physical activity into your weekly regimen. If walking on a treadmill bores you, take short hikes or walks in the park. If it’s something you enjoy, you’re more likely to engage in that activity.
  1. Play with your grandchildren. If you have grandchildren, time with them is time well spent. That is something you intuitively know, but it’s also backed by research from the Institute on Aging at Boston College.

“The greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health,”

Finally, retirement isn’t a time to slow down. It’s a time to redirect your path and embrace new experiences. Take charge and don’t let circumstances dictate your future. It’s the key to a happy and fruitful retirement.


Facts About Taxes…

Celebrating April 15th!



The History of Retirement

Marginal Tax … What Does That Really Mean?

Preserving Wealth…A Quick Overview

The Half Million Dollar Baby…

Life Insurance Trust