October is the start of the 4th fiscal quarter in most companies which means cutting corporate spending, hiring freeze, and driving as much revenue as the sales leaders for your business can pull off. What about working moms and the 4th quarter of the business?! Read on!
The fourth quarter means that the leaders in your business make decisions on your income, your bonus, and potentially your title/promotion for next year.
Most likely, they will not be having the conversation with you until the month of January. That said, trust me, they are deciding this very quarter, whether or not you will have a raise and how much, your bonus amount, and your bonus target for next year.
Knowing this can cause you anxiety, I understand. However, knowledge is power. Whatever strategies you conducted in the last three quarters, you have to bring out your absolute best this quarter. Here are some tips for you to get the raise and the promotion that you deserve and more.
1. Finish the job!
Nothing is more remembered than a symbolic close that coincides with the year-end. So, step on the gas pedal and drive hard.
Close the sale, finish the project, launch the marketing campaign, whatever the big bang event is in your job, bring it on.
I get that you are tired, holidays are around the corner and you will have visitors for Thanksgiving. Be it as it may, step hard on the gas pedal and finish the job. You will know why I say this as you read on.
2. Toot your own horn in public
Yep! It is possible to self-advocate powerfully and tastefully. If you have a team, be sure to showcase their work and advocate for them. This will make them look good, and it will make you look great.
Did you close a big sale? Be sure to make that known! You don’t have to shout: “Look at me, I did this.”; that would be untasteful. Rather, send an email to your boss and his/her peers and share the good news, and thank them for their support.
When you do something amazing as shared in the first point, make it known to your peers and your management team with humility and gratitude.
3. Toot your own horn in private
Set up a meeting with your boss and talk to him/her about what you have done and where you intend to go. Be unapologetic about wanting to grow and advance.
Do you want expanded responsibilities, an elevated title, or even a lateral move? Ask for it and be as direct and specific as possible. Try this: “I want to be the senior director of IT next year.”, “I would like to step into people management in 2022”, “I am looking for an expanded role in 2022.”
Whatever your goal is, be sure to let your boss know about it as black and white as you can. Do this not just once but at least once per month in this quarter. Your boss has to remember you, what you have done and where you want to go.
4. Set up time with your boss to talk about your compensation
You need to do research on this and be armed with facts. A simple Google search will show you what the average salary is for your title in your city and state. You are either above it or below it or at it.
If you are below the average pay for your domain in your geographic area, have an objective and factual conversation with your boss about how that gap is going to be filled. Your boss may or may not have full control over your salary but I guarantee that he has a lot of influence and just by seeing that you are armed with facts, he/she will make sure that your salary moves in the right direction.
Okay, now let’s say you are above the industry average, good for you! Tell your boss that you want expanded responsibilities and hopefully, if you work for an ethical company, your compensation will follow your broadened scope.
5. Be on your best behavior and make your boss look amazing
I remember how exhausting it was when employees, managers, directors would come to me with a list of complaints and grievances. It was not only a drain on my emotions, but it also took time away from my schedule; the very time that I needed to be in meetings advocating for my teams and our direction
So hear me out, you have differences with someone, your team doesn’t like you, your peers are stabbing you in your back?
Try and I mean, really really try, to either resolve it on your own or defer it to 2022 to raise it to your boss’ attention. Your job in this quarter is to lift as much weight off of your boss’ shoulders as you possibly can. Do that and you will be rewarded for it.
6. Mind the optics: too much holiday cheer can wreck your raise
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas are all amazing, family-time-intensive occasions. Have your family fun AND kick a$$ at work too. It is possible.
You have to let some things go both at home and at work and those better be the inconsequential stuff to your family AND to your work. Don’t skip a meeting because you are cleaning your kitchen, don’t be late on your project delivery because you didn’t get a babysitter to watch your kids for a couple of hours.
Outsource as much of the inconsequential household chores as you can; that is why Call Emmy was founded. We help you with your chores and your babysitting so you can get that big promotion and go on your amazing family vacation. Additionally, at work, be selective about anything “extra” that you take on, such as holiday cheer stuff.
Honestly, I have never been a fan of volunteering for the holiday party or the kids’ Halloween parade. Those are the activities that will not, I repeat, will not move the needle for you or your family. You will have fun doing it (maybe) and you will enjoy an hour or two of fun with coworkers and bosses.
The results? You find yourself at a loss because the time you thought you had to put an amazing presentation together AND go to your kiddo’s school performance disappeared. Not only that, you will be viewed as an easy go-to person when the organization needs volunteers for a feel-good project. Those projects are great when you have lined up your raise, your promotion and you are spending quality time with your family but not until then.
7. Learn to say no to some projects
All that said, there will be times that you will have to say no to the project, the trip, or the newly crafted assignment. When that happens, say no unapologetically. We all try our darndest to be great and do great things.
Then this thing, called life, happens; your kiddo gets sick, your brother gets in trouble, your husband gets stuck in China for 3 more weeks. And that is the time when you make the right choice for you and your family, period. Be strong and determined, make your decision, and communicate with pride and no apologies.
Closing thoughts on working moms and the fourth quarter of the business
I hope you have found these seven tips helpful. You will find it difficult to do them, I realize that. It will feel wrong, risky, and uncomfortable to look your boss in the eyes and tell him/her that you are underpaid according to your research.
You might feel anxious and shaky when you refrain from raising your hand when they ask for volunteers for the holiday party. We have all been there; I promise you. Keep at it. Stay focused, stay strong, and it will get easier.
Before you know it, you will be sitting in front of your computer at 10 PM writing a blog on this topic while your kiddo is waiting for you to go tuck him in.
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