Want a Raise?

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Sometimes recruiting is a bummer.

Unfortunately, I field several calls from people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves without a job.

Mergers, budget cuts, strategic shifts in direction, etc. Let’s not sugar-coat it: that sucks.

Some people really struggle to get back on their feet. Others seem to quickly get plugged into a new opportunity and away they go. Certainly luck plays into it. But also, I’ve noticed it has to do with the amount of career equity built.

You’ve probably heard the term “equity” in reference to a home or investments related to the amount of ownership you have. Along the same lines, there are ways you can build equity in your career. Except in your career you are building ownership over your own destiny.

In a recent presentation, I spoke about “how to build career equity” by using the acronym R.A.I.S.E. Cheesy? Yes. But it doesn’t make it any less true.

Stick with me….

R – Relationships. How well are you building relationships in your industry? Coworkers, customers, vendors, mentors, even competitors. Do you have more and deeper relationships than you did a year ago? If yes, you are building career equity.

A – Attitude. What mindset do you bring to your work every day? Are you drug down by negative people or circumstances? How is your attitude vs where it was a year ago? If you are constantly improving your attitude/mindset, then you are building career equity.

I – Integrity. DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO (ethically, of course). Even when nobody will call you on it, that is what integrity is all about. It’s a universal rule in business. Every little subtle commitment you make should be followed through. If you are following through on every expectation, you are building career equity.

S – Skills. There are more opportunities than ever to improve your skill set. Take an online course, hire a coach, join a professional organization or just a Facebook group. go to a Meetup, etc. The options are endless. Can you confidently say you are more skilled than one year ago? If so, you are building career equity.

E – Effectiveness. How effective are you at getting results? For better or worse, at some level, business is all about getting results. Are you getting better results in key areas of your work than you were a year ago? If so, you are building career equity.

Will this advice guarantee you a raise? Of course not. But it does build value, and the more valuable you are, the more likely it is that someone is going to recognize and reward that value. That could be your current employer, or it could be your next employer. Either way, there is no reason not to start building more career equity NOW!

Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.