Invest in yourself - Personal Finance 101

The topic of personal finance and savings always to put more importance on something other than your primary source of income – your job. We are here to change this train of thought and have you think strongly towards making a financial change within the context of your 9-5 and some self improvement in the workplace.

Briefly described throughout the rest of this list will be:

  • Ways to set yourself up for a promotion and in turn become a better you.

Your job can, and should be a lot more important than simply your means to an income. Self-satisfaction, motivation and self-worth all come to mind when thinking of other aspects that should be considered during your day to day mindset. To help increase these for you personally, getting better at what you do, and thus setting yourself up for a promotion, is a great idea! Now of course, many of us might be saying “Yea, of course I want to get better at what I do” and not consider it something you can change when the opposite is true. You can always get better at what you do!

Set yourself up for a promotion by being a better you

It is very easy to become complacent, especially if you are at the same job and position for some time. If you seriously desire to be promoted you must be willing to go the extra mile, past clocking your hours, to be noticed and become a better you. Beyond this, it might even take a sit-down conversation with your boss, initialized by you, to get the point across that you want to take on more responsibility. Just because it is not outwardly brought up to you, does not mean that the opportunity does not exist. Taking the first step and telling your boss up front that you are ready will also show motivation and willingness to handle a situation properly. One really easy way to do this is to spend your nights and weekends getting improving your skill set. Take Excel courses (we have some) or PowerPoint courses. Learn to program. There are so many things you can do instead of watch TV at night that will help you get better at your job.

Consider making your boss’ task easier, or most optimally, obsolete. While this may seem backwards at first, creating an environment of innovation and improvements not only in your work, but your boss’ as well will bring you much closer to a promotion than you might expect. “You’re not really putting your manager out of a job—you’re allowing him or her to trust your work. In turn, he or she can focus on new areas that the higher-ups have needed to address for some time. Strong work goes up the chain, improves the company, and gets you noticed.” – Ankur Gopal

Become Visual:

Being able to answer your boss or colleagues in a visual style is imperative. Long form written explanations or long winded answers just will not cut it. Humans respond to visual stimulation in very specific ways and if properly managed, this technique can seriously improve your efficiency with tasks and conveying the messages you need to will become much easier. For example, our brains want to make everything as brutally simple as possible. We want what is easiest – Always have and always will. Because of this, new information, unless it is very easily understood is often times the most difficult to comprehend and definitely most difficult to get someone to remember. Keeping information visually based will help ensure that what you are saying is sticking.

Think about it this way, BrainyMoney is popular because we have both written blog posts and fun, well edited videos. Our courses are fun and engaging. Blog posts work (you’re reading this one) but what works even better are video courses. You will likely not be making videos for your job but you need to get better at PowerPoint and other presentation materials. You may think you’re good but you can always get better. Take a course on learning PowerPoint or Powtoon.

Stay positive, own your mistakes, see things through start to finish.

While this may technically be three bits of advice in one, following these three rules of thumb will always help, almost no matter what. Becoming better at your job often requires a good amount of being the better person.

If you are leading a project, the other members of your team will always reflect to you how they perceive your current situation. If you enter a room to start a meeting with a frown, walking with your head down and slowly take a seat before speaking softly and slowly, your team will most likely assume that you are not too excited about the next half hour. This will come through in the form of weaker performance and dissatisfaction towards you about the work at hand.

Similarly, if a meeting is started with a big smile, courage in your voice and a confident poise in your seat, co-workers will naturally give this right back to you, without even realizing it! I’m sure that you have experienced this already, maybe without even noticing. There is always that one person who brings you down, just like there is always that one person who lifts you up. The way that others act around you is by far the largest source of impact towards your own emotions and actions. Think about it. Attending the World Series, Yankees vs. Red Sox and the crowd around you is cheering their hearts out. Even if you don’t care one bit about the game or teams playing, you’re way more energized and excited than in your average meeting! Now think about if you lead your next team meeting with that level of energy? Some will question your sanity but most will smile and be just a little bit more excited about the tasks at hand. Try it yourself next time.

Past keeping it positive, owning up to your own misguidance or mistakes will show your colleagues and boss that you truly care. Making excuses is the quickest way to lose someone’s trust and is a grave mistake when assuming a leadership role on your team. Listening to your coworkers is a great way to avoid making most mistakes in the first place. And by that you should really, really listen and use what you hear to your own advantage.

Just as important as not making excuses is that something worth starting is most likely something worth finishing. Being able to prove your skills and worth to your boss through past experiences is the most beneficial kind of proof. “Organizations place a premium on individuals who follow through on tasks. If you can prove that you can consistently own projects from start to finish, you will not only get promoted, but you’ll also make yourself indispensable.” – Kyle Wong

Becoming better at your job and a better you can be as simple as beginning to smile more and get as complex as an entirely new role. At the end of the day, it is all to easily forgotten that everyone is still just a person. You were hired, or are succeeding at what you do, not only because of your technical skills but also (potentially largely) because of your personal skills, as a human being. People like to know you truly care and are passionate about your situation, regardless of how true that is. Follow these quick tips and we are sure that you will enjoy a better work day, reach your goals quicker, achieve a promotion sooner and, most generally, become better at your work.

 

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