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By Ruth Tearle


Why is it that some people get promotions and pay raises with ease, whilst others wait in vain for someone to recognize them?

We often feel that it is unfair when other people get promoted past us, or others get salary increases just by asking for them. But when we summon the courage to ask for a promotion, we are told that we are "Not strategic enough" or "Not yet ready." We wonder what we have to do to be ready enough, or strategic enough. But more importantly, what is it that those who get promoted know, that we don't?

A CEO once told me the simple answer:

“To earn more, be worth more…"



This article shows you 10 practical ways of becoming ' worth more.'

1. Understand your company’s strategy and factors that could affect it


  • Understand your company’s strategy and why that strategy was chosen:
    • Who are your company’s key markets?
    • How does your company add value to its customers?
    • Who are your competitors?
    • What is your company able to offer its customers that your competitors can’t.?
  • Understand factors in the external environment that could affect your company’s strategy: e.g.

2. Business is a game. Understand the players and the games they play.

In meetings, understand the players in the game.

  • What is their ‘hot button?” (What motivates them? – achievement, power, position, attention?)
  • What are each player’s intentions?
  • What are their favorite games? e.g.
    • Putting down others. Saying ‘you’re not strategic enough.’ or ‘you’re not operational enough’.
    • Using buzzwords to confuse. E.g. ‘engagement, ‘EVA’, ‘balanced score card’, ‘scenarios’ rather than deciding what to do.
    • Talking at length without saying anything useful.
    • Focus on knowing rather than doing. Comments like ‘have you read so and so’s book…’ with the nuance if you haven’t you don't have enough authority to comment.

3. Be aware of your own intentions.

Be aware of why you behave the way you do, in different situations.

  • What are you trying to achieve – in this meeting? For this project?
  • How do you tend to react when you feel inspired, threatened or frustrated?
  • What is your hot button? What motivates you? What is non negotiable for you? (e.g. honesty, achieving a goal, wasting time, posturing…)

career4. Create your own future

  • Learn to dream.
  • Create goals to achieve your dreams.
  • Create actions to achieve your goals.

5. Share your dreams with others.

  • Tell people who could help you, about your dreams. Share your dreams with centres of influence both inside and outside the company.
  • Ask for help. Ask for opportunities to volunteer for projects that will help you learn the skills needed to achieve your dreams.

6. Seek ways to add value

Constantly ask yourself. “How can I add value to:

  • My company?
  • The customers of my company?
  • My own customers such as people who use your services within your own company?
  • Myself – how can I develop skills or contacts that will help me to achieve my long term dreams?

7. Reinvent yourself – constantly.

  • Reinvent yourself constantly. Ask yourself every week.
    • What is working for me?
    • What isn’t working for me?
    • What has changed in the world outside the company, as well as inside the organization?
    • What are the new rules for being successful?
    • What should I be doing with my precious time and energy?

8. Be true to yourself.

  • Know yourself.
    • What are your values?
    • What are your beliefs?
    • What makes you happy?
    • What makes you frustrated?
  • Seek situations where you are comfortable being yourself. That will allow you to be authentic.
  • Stand up for yourself when you find you are being asked to act against your values and beliefs. That is the definition of integrity.
  • Remember that short-term meteorites burn out. People without honesty and integrity eventually get caught out. Those who are true to themselves are successful in the long term.

9. Take charge of your own life.

  • Don’t abdicate your life.
  • Don’t give power of your future to a boss, a corporate, a mentor, a psychologist or anyone else.
  • Never give your self esteem to others to trample on. Never judge your efforts only through the feedback of others. Be aware they may have their own intentions for giving the feedback they do, and its not always about helping you.
  • Be aware of your strengths, and your achievements. Keep writing about your hopes and your dreams.

10. Know that at any time in your life, you always have choice

  • At any time, you can choose to change your situation.
  • At any time, you can choose to reinvent yourself.
  • At any time, you can choose to take the actions you need to make, to ensure your future success and happiness.
  • You are never trapped, if you can give up the trappings.

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