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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. She gained functional experience in a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 20 years. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires more thought than 20 years ago. Unexpected changes in life force us to consider the future. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

You Have to OWN Your Career!




You brush your own teeth, try to make healthy food choices and take vitamins. Take responsibility for your career in the way you manage your health. I can’t take enough spoons full of liquid fish oil to help you realize the benefits of Omega 3s. Expecting someone else to manage your career for you is like asking your spouse to get a knee replacement to alleviate your knee pain.

Two interesting things happened this week. I took a couple of days of PTO to reconnect with friends and was totally inspired by two career stories.

The first is about a friend who put together a business case to ask for a raise. That in itself is career management and owning your career. How many people think they deserve to be paid more? Most. How many people can put together a business case that shows that above and beyond performing their job in an excellent way—they presented a plan to save their organization a lot of money and have helped another department meet their goals?  Very few. My friend called her meeting with her boss an “Epic Fail.” She wanted a merit increase or a substantial bonus. Instead she received a one-time (4-figure) bonus after meeting with her manager.

I don’t consider this an Epic Fail at all. My friend doesn’t realize her conversation was probably a genius move. First you have to understand how organizations work (sadly, this does not apply to family-owned businesses). No matter how much power, clout or bravado your manager has-their hands are generally tied in matters of compensation. The HR professionals that read this blog will confirm that “Comp” is 80% science and 20% art. Compensation is benchmarked with similar roles in the market, industry and region. There are minimums and maximums your salary must land in or you find yourself in the unenviable position of being paid more than your range. If you receive a flat one-time payment when everyone else receives a 1-5% merit increase—you’ve maxxed out of the range. The only way to stop that madness is to be promoted to a “Senior” title in your current role or increase a step like moving from a Scientist II to a Scientist III or make a lateral move that puts you in a different classification. If your organization does business with the federal government, paying employees random salaries can land them in BIG TROUBLE with an acronym that strikes fear in the hearts of HR professionals across America—the OFCCP.

Why is it Genius Move? Her boss now knows more about what his employee does which could help at merit time. If she can do her job, identify organizational saving strategies and help another department while performing her job highly—maybe it is time to leverage her skills in the next level job. No matter what happens internally, it is time to update her LinkedIn profile incorporating these new accomplishments. Her options are to stay put if she’s happy and look around if she’s not—she’s given herself options. That is career management at it’s finest in my opinion. (Read About the Second Story in Part 2).

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