You work too much for too little pay. It’s time to ask for a raise. But you have to do it right.

The best way to support Adulting.tv is to subscribe and leave us an honest review. Thank you!

You work hard. You provide value to the company. But you’re still being paid like a noob. How do you ask for a raise?

Because it’s not going to just show up for most of us. Most of us have to ask for more money. It’s never fun, but it needs to be done.

If you want more from work — whether it’s a raise or a promotion — you need to prove your value and then take your evidence to the boss. In this episode, we’ll talk about how you can do that.

Concepts

  • How to recognize that you actually deserve a raise or promotion.
  • Tips for figuring out how to quantify your contributions.
  • Reasons it’s time to ask for a raise.
  • When to approach your boss about a raise.
  • What you need to know about the process of asking for a raise or promotion.
  • How to make a presentation to your boss.
  • Suggestions for what to include in your presentation.
  • How to focus on your value to the company.
  • Tips for compromising on the amount of the raise.

Our “do nows” this week are all about reflecting on the reality of your situation and paying attention to the value you offer. We also take a look at how you can assess when the best time to ask for a raise is.

A listener also has a question about how much work has been piled on. We talk about what you can do if your boss isn’t willing to acknowledge your work, even though it’s the right thing to do.

Become a Friend of Adulting

To get Adulting delivered directly to your device, subscribe using iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your app of choice.

Join the Friends of Adulting! Please leave an honest review on iTunes. We would really appreciate the feedback!

Resources

When to approach your boss to ask for raise
Are you ready for a raise?

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

A better job that makes more money won’t solve your problems. Until you change your mindset, you’ll neve actually be happy.

No.

As my editor won’t publish one-word articles, please allow me to elaborate.

In our teens, we’re learning the board game of life. In our twenties, we’re going to rule Boardwalk and Park Place. By our thirties, we’re feverishly jumping over chutes and trying to climb ladders. By our forties, we’re only trying to cling to our last remaining territory wondering if the other players are on a secret mission.

It’s tempting to want to be king of the hill. You make all the decisions. You have no one to be responsible to but you. You make all the money. You come and go as you please.

Is that really what it’s like at the top of that ladder or just how it looks when you’re standing at the bottom?

Being the boss isn’t always the best.

Comparisons of being the boss and not being the boss are not like Sophia Tucker’s quote of comparing being rich and being poor: “I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.”

To be sure, shit runs downstream, but it’s also lonely (read stressful) at the top.

Once upon a time, I was a tiny cog in a wheel. I put in my 9-to-5, clocked out, and then my day and thoughts were mine. When I became a slightly bigger cog in that wheel 9-to-5 became 7-to-7. Monday through Friday became “and some weekends.” I had more responsibility, more to lose, and more ways to lose.

In an interview for his book, “The Secrets of CEOs,” Steve Tappin said, “The major emotions a CEO has are frustration, disappointment, irritation and overwhelm. There should be a health warning. If you have those emotions for 80 percent of the day, they lead to stress and cortisol in the body, which leads to accelerated aging, heart attacks, and cancer.”

We all know how I feel about cortisol.

When I was a kid, my father was promoted to vice president of sales for a steel company back when vice president wasn’t just a title and selling steel made a living.

He quickly gained weight, was gone a lot, and wasn’t happy. It wasn’t too many years afterward that he quit his job, moved us out of the big city back to his small hometown, and took a role that had a less glamorous title, much less stress, and much more happiness.

“Rich” people are often broke.

It’s a fallacy that more money will alleviate all your personal and financial concerns. For most people, not having enough money isn’t the problem. It’s not spending wisely the money they have that’s the problem.

“Unless you change how you are, you’ll never have more than you’ve got,” said Jim Rohn. People who don’t change themselves often return to their current state no matter what life gives them. This is why 70% of lottery winners go broke after winning their winnings. They had a losing money mindset, and their winnings didn’t change that.

No raise, promotion, or windfall of money will fix your financial problems until you change your money mindset and keep more money than you spend. Just as more money won’t necessarily fix your financial problems, it won’t help with your other problems in life.

Bob Proctor often says that thinking money will make you happy is as misguided as thinking a refrigerator will drive you around town. To think a refrigerator can assume the characteristics of a car is preposterous and so is thinking money will help you acquire happiness.

Climbing the corporate ladder and making more money won’t solve anything unless you know what to do with it.

Happiness isn’t a goal.

If you live in the United States, you’re wealthy compared to the rest of the world. You’re already winning.

If you aren’t happy with what you have today sitting in a cubicle, don’t expect to be happy with what you have tomorrow sitting in the corner office or even The Oval Office. Climbing the corporate ladder can’t make you happy.

Happiness isn’t a goal. We should strive to make happiness a constant state and not a constant goal. The search for perpetual happiness despite our conditions is why my husband and I have adopted a new exercise.

Every time we have a negative thought about any and everything, we must tell or text the other two things we’re happy about to counterbalance that one negative thought.

This is the “yellow car effect.” The yellow car effect happens when you realize how many yellow cars are out there when you start looking for yellow cars. Until then, they seem nearly non-existent.

When you start looking for more happiness in your life, you notice more happiness. When you see more happiness, you receive more happiness in all its shapes and sizes.

There isn’t a template for happiness.

Another fallacy in today’s thinking is that one size fits all. Some people want the house with the white picket fence, 2.2 kids, and a dog. To others, that sounds like a fresh hell.

Some people want the security of a 9-to-5 job, two weeks, vacation, and healthcare. To others, that’s a prison.

There’s nothing wrong with any version of happiness.

Joshua Field Millburn of The Minimalist said, “There is no template for happiness.” It may seem like the CEO has the glamorous life, rich people on television may seem more impressive than you, celebrities may look like they have it all, but everyone’s living their lives like they manage their Facebook feeds.

I had a director of a financial services firm, someone I thought “had it all,” once tell me that no promotion or title ever alleviated the constant concern that he was expendable and that there were dozens of people just waiting to fill his roles. He was climbing the corporate ladder and was miserable.

Without an innate ability to be happy, such stress will make an unhappy person even more unhappy.

So, no, climbing the corporate ladder is not the answer to all your financial and life problems. You are.

You are.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Loving your work isn’t reason enough to stick with a job. Sometimes you need to move on.

Do you love your job?

There are plenty of jobs that are rewarding. There’s no shame in your W-2 game.

But what if it’s time to move on, even if you love your job?

There are times when your awesome job just isn’t cutting it anymore. Sometimes you just need to move forward, no matter how much you enjoy what you’re doing.

You’re not learning and growing.

When you first started this job you love, it probably came with challenges.

Now, you know the ropes. You might be running on automatic.

While you can always learn from others, you might reach the point where your job no longer provides you regular opportunities to learn and grow.

Life isn’t just about working. Because our work is so often part of our identities, it makes sense that it should also help us progress. If you love your job, but you aren’t moving forward with it anymore, it might be time to start looking for a new challenge.

If you hope to stretch and grow, you can’t stick with the thing you’re comfortable with. So, no matter how much you like it, you might have outgrown it.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It just means it’s time to move on to the next thing.

You think you can make a big impact elsewhere.

Now that you’ve made a difference in your current job, it’s time to move on to another place where you can make a difference.

Many of us like to feel like our work is meaningful. We want purpose in our work.

You might love your job because it does offer a sense of purpose. But how much more meaning can you add in your current position? Have you made your impact, done good work, and feel good about the situation?

But maybe you think you can offer your skills elsewhere.

If you feel like you can make a difference in a new career or position, it’s time to move on.

There’s nothing wrong with moving from position to position, working to make an impact wherever you go. Once you feel like you’ve given all you can to one job, it might be time to go elsewhere and offer your talents and abilities to a new position.

You want to feel more empowered.

Maybe you love your job, but you feel like you can’t really make suggestions or use your skills to their full ability.

There are plenty of jobs where you can do meaningful work and use some of your skills. You can feel satisfied in these jobs and love what you do, for the most part.

But are you empowered to bring a unique spin to the position? Do you feel like you can use your full range of skills? The reality of the situation is that sometimes, even in good jobs, management isn’t interested in letting you bring your ideas to the table.

If you aren’t comfortable approaching your boss with new ideas, or if you don’t feel like you can take your skills to their full potential, you might need to move on.

Look for a company culture that encourages workers to share their skills and ideas. Look for a company that offers you the chance to take ownership of new projects and initiatives.

Finally, consider looking for a company that welcomes mistakes. Sometimes your ideas won’t pan out. But you need to feel comfortable making mistakes on occasion. We all have mis-hits, and feeling free to explore the possibilities is important.

Leave your job behind — even if you like it — once you realize you don’t feel empowered to try new things and potentially fail.

Better balance in your life.

Maybe you love your job, but it’s taking over your life.

That’s not a huge deal if you don’t have family or friends to clutter up the place. It also doesn’t matter if you have no interests outside your work.

But most of us have family and friends and other interests.

No matter how much you like your job, if it’s causing you to lose sight of everything else that makes life worthwhile, it might be time to find something else.

Look for a way to have better balance in your life. Look for a job that allows you to make a difference, while still incorporating other aspects of your life. You’ll feel much better about the situation, and still have work you love to do.

You’re ready for a new location.

Sometimes it’s not about your job. Sometimes it’s about where you live.

Even though I’m not totally psyched about living in my hometown, I do like that I feel like I can make a difference in local politics. At some point, though, I might feel like I’ve run my course in my current location.

I’ll want to move.

Maybe you are starting to feel the same. Maybe you need a change of pace. Maybe you want to move to a town that fits your style better. Perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge. Or maybe you think moving will mean a lower cost of living. And, of course, you might have a partner with an amazing new opportunity. Sometimes you move for someone else.

Whatever the reason, if you are ready to move to a new location, it doesn’t matter if you love your job. You might need to leave it behind in search of a new living situation.

You need more money.

It’s a hard truth: you need money to survive.

Even if you’re living simply, the job you love might not offer enough for you to live on.

You can work on a side hustle to make up the difference. If you really love your job and don’t want to quit just to make more money, a side gig can help.

However, in some cases, you might need to move on and find a better-paying job. Take the skills and experience you’ve acquired and look for a job that pays you enough to live on.

It’s possible to find good work that pays enough, even if you don’t love it quite as much.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

You don’t want your work performance to suffer because of SAD. If you experience a seasonal problem, take steps to reduce the impact.

It’s been pretty dreary around here lately.

It’s been cold and cloudy. We went a whole week without seeing the sun.

Maybe you’re in the same boat. Maybe you feel stressed, anxious, and down for no reason that you can put your finger on. Or perhaps you think it might be because of gloomy weather and the fact that it’s so dark for so much of the day still.

Those feelings you feel are real. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Yep. It’s a Thing. And it could be dragging you down at work and in other areas of your life.

Here’s what you need to know with SAD affecting your work:

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that comes out as the seasons change. It can result in feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression during fall and winter.

The days are shorter, and the weather often means that the sun is hidden behind clouds.

You might feel better when spring pushes the winter away and you start seeing the sun again.

However, just because you know this seasonal depression will go away, it doesn’t mean you should just try to power through all winter.

SAD affecting your work can have consequences that go beyond just the weather and the time of year. You want to address the issue in a way that makes sense so that you maintain your job performance (and your job).

Plus there’s no reason to feel crummy four to six months of the year just because seasons.

SAD affecting your work.

Do you feel like SAD is dragging you down at work? You’re not alone.

According to Purdue, SAD costs the United States about $44 billion a year in lost productivity, sick days, and other illnesses.

Some of the ways SAD could be impacting the way you do your work include:

  • Difficulty concentrating on the task at hand.
  • Drop in your energy level.
  • Feelings of fatigue.
  • Irritability (including with your coworkers).
  • Hard time motivating yourself to do your work.

This goes beyond a need to just suck it up and do the thing.

SAD can really cause problems for your productivity, and keep you from accomplishing everything you’d like to do.

Plus, when your work performance suffers and you start missing deadlines, that could mean a real problem at work.

While it would be nice if all employers were understanding and willing to help mitigate the impacts of SAD in the workplace, the fact is many of them are just going to look at your performance.

If your work performance is dropping off, if you’re missing deadlines and making a lot of unacceptable mistakes, that could be grounds for firing.

When you find SAD affecting your work, it’s time to get help.

On your own: attempts to ward off SAD yourself.

If you’re like me, you don’t want to get professional help until you’ve tried to take care of the issue on your own.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to boost your mood and chase the SAD blues away. According to WebMD, some of the things you can try on your own include:

  • Regular exercise. Regular exercise is a mood-booster. You can help your energy level, help your brain, and fight against SAD with regular exercise. Bonus points if you can do at least some of your exercise outside (take a brisk walk) or near a window so you get that natural light.
  • Open a window. I find myself less inclined to open windows during the winter. I’ve been fighting that, and it helps my mood. Even if the day is cloudy, that extra natural light can help.
  • Melatonin. WebMD points out that some people find results from melatonin, which can help you regulate your biological clock. You do need to be careful, though, since this (and other complementary methods) can interact with current medications and have other issues.
  • Pay attention to your diet. When you’re feeling SAD, it’s common to crave junk food and eat foods that aren’t the best for you. If possible, eat healthy. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help your body function better.
  • Take time for yourself. Don’t forget to relax. Take time for yourself. Meditate. You might be surprised at how good sleep, time for relaxation, and enforced meditation can help your mood.

Sometimes, though, the SAD is too strong to keep away yourself. You might actually need to seek professional help.

Common treatments for SAD.

With SAD affecting your work, it’s vital that you get professional help if attempts to fight the feeling on your own are failing.

There’s nothing wrong with getting help.

Light therapy.

One of the most common treatments for SAD is light therapy. With light therapy, you use a special bulb to provide you with more light in your day. The idea is to provide you with more exposure to light, either in the morning or in the evening (or both).

Many people with SAD improve with the help of light therapy and little else is needed beyond that.

Counseling.

Another way to get help with SAD is to get counseling. In general, I support the idea that everyone should get therapy at some point. It can be really helpful.

Counseling can help you by giving you someone to talk to. Additionally, a therapist that is well-versed in SAD and how to use cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat patients can be especially helpful.

Medication.

Finally, many people need to resort to medication to help them with SAD. For many of us, medication is an absolute last resort. However, if you need it, there’s no shame in getting a little pharmacological help.

As long as you use your antidepressants as prescribed and you remain in contact with your health care professional about your progress, it can be one way to beat SAD, especially when used in conjunction with other treatments.

Get your work back on track.

Once you understand the problem and how it impacts you, you can get your work back on track. You can keep SAD from being a detriment to your work.

It’s still a struggle some of the time, and you might fight to stay focused and motivated at work, but with the right help, it should be possible.

Do you get SAD? How does it affect your work and other areas of your life? Share your story with us in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Boom. You’re the boss. Good job. Now that you’re done celebrating, it’s time to make sure you’re a manager that people actually like and respect.

The best way to support Adulting.tv is to subscribe and leave us an honest review. Thank you!

Congrats! You’ve got a promotion. Now you’re the boss!

It’s exciting to know that your hard work has been noticed and that you are being rewarded with new responsibilities.

The hard part, though, happens when you have to manage your peers.

Now you need to be in charge and hold your co-workers responsible. It’s not always easy. Plus, on top of all that, you’re in a place where you’ve got a learning curve. Managing is a different animal altogether, even without the added stress that comes when you manage your peers.

Here’s what you need to know about being a boss for the first time.

Concepts

  • Reasons that so many of us suck as first time managers.
  • It’s harder to be “one of the guys” when you manage your peers.
  • Why it’s easier to be a boss when you’re in a new place, where you don’t know as many people.
  • How scary it can be. You don’t want to make mistakes.
  • Is overconfidence a problem?
  • Maybe underconfidence is an issue?
  • Tips to help you better manage your peers.
  • An overview of leadership qualities that can help you move to the next level.
  • How to build trust with others.
  • Information on good listening techniques.

This week’s “do nows” focus on figuring out what made your worst managers so bad. Look at what you hated, and reflect on your own shortcomings. Try to avoid being what you hate.

We also have a great listener question about what to do if you don’t feel like you’re ready to be a boss and manage your peers.

Become a Friend of Adulting

To get Adulting delivered directly to your device, subscribe using iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your app of choice.

Join the Friends of Adulting! Please leave an honest review on iTunes. We would really appreciate the feedback!

Resources

Better manage your peers
Why first time managers fail

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Do you want to work abroad and live your life from anywhere in the world? Sarah Li Cain shows how you can live this flexible lifestyle.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

On today’s episode of Adulting.tv LIVE!, Harlan and Miranda are joined by Sarah Li Cain from High Fiving Dollars. Today we’ll discuss what it takes to travel beyond your home, see the world, and enjoy living and working outside of the United States.

Sarah Li Cain is a financial storyteller who weaves practical tips and strategies into her work so that those trying to change their money mindset can see themselves in the starring role. You can find her over at High Fiving Dollars where she answers readers questions or spilling her guts out on her latest money experiment.

Watch the video above or listed to just the audio by using the player below.

Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Hate your job? You’re not stuck there forever. Here’s how to find a career you love.

I’ve always thought of society’s expected career path as a cruel joke.

At 18, we’re supposed to choose an industry to pursue for the rest of our lives. At this point, we begin racking up student loans that leave us financially crippled for the duration of our 20s.

I would barely trust my 18-year-old self to scramble an egg or drive me to the airport.

That’s the nature of our higher education system.

But it doesn’t have to be a prison sentence. Changing careers is never easy, but always worth it if you’re pursuing a happier and more fulfilling life.

Did you choose a career early on that just isn’t meshing with who you are today? Perhaps you want to make the best possible choice the first time around.

The good news is you can find a career you love, no matter where you’re at today. Here’s how:

Make a list of what you like.

First things first – Make a list of subjects you’re interested in. My list looks like this:

  • Personal finance
  • Arts and crafts markets
  • Dogs
  • Baking
  • Teaching

I’ve always enjoyed those things. Once, during a moment of panic, I considered working as an artisan and selling my wares at a market. That lasted a few weeks until I realized: a) I didn’t want to wake up early and set up my goods while other people were still sleeping, and b) I just wasn’t very good at it.

I also thought about becoming a teacher. But going back to school and getting another degree didn’t appeal to my lazy nature. Are you sensing a theme here?

I like writing and teaching people about money. I also like doing it while wearing yoga pants. That’s why I’m a freelance writer.

Your own list might look completely different from mine – and completely different from your current career. If you don’t like what you’re doing right now, make a list and start putting more time into the things on it.

You probably shouldn’t quit your job right away. Start doing those things you’re passionate about on nights and weekends. See what you like and what you hate. See what makes you feel good and what bores you.

Keep doing it for a while. Meet people in the field and find a way to do it full-time. You can even keep your passion project as a part-time gig – one that keeps you motivated to get through the slog of your day job.

Sometimes a career you love is more about finding joy on the side than making it full-time.

Make a list of what you don’t like.

A friend of mine was an incredible journalist and one of the best writers I know. She was also an avid runner who competed on the track team in college. But when she got the opportunity to write for a runner’s magazine, she turned it down.

She told me later, “It should’ve been my dream job.”

The job was located in a small town in Pennsylvania. Living in the middle of nowhere, far from her friends and family, wasn’t something she wanted. Instead, she found a gig working for the NCAA magazine, where she gets to tell stories of athletes she’s passionate about.

Sometimes that dream job isn’t so dreamy once you look closely.

I don’t want to burst anyone’s “Lean In” bubble, but no one, women included, can have it all. You can’t have the corner office, a group of friends you see regularly and a thriving personal life. Sometimes, you have to choose.

That career you love is all about knowing the reality of what you might have to give up. You need to decide if it’s worth what you gain in return.

Make a list of deal-breakers, or anything that would make you seriously reconsider changing jobs or careers.

Is a long commute out of the question? Do you highly value privacy in the workplace? Maybe you’re more of a social butterfly who needs a thriving office environment?

Only you can decide what you’re willing to accept. Major life changes usually require a measuring of pros and cons: Make sure you’ve measured accurately.

Is there a right career?

Too often, people become more personally invested in their job and career than is necessary – or even healthy. A job isn’t a marriage, and you don’t have to devote yourself to it for the rest of your life.

It’s OK to change gigs. It’s even OK to leave an industry entirely to find a career you love.

What’s right for you as a 25-year-old might be different from what’s right as a 45-year-old. Your priorities can and will shift in that time, leaving you wondering why you signed on in the first place.

But there’s good news: if you’re reading this, you have plenty of time to explore.

I’ve already had three different careers in my life, and I haven’t hit 30 yet. When my mom was 33, she got her second master’s degree in accounting and began a new career. My father-in-law started a company from scratch at 40 in a city he hadn’t lived in for 20 years.

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and find a career you love.

Don’t get so hung up on what the right career is for you right now.

Follow what you’re interested in, don’t let it disrupt the rest of your life, and earn enough to stay out of the poverty spiral. If you put some serious thought into it, you’ll end up following the right path.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!