Promise Received at Work? Ask These Two Critical Questions

Published on February 13th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

 
“People with good intentions make promises.
People with good character keep them.”

– Author Unknown

ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Brianna, an Executive Assistant to the Regional Vice President of a major clothing chain, was soon to complete her fifth year of service, all with positive attendance record, positive performance reviews, and positive relations throughout the company. Without her seeking it, one of the company’s vendors made her a job offer with greater compensation and a clear career path to executive level responsibilities.

When Brianna gave her Manager notice of resignation, he pleaded with her to stay, and promised her, in turn, that he would ensure she soon received a very significant 
“retention bonus” totaling almost one half of her full-year salary. With that promise in hand, she politely declined the job offer that had been made to her.

Brianna waited one month, two months, then six months, and the promised retention bonus did not arrive. Finally, she summoned the courage to ask her Manager about it. He said he would look into the matter for her.

About a week later, he told her he had good news, namely, that he confirmed with the company’s Controller that the retention bonus had been officially approved. When it still had not been paid to her after another month, she then received a memo from the Controller’s office apologizing for taking so long to get back to her. The Controller’s memo, though, contained some considerably disappointing news.

First, the retention bonus would be paid, but not for another year “as had been explained to you,” but had not, in fact, ever been discussed. Staying for another year was not something her Manager had ever mentioned.

Second, her retention bonus would be paid to Brianna “if and only if” (1) her next performance review was “exceeds expectations,” (2) the region she worked for met its sales goal for that year, and (3) she assumed additional responsibilities, including extensive travel, that had never been part of her job.

Oh, and one more thing: Brianna’s retention bonus was also conditioned on her agreement to relocate to another city if the company moved her division headquarters during the next year, something that recently had been rumored.
Brianna did not feel at all that she had been treated fairly, not in the least. She decided to seek a position with another employer, as soon as possible, with no looking back this time.

LESSON TO LEARN: What Brianna learned – the hard way – is that, at work, if a promise, assurance or pledge is made to you – whether of a raise, bonus, promotion, stock options or anything else of value – you should instantly ask two critical questions: “When?” and “What are the If’s?” meaning the conditions for receipt.

Nailing down the answers to these two simple questions will greatly increase your chances of receiving what was promised to you, perhaps more than anything else you can ask, say or do.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: At work, If you are offered, promised, assured, pledged or guaranteed anything of value, ask both (1) “When?” and (2) “What, if any, conditions exist on my receiving it?

Ideally, you will develop the habit of asking these two questions, because if you don’t ask them, you just cannot expect anyone else at work to ask, or answer, for you.
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on February 12th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

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“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.”

– Michael Jordan

While none of us wants to fail, we learn so very much from failing . . . about ourselves, about others, and about the way the world works. Nothing teaches you more, more important, or longer-lasting, lessons than does failure.

Don’t fear failing; it is a uniquely valuable experience. Instead, fear never failing, because without a doubt never failing means you are failing to dare, reach, or challenge yourself enough, which is the biggest failure of all.

At work, each day we are challenged by the widest variety of sources, whether from goals set, limited resources, time constraints, or intense competition from competitors. But the biggest challenge is your not taking chances due to a fear of failure. Michael Jordan confronted that fear, and look where he has gone in life.

This quote was sent to us by Robin of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Great try, Robin! If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a model memo or letter to make a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on February 5th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others;
it is the only means.”

– Albert Einstein

This seems to be a thought-provoking version of the old saying that “Actions speak louder than words.” It also sheds great insight into negotiating for yourself at work.

When a person acts or speaks with calm confidence, that person’s actions and words are respected. When a person acts or speaks based upon knowledge and know-how, that person’s actions and words are looked up to. When a person acts or speaks with concern for all, and not just for herself or himself, that person’s actions and words carry great weight. If you set an example at work, in your actions and words, you will be a person of influence at work. It’s that simple. Einstein had great influence in his work, and that influence continues to this day.

This quote was sent to us by Akeem M. of Dow Village, Trinidad. Much appreciated, Akeem. If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a model memo or letter to make a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on January 29th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.”

– Spanish Proverb

Habits, the good and the bad. So much of life is determined by our habits. Either they pull you down each day, or they carry you further along the way. And that applies very much to workplace habits, too. Do you habitually arrive late? Or is it your habit to be the first in the meeting room? Is it your habit to maintain the messiest of desks, or the neatest? You can change bad habits, and make new good ones, too. The choice is yours. Easy to do? Definitely not, but the sooner the better. Unless it is your habit to procrastinate, one of the worst habits there is. Just do it!

This quote was sent to us by Marsha T. of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Much appreciated, Marsha. If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a model memo or letter to make a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on January 22nd, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy.
The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.”

– Alexander Kjerulf

Interesting notion . . . being happy at work will make you successful. It sure helps motivate you to higher accomplishment. It sure makes you more willing to put in extra time and effort to getting done what needs to get done. And one other thing is for sure: people at work would rather be around a happy person than a sour puss. Try to find a field of work, an employer, and a job that suits you well. It may take time, it may be quite frustrating, but the effort – I promise you – will be well worth it.

This quote was sent to us by Janelle of Freeport, New York. Our thanks go out to Janelle. If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a model memo or letter to make a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 30 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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