Communication may not seem like something that is important to Financial Independence or Personal Finance but to be honest, you’d be surprised. It’s obviously important in both relationships and business but how can it really affect the other aspects of our life?
Well, as with everything else we talk about, everything is connected. If you’re able to communicate the things you truly want in life to the people who can help you, well, they will help! For example, I had my review earlier this year and I expressed some unhappiness with my compensation. Not my salary per se but the fact that I was not receiving a quantified bonus structure with goals and other items that I could hit. A few conversations later and I now have a structured bonus plan for 2013 that can earn me as much money as I earned in my first year at the company. Granted, I have a good relationship with my boss but still, he would never have known without me telling him. And because of this, I’m getting that much closer to Financial Independence.
That’s the point of this post: we don’t communicate well as a society. Many of us just assume that those around us have our best interests at heart. The problem is that while people may have your best interests at heart, they don’t know what you truly want. For this, you have to actually talk to them and communicate clearly what your goals are. I’m not saying you have to go to your boss and express your desire to retire early or switch careers. But if your goal is to maximize your personal earnings then you have to go for it. You’ve got to express that goal, in a positive and not at all threatening way, to your boss and find a way to justify it.
It’s one thing in life to ask for a raise or a bonus because you just want it. It’s an entirely other thing when you quantify it with hard data and facts about what you have truly done for the organization. If you’ve saved the organization $200K last year, why shouldn’t you receive 5% as a bonus? The heart of the matter in situations like this is the justification. You’ll dealing with someone that has likely done your job. What’s more than that, they are most likely tasked with keeping their bottom line growing. If you’re able to positively contribute to that growth in a measurable way, it’s easy to get a bonus from even the most difficult of bosses.
At the end of the day, numbers are numbers and if they are in your favor, you can communicate them efficiently to give yourself an advantage. The basic thing here is to communicate. If you’re in constant communication with those around you, they’re more likely to help you achieve your goals. As you achieve your goals and communicate them to your boss, you’re more likely to receive the raise and the bonus you desire. And both of these get you one step closer to Financial Independence and to a state of personal finance that you can be happy with. So the next time you’re in the office, talk to your boss. Talk about their career or where they think your career is going. Find out what you need to do to get somewhere else. Tell them what you want to do! It’s worth a shot and improving your ability to communicate will only take you further and further professionally. Because when it comes down to it, everything is run by people and people need to talk.