Keep your balance

Here’s a tip for staying on top of everything in your life: check your bank balances every day. All of them.

I’ve been doing this for the last 1,044 days without fail and that means quite a few things. Firstly, it means there are days I really don’t want to do it but, so far, I always have. And there are days where I’ve done it just after midnight because I couldn’t wait to see if a particular fee had been paid in.

Most of all, though, it means I know everything. Yes, the finances, but also I know who’s paid and I know it just about the moment they have. There’s one firm I work for sometimes who is really quick at paying. They could be terrible people but I’d carry on working for them because of that.

Be smarter: don’t apply for jobs when they’re advertised

It can’t always be a good idea, but when it’s right, this could work well for you:

Introduce Yourself When They Aren’t Looking

What if you saw an ad for a job where you knew there was a fair amount of turnover. To add to this, let’s assume you are not desperate and unemployed. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to allow the ad to run its course and send a letter a few weeks later to make it appear your interest in the company was genuine and not an opportunistic spur of the moment decision made because there was an enticing ad that sparked your interest? The point here is to get yourself noticed when they aren’t looking — and when there aren’t a hundred other candidates seeking their attention all at once.

8 Ways to Get Noticed During a Job Search – Wisebread (2 May 2014)

The other seven ways are pretty good too: read the full list. (And a nod of the hat brim to Lifehacker for spotting this.)

But then when you’ve got a raise…

You’ve negotiated for a raise, you’ve got some extra cash, all is well and right or at least better with the world. And then it goes wrong:

It seems like common sense: a larger reward encourages a greater effort. So if you need to inspire a person or team to strive harder, an obvious tactic is to offer more money. Reality, however, is not that simple.

Even the mere mention of money can be enough to change our mindset: It has the power to make us more selfish and competitive, while also putting some useful social contracts on hold. Meanwhile, large financial rewards transfer challenges that would have been pursued for passion or creativity’s sake into emotionless financial exchanges.

The Unpredictable Consequences of Using Money as an Incentive – 99U

Recently I’ve seen several times when an article has been published under one title and then changed – but either they forget to change the web address or their system won’t let them. Here’s the address in full for that article:

So the original headline was How Money Makes Us Lazy and I think that’s a better one.

The rest of the piece goes into specifics and is interesting.

Get a raise

Here’s some smart advice from Time magazine about how to negotiate getting more money at work. But first, its opening lines made me laugh:

A new survey finds that what makes us satisfied at work isn’t what’s in our hearts; it’s what’s in our wallets. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of American workers surveyed last year said pay/compensation was “very important” to them, making it the top-ranked priority.

Some things do not need surveys.

But the rest of the article is very good about whether you actually deserve a raise and only then how you ask for one. Plus it covers exactly what you’ve just thought about: what happens when you then don’t get it. Have a read of the full piece while I go talk to my boss about paying me more.

UPDATE: I am my own boss and he says no.