Always finish the year strong. Run through first base as a coach would say. 2020 was a brutal year. But you can still come out a winner.
End of the year is the time to step up your game and go into Superstar mode! It is very easy to start slacking with Thanksgiving and the winter holidays right around the corner.
Snap out of it! Slack mode puts your career progression and whatever you are doing at risk during the most important time of the year.
The Fourth Quarter Is Where It All Happens
Promotions: Practically all promotions are determined in the 4th quarter. Managers will discuss who are the deserving ones who get to climb one step higher. It doesn’t matter how hard you worked in the first half, if you are perceived as a weak performer in October-December, you can forget about that promo.
Pay Raise: With a promotion usually comes a pay raise. However, there will often times be cases where you get a pay raise without a promotion. Again, 4th quarter, or more clearly fiscal year end is when your pay raise for the following year will be determined. Management need as much information about the current calendar year to determine a realistic budget. It’s much easier to decide not to give a raise than to give a raise. It’s up to you to perform so well that management can’t help but feel horrendously guilty for not rewarding you!
New Assignments: If you’ve been looking to relocate to a different office, or move to a different department, there’s no better time to be the best employee possible than in the 4th quarter. You need the praise of your manager and of your colleagues to change, since they are putting their necks on the line to recommend you. If you can’t show them that you are an excellent candidate working with them, they are certainly not going to recommend you working with others.
Who To Demote or Fire: As managers figure out their budgets for the following year, they almost certainly come up with a list of who are in the bottom 10%. Not everybody is like Jack Welch from GE where he famously let go of the bottom 10% every single year. However, rest assured that all managers are always thinking about who to let go in case profits drop drastically. Get out of the bottom 10%, and better yet, get into the top 10%!
Bad Memory: Nobody remembers what you did in the first half of the year. Think about all the times you write your year end review and forget about your own great accomplishments. How about all those “oh yeah” moments where you forgot you did something awesome 10 months ago? If you can’t remember, your manager sure as heck ain’t going to remember what you did either! Hence, strategically, you should front load your vacations and cruise in the first half, and then step it up in the second half if you are so inclined. Of course, it’s better if you can be the superstar all throughout the year!
Always Work While Others Are Playing
Always finish the year strong. It’s the exact same mentality of a distance runner sprinting to the finish and a baseball player running through first base. The 4th quarter is where you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. Come in earlier, volunteer more, increase your exposure and so forth.
Let those who go on holiday mode slack and then complain in 1Q why you got ahead and they didn’t! And worst case, if you don’t get promoted, don’t get a raise, and actually lose your job there is always government help on the way!
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