Make Some Workplace Resolutions for 2006

As you consider your resolutions for the New Year, "Good Morning America" will help you make life better at work.

That should come as welcome news to the nearly 50 percent of women who say they're dissatisfied with their salaries. The average raise in 2006 is expected to be just over three percent.

If you want to break out of that mode and significantly increase your income, you must start planning now.

And we know, women are eager not only for more money, but satisfaction as well.

Research Your Worth

Determine if there's room for advancement in your current position or if you're at the top of your salary range.

This information can be learned by asking your manager or human resources department, as well as by looking at salary surveys online based on your title, industry and location.

For example, you might be a receptionist earning $28,000, but you want to earn $40,000 this year. Yet, neither your company nor others in your area pays much more than $28,000 or $30,000 for such a position. That's all it's worth to them. So just sitting in that same role isn't going to help you accomplish this financial goal.

You must develop a career path that leverages your existing skills and enables you to move into another, higher earning area.

Meet With Your Boss

Whether your love your current position or you're hankering for a change, set up a time this month to meet with your manager to map out a strategy for your growth and achievement this year.

Be clear that your intention is to earn more money and advance your career by delivering the best results your company seeks. It's typically more cost-effective for your employer to groom you and allow you to advance internally than to lose you.

Take on a New Assignment

Many people mistakenly assume that just because they do their job -- do what's expected of them -- that they'll be rewarded with a raise or bonus.

Wrong. When you do the basics of your job, even if you do them well, you get a paycheck each week.

To earn a raise or bonus, you have to do more. So identify ways to take on a new assignment or to learn a new skill.

Maybe you work for a small company that needs a Web site. Teach yourself the technical skills -- all of which are easily available through free online tutorials -- to develop and build the site. Instead of your company having to pay an outsider to do it, you can make a strong case for getting that extra money.

Revitalize Your Position

The grass isn't always greener on the other side. It's often easier and smarter to focus on fixing what might be boring or bothering you in your current role than to assume work will be more exciting someplace else.

If you're feeling unchallenged and lacking motivation to face your tasks each day, pay attention to what other people are working on that you might enjoy. Talk to your manager and co-workers about reshuffling responsibilities.

Eliminating one task in exchange for another can often make you feel refreshed. Change the location of your desk. Add some variety to your routine.

Tackle a New Skill

Technology is constantly advancing, and one of the barriers to advancement for many women is a lack of the latest skills.

Decide this month what skill you know you need -- the one that you always need help with, or the one that prevents you from landing the plum assignments -- and commit to learning it. Maybe it's becoming a master of PowerPoint. Or maybe it's mastering a new language so you'll be eligible to work on international accounts.

Inquire this week if your company offers "lunch and learns" or paid training and seminars, and make it a priority to take advantage of those programs.

Participate More

Join internal networking groups and committees. Even though it's more work, it's a great opportunity for visibility and advancement.

Maybe you join the committee that heads your company's participation in an annual charity walk; or you help start and internal mentoring group. There's a great sense of satisfaction to be had from such involvement.

Learn to Say No

Women are notorious for agreeing to help anyone and everyone who asks. We wind up doing way more than our fair share. That means we're staying late or taking work home more often than we should.

Sometimes you must say no: "I'm swamped right now with my own projects; I just don't have the time to handle your work as well." And no, I'm not going to be checking my Blackberry at dinner time or when I take my kids to the park.

Schedule 'Me' Time

Just as you schedule meetings with co-workers and appointments with clients, pencil in blocks of time in your date book that are designated for you.

This can be at lunch time, when you want to spend an hour doing your errands or taking a yoga class. It can be evenings and weekend time.

But when someone asks if you're available during those times, the answer is no, you're already committed -- just as you'd say if you were spending the time with the boss.

For more information on strategies and events for your career advancement in 2006, or to connect with Tory Johnson, visit