I Got a $40K Raise Using This 30-Second Strategy. It Made Me Realize Loud Work, Not Hard Work, Always Wins.


This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

In 2022, I had my first-ever promotion. I was working as an associate product manager at Atlassian and received a raise of $40,000. It wasn’t because I was the hardest worker or an exceptional employee, but because I employed what some call the “lazy girl strategy.”

This “lazy girl strategy” is really just about being proactive about sharing my work successes in an efficient way.

My career trajectory — from being a software engineering intern at LinkedIn to a product manager at Atlassian to now as the CEO of Generation She — has been marked by a significant realization: “Loud work always wins, not hard work.”

The truth is that smart work is often just as effective as — if not more so than — hard work, especially in large companies.

Through my experience, I realized that the belief that promotions are reserved only for workaholics is a myth that needs to be debunked. I was able to climb the ladder without burning out, and the best part was that it only took me 30 seconds a day.

Capture daily impact

For many of us, our jobs on a day-to-day basis are composed of mini-actions rather than really big projects.

Spend 30 seconds each day capturing a screenshot of the most impactful thing you did, and store these screenshots in a folder. This could be anything from a message you sent to a coworker that saved them time to a milestone in a project.

Doing so will make it easier for you to add up all of your small wins into a few large wins at the end of the year and show noticeable impact on the company.

Here’s one way you could catalog your daily wins:

Avni Barman via BI

I’ve also written a full guide with specific examples and templates you can use here.

Just doing this alone will get you 90% of the way there.

However, here are some additional strategies for career advancement that I employed to get promoted.

1. Prioritize key metrics

Rather than attempting to excel in every single task, prioritize what truly matters in your job. Focus on your role’s key metrics and strive to deliver on them.

I maintained a monthly call with my manager, in addition to our weekly syncs, where I could reconfirm that I was still working on the right things that mattered for the company and for my role. This regular check-in is vital because company priorities can shift rapidly, and you want to ensure that you’re always working on impactful tasks that can lead to a promotion, not just putting in hours.

I also employed a framework called “start, stop, and continue” to ensure my work was aligned with my manager’s expectations. Every month, I made sure I was receiving actionable steps on what to start doing, what I should stop doing, and what I was doing well and should continue doing rather than abstract feedback that could often be confusing to implement in practice.

2. Quantify your contributions

Not only is keeping track of all of your contributions crucial, but quantifying the impact of all your achievements, no matter how small, is also important because, at the end of the year, the outcomes of big projects may not seem to offer enough quantifiable metrics to justify a significant promotion.

However, since you’ve accumulated and documented hundreds of small achievements throughout the year, you can add them all up to calculate the time or money saved for the company and make a strong case for a larger promotion.

Sample spreadsheet for quantifying impact, with columns for date, KPI, quantified impact, and notes/comments.

Avni Barman via BI

3. Make Yourself Regularly Visible

Consistently communicate your achievements to your team and leadership. It’s essential to make your successes known. Now that you’ve documented your small wins, share them early and often.

I actively worked to highlight my contributions; for example, my manager suggested that I create a Slack channel exclusively with the leadership team, where I posted weekly updates on my accomplishments. They might not have always responded, but it ensured I remained at the forefront of their minds.

I also blogged on the company wiki about my team’s achievements every month and scheduled quarterly meetings with leadership to review my work. No one asked me to do these things; I initiated and led them.

Taking these steps greatly enhanced my visibility and played a key role in my eventual promotion.

4. Follow-up consistently

After highlighting your achievements, the next step is to engage in consistent follow-up and embrace a mindset of continual improvement. This includes sending thoughtful thank-you emails after meetings, actively seeking feedback for improvement, pursuing relevant learning opportunities, and actively participating in team meetings.

Building strong internal relationships is also key. Periodic check-ins with your manager will help keep your progress and career aspirations on their radar.

Securing a promotion is just the beginning — maintaining open communication and continually striving for growth are what will propel your career forward.

The “lazy girl strategy” isn’t actually lazy or just for women

How you package and present your work to leadership when seeking a promotion is as important as the work itself, and the “lazy girl strategy” can help you efficiently do so.

The term “lazy girl strategy” is a bit misleading, though, as it isn’t about encouraging women to be lazy. Instead, I see it as a clever approach to describe effective and efficient strategies that allow women to better advocate for themselves without overextending or constantly feeling the need to prove their worth.

This is especially important for women in male-dominated workforces. When I was working in tech, I noticed women’s work and efforts would often go unnoticed, and we frequently had to exert twice the effort to receive the same recognition as men.

“Lazy girl strategy” challenges the notion that constant busyness equals success. The idea of working less can initially feel like laziness, but it’s important to remember that having some free time or focusing on fewer, high-impact tasks is not laziness — it’s working smarter.

While the “lazy girl strategy” may serve as an effective coping mechanism in the short term, it’s also crucial to continue pushing for systemic change in the workplace. My goal in founding Gen She is to provide ambitious young women with the skills and resources to be the leaders of tomorrow so that other women don’t need to use the “lazy girl strategy” to be seen and valued at work.

But in the meantime, the “lazy girl strategy” helped me get a $40,000 raise, and perhaps it could help you too.

Avni Barman is the founder and CEO of Generation She and a former product manager at Atlassian.



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