BottomLine Lawyers

Know Your Value and Ask For That Raise!

The last year has changed a LOT of things, and while many people are in new careers or learning how to do old jobs in new ways, let’s take a few minutes to discuss some techniques you might be able to use if you are out hunting a job or looking to make more money at your current one. 

While there are plenty of people who genuinely love their jobs, there’s no denying the main reason why most of us are currently in the work force: to make money. Doing the same job for $50,000 a year, as opposed to $45,000, is nearly always a better deal IF you do your research and due diligence.

So how do you ask for more money in your current job or discuss money in an interview?  Let’s look at a few ways I’ve seen clients use to put more money in their pockets.

First, do plenty of research. Before you come up with a figure, make some calculations based on real research.  Talk to people in the field, use the computer to look at how similar jobs and industries pay, and be sure to research the average salary for your target position, the average salary at this specific company, and in the area.

Next, know your value to the company. Remember, you and your skills have far more value than the actual job you’re doing or the one you’re interviewing for.  A “senior marketing manager” with 10 years of experience, an entrepreneurial background, and proficiency in both graphic design and basic programming is going to be worth more than a “senior marketing manager” with five years of experience and not much else on the table. All those secondary skills, related industry experience, and, honestly, just the act of living has an objective value, so don’t neglect to include them in your calculations.

Ignore what you previously made. One critical mistake many people make – and I’ve seen this happen time and again – is to use their previous salary as a base. Unless absolutely nothing has changed about you and you’re working for the same company at the same position, this is simply wrong.  NEVER base any of your calculations on your old salary or even what you made for the same company last year.  The world is changing rapidly as a result of both technology and COVID, and a lot of companies are being forced to rethink how they base employee’s pay rates.   Don’t confuse the “old” world with the real world.

Be bigger than base salary. Negotiation is a numbers game, but be ready to negotiate for more than just a base salary. For example, you may have a specific number in mind, but would you be willing to lower that number by $2,500 a year in exchange for a more robust health plan or a retirement plan? Many of these peripheral benefits are negotiable in a job – don’t be afraid to negotiate!

Remember, the world is different now, and your salary should be, too.  Maybe things haven’t changed that much, but the fact is, most companies aren’t going to simply give you a raise you’d be happy with – don’t be afraid to go into that conversation well-armed and with solid facts and expectations.

You’ll likely never get a raise waiting on your boss to give you one…

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