You work hard for the money, and so there’s no reason not to make as much of it as you can! When you realize that you spend most of your time at work, you need to feel that your time and effort are being compensated appropriately.
Effective negotiation is the key to making sure that your salary is commensurate with your talents… and that has to start at the very beginning. It’s vital to make your initial salary the best it can be, because every raise or bonus you receive is based on that number. Many people fail to realize that their salary might well be negotiable; you don’t have to take the first number that is offered. There’s no harm in asking for a slight bump, especially if you are armed with salary data from your industry. The worst that can happen is that they say no!
And remember that attractive compensation includes more than your salary. You need to consider other financial considerations such as healthcare, both for you and your family, and other benefits; vacation days; sick leave and more. Sometimes extra time off or a flexible schedule can be as attractive as more money. Each person’s situation is different, so negotiate what matters to you.
Time for a raise? Don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting with your supervisor, but remember that no one deserves a raise. It’s your manager’s job to reward those who are doing the most for the company, so be sure that you are well prepared for a salary meeting to explain why you earned a raise. Be armed with background on your accomplishments — the more you can quantify your ‘worth’ in terms of sales, money saved or other concrete contributions to the company, the better. Bringing up any off topic “needs,” such as mentioning why you need more money, can only harm your position. It’s not your boss’ obligation to support your lifestyle. The goal is to use strategies for negotiating a raise that reflect the benefits you bring to your position.
And, when considering compensation such as salary, don’t forget to weigh the intangibles about your job. Sometimes the flexibility you have, or the autonomy, or the challenges or opportunity for advancement are worth more than salary alone. Especially if you are considering jumping to another company based largely on money, consider those other factors that make your job appealing – whether it’s a shorter commute or a gang of friendly coworkers. Those can be worth more than money.
But, at the same time, don’t ever hesitate to ask for what you are worth. And if you’re not sure what your position should pay, see if you can find out. Ask around at other companies, or see if your industry does a salary survey through its professional organization. Checking online can give you a range of salaries for a wide variety of positions, which at least can give you a starting point for opening up a conversation if you feel it’s time to revisit your salary.
Work can be rewarding in so many ways, but feeling as though you’re being rewarded with a salary commensurate with your effort and accomplishments can certainly increase job satisfaction!