Although money shouldn’t be the most important factor in career decisions, it has a big impact on our lives. How much money we earn will dictate where we live, where we vacation, the lifestyle we enjoy, and how and when we will retire.
When you work for someone else, you have a limited amount of control over your salary. You negotiate your starting salary and then you are given increases at management’s discretion for annual reviews and promotions. Do you want more control over your salary? By understanding and increasing the value you provide to your organization, you have the ability to increase the amount of money you can earn.
Here are five ways to start increasing the value you provide to the organization and ultimately, the salary that you earn.
1. Specialize in a new area. Research upcoming trends in your industry or find an area of weakness in your organization and establish yourself as the expert. It may require additional education, training or certifications, but if you are the go-to person for all related matters, you become an indispensable asset.
2. Make a direct impact on the bottom line. The sole purpose of every company is to generate a profit. Suggest a new way to service your existing customer base to create a new income stream. If you do not work directly in a revenue producing area of business, implement new practices that will save the company money. Calculate the impact you have on the bottom line and your value will be evident.
3. Be professional at all times. Although it sounds like a no-brainer, it can be easy to get caught up in office politics. Rise above the pettiness that can occur when a group of coworkers spend more time with each other than they do with their own families. Negative attitudes can significantly lower the production of a group. Participating in trivial activities can impact your annual raises and limits your opportunities for advancement.
4. Do something different. The danger of having a routine is that you rarely leave your comfort zone. Playing it safe doesn’t produce the “WOW” effect. Expand your focus and start taking calculated risks to drastically increase your results. Don’t be afraid to speak up in meetings with new and different ideas that will bring a fresh approach to achieving organizational goals.
5. Know your market value. It’s important to keep abreast of changes in the market. Become familiar with tools and websites that provide updated salary data, know what the competition is paying, and understand your company’s compensation policies. Armed with this information, you will be better equipped to negotiate annual and promotional salary adjustments.
Salary is a complicated subject. Getting paid more money isn’t something that can be accomplished overnight. Most organizations have a budget for salary increases that is divided among eligible employees. Put yourself in management’s shoes for a minute. Is the value you provide to the company worth more or less than your colleagues? Once you take the emotional piece out of the salary equation, you can objectively create a plan to start getting paid what you are truly worth.
Â© 2006 Jill Frank. All Rights Reserved.