Can you get the salary you deserve ?!
In recent years “the recession” has been a justification for employers to justify keeping a tight lid on the salary pot, reminding employees that job security is more valuable than a pay rise. In the past, whilst it may not have been your only motivation, changing jobs was almost always a sure fire way of getting a better salary. However, in the current climate can you get the salary you deserve?
Know your market worth
First of all, find out what the “going rate” is. Check local press ads, on-line websites and talk to recruitment agencies to understand what the typical salary range is. Your market rate will rest on three critical factors - the level of experience you have and the type of industry you will be working in and the number of applicants in the market looking for this kind of work. A feature of the recession has been more experienced candidates taking on junior roles which is serving to depress salaries in comparison to what could be earned a few years ago.
Consider your total package
If you do discover jobs with better salaries, remember that “pay” is only one aspect of your total remuneration package and a raise doesn’t always equate to a better overall deal. Weigh up every benefit within the package including annual leave days, bonus, staff discounts, overtime rates and allowances. Pay particular attention to pension arrangements – if you are fortunate enough to have a final salary scheme with your current employer, you are unlikely to find this elsewhere.
If you think you have a good case for asking for an increase in your current company, remember that few companies will agree to a rise outside of the normal pay review cycle. So start talking to your manager in advance of the annual review and help them to create a business case by sharing your market research. Similarly, it’s very typical for organisations to expect “more for less” – so even if there is a market case, you would do well to highlight the added value that you now bring since your last pay review. Have you taken on more responsibilities? Have you improved your expertise in your own time ? Are you doing more because there are less people in the business? If you have, then all of these things will help demonstrate a return on the company’s investment in you – if not, then why would the company give you a rise? Your bills at home may have gone up, but theirs probably have too?!
If you do decide to “jump ship”, remember that advertised roles often show the upper limit on a salary range to entice candidates in but organisations rarely intend to offer at this level. If offered the role, you should assume you’re the best person for the job – so use this to your advantage by asking then to justify any difference between the proposed and the advertised salary. Ask them to clarify the extent of your development needs so you can negotiate a figure that’s as close to the maximum salary as possible.
Once you have a formal offer on the table you have a rare moment of power in an employment relationship; you know they want you and it’s up to you to negotiate the best deal for yourself. Your salary will form the basis of all future increases, the figure from which your bonus and most other benefits is calculated; so it’s pretty important to get as much as you can from the start. Don’t blow your chance by being arrogant, but don’t be shy either – this is a great opportunity to improve your personal market worth.
If you can’t negotiate a better deal and you don’t want to leave, getting a second job would enable you to supplement your income, which happens to be the topic of my next article. Tune in to find out some top tips when taking this approach.
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