A new year brings new beginnings, providing the perfect opportunity for clarity and refined career direction. I bet you filled your vision board for 2017 chock full of goals you are hoping to keep—and maybe even surpass, right?
Call this a long shot, but I'm guessing "make more money" might be on that list, whether you're working towards a promotion, starting a new side hustle, seeking a better job, or even just blindly hoping to figure out the details along the way.
So, what can you do to help add to your bottom line? Ask yourself, are you earning what you're worth right now (or, as much as you'd like)? Remember, even if making more money wasn't on your list, a bump in salary can only help you accomplish your other goals and resolutions.
I'd like to share the steps I took that have resulted in me nearly tripling my salary over the past four years.
I SWITCHED JOBS (THREE TIMES, ACTUALLY)
According to an article from Fast Company, you should be changing jobs at least every three years. It also states that "Workers who stay with a company longer than two years are said to get paid 50% less."
Can you afford to get paid 50% less than what you should be earning? As a woman already fighting for my right to equal pay, I sure can't.
Millennials aren't satisfied with spending years in a job or career that doesn't help to build skills/experience, advance our careers, or help us to earn a higher salary (at least, one we deserve or could be earning elsewhere). I don’t suggest throwing caution to the wind and jumping ship every few months, but plan carefully and make good long-term career decisions—this is your future, and your livelihood. The negative stigma previously associated with job-hopping is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and those who switch jobs are actually likely to be labeled as more successful than those don't.
According to a recent study, workers who stay with a company longer than two years are said to get paid 50% less. Can you afford to get paid 50% less than what you should be earning? As a woman already fighting for my right to equal pay, I sure can't.
I LEVERAGED MY NETWORK
So, it’s no secret that many people—including myself—somewhat dread networking events. Between my full-time job, side hustle, being a single mom, and various classes I like to take to continue learning, I already have plenty going on (nevermind trying to keep the semblance of a social life sprinkled in there). Sometimes a girl just wants to Netflix and chill, and catch up on (cough binge watch 20 episodes straight cough) the latest hit show. Well, my dears, Netflix can—and will—wait. Do you feel comfortable saying that about your career?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
According to Lou Adler, CEO, bestselling author, and LinkedIn Influencer, roughly 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. Many open positions are never even posted or promoted, making it that much more difficult to land that coveted spot at your dream company.
Each time I switched jobs, I was fortunate to have been approached either by former colleagues or contacts I made from networking – all when I was not actively looking for—or even thinking about—taking on a new role.
The ROI from networking can quite possibly help to land you your dream job—and isn’t that worth your time and effort?
I SWITCHED INDUSTRIES
Not to be Captain Obvious, but different industries—just like different companies and job titles - have different pay scales. As my moves were unplanned, I cannot claim carefully calculated decisions to switch industries, but the industries I switched into tended to have a higher salary for the position(s) I landed.
For me, this meant New York City (I’m a Jersey girl), which automatically bumped up my pay about $10,000. Of course, there was now the added cost of commuting to factor in, but as I live about 30 minutes outside of the city, the pros far outweighed the cons. Even with the additional spends on train fare and NY state taxes, I am still coming out ahead.
Big cities are teeming with opportunities and usually more money for those willing to flock to where it’s at. Location is everything—and for me, the views and energy of NYC are totally worth it.
I DID MY RESEARCH AND UTILIZED MY NEGOTIATION SKILLS
Each career move for me resulted in a sizable bump up in pay (and responsibilities, make no mistake). I had to showcase my knowledge and experience, proving to my would-be employer that adding me to their team solved their business pain. I did my research on the company/position, and prepared to discuss salary upon receiving an offer.
Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth tool helped me to come prepared—I researched salary, benefits, and industry standards to know where I stacked up—and where I had room to negotiate.
The most important pieces of advice I can offer to successfully negotiate the salary you deserve?
Try to avoid directly answering the question "what are you earning now/at your previous job?" Instead, redirect with "In my job search, I am currently seeking a salary in the range of $90-100k."
What you are currently earning or were earning two years ago is of no consequence to what you should/could be earning for a job for which you are qualified—and that they want to hire you for! This is simply part of the negotiating process that you must carefully navigate to achieve the desired results.
You cannot place a limit on your value, and should not allow a recruiter or hiring manager to do so for you.
Now get to work ladies, because it’s time for the kickass go-getter within you to go out and get exactly what you’re worth.
What tips do you have to help make sure you’re earning what you’re worth? Share them with me!