Tag Archives: Confidence

Salary Band

Once you spend some time on the other side of the negotiations table, you will realize that there is a pretty wide salary band of what the company would be willing to pay you and your peers to do your job. Some people are shocked to find out that two people that do the exact same job at the same company could be getting paid up to a 30% difference in salary. What is the main reason for the gap in salary? It really comes down to how well those people negotiated their salaries. If you think you are underpaid, don’t despair! By knowing where the band is, you can more easily get what you deserve.

1. Know how much you can ask for and still be in the Salary Band. The truth is that companies obviously don’t want to pay employees salaries at the high end of the salary band, but they can pay employees salaries at the high end of the band. This is why the band exists. Your job is to know where the band is so you know what kind of decision is just a matter of a manager paying you a little bit more (within the band) and asking to make a special request (outside of the band). If you know the high end of the band and you ask for a raise that brings you up to what your peers make, it can be as simple nod by your manager to get what you should be getting.

2. Know how much is too much because it is out of the salary band. On the flipside, if you walk in with confidence and ask for salary that is outside of your salary band, your manager could start seeing this as a request to move into another salary band (that may involve a promotion and title change). Although this is not necessarily a bad idea, it is just a different kind of negotiation in the eyes of your manager and would impact all sorts of other human resources issues for the manager (requisitions, open job searches, creating a new job description, impact on other members of the team, changing roles and responsibilities, etc). This may not be what you are actually asking for. Either way, it is really important for you to know where the lines are for your salary band so you can what you need.

Understanding salary bands is critical for negotiations when you are asking for a raise within a company that you are staying with and you have already tied to a specific salary band. It gets a little trickier when you are in a negotiation with a new company because the hiring manager may have the authority to pick you up and put you in an entirely different band. Again, this isn’t something to fear, it just means that you are going to need some more information in order to get what you deserve. Understanding the salary band is important, but again it is only a part of the whole picture.

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Join a Startup? When To Keep Your Day Job

Here’s a favorite topic of mine….Many people ask me when should they leave their corporate jobs. I respond, “if you have to ask, then you need to stay.” Becoming an entrepreneur is incredibly rewarding, but you have to be ready. The pressure is immense, and the accountability stares you right in the face everyday.

There are two levels of readiness:

1. Commitment
2. Experience

Commitment is the utter will of wanting to be an entrepreneur, having a passion-driven mission that no one, not even your mother, can talk you out of. You know what you want. You know it will work. You know it HAS to be done. Bill Gates had that commitment. How many people do you know who would drop out of Harvard? That kind of motivation can overcome any lack in #2.

Experience counts for quite a bit. It builds confidence, a track record of success that you can always lean on in lean times. Knowing that you’ve been stretched beyond your limits and still succeeded makes the approach to entrepreneurship real. It’s not the kind of experience of telling others what to do without getting your hands dirty. It’s the kind of experience that comes with having to be accountable for results when you have no help. When the task is so daunting that you have absolutely no idea how you’ll complete it at the outset. But you come through. You know you can. You’ve done it before. That’s experience.

So when should you stay at your corporate job? When you don’t have the above two items. Some people believe in getting a job in an entrepreneurial organization to get exposure. If that’s your transition step, then fine, but it’s not necessary. You can get the experience you need at your corporate job.

When you have both experience and commitment, jump ship. Don’t wait. Don’t overthink it. You’ll save yourself the aggravation of regret later in life. Ask yourself this question: what’s the bigger risk, depending on yourself, or some dim-witted supervisor whose whim drives your day? Know when–then take that leap of faith. You’ll find, win or lose, it’s worth it.

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Maximizing Salary When Changing Jobs

OK, this is one of my secrets that I’m going to share with you. One thing everyone wants to know is how much of a jump in compensation should we get when we change jobs? There is a certain art to this, but there is a process that I use. My father told me when I was starting out that I shouldn’t change jobs unless the offer is 20% higher than my current compensation.

Salary Increase Benchmark
My father does deals for a living, so I’ve learned from a pretty good teacher about salary increases. In taking his lessons to heart, not accepting what someone tells me at face value, why take his word that 20% is enough? I didn’t. Over the course of my career, when I’ve changed jobs, my average increase in compensation is 30% and on average I’ve increased my salary 16% per year.

Confidence
Negotiating higher salaries is a function of communication, experience, and confidence. When we have our story straight and our minimum compensation threshold defined, there is no losing in the negotiation. If we are offered what we want, then great. Otherwise we walk. It’s simple.

What people tend to forget when looking for their next career move is that the company we just interviewed with spent thousands of dollars just to get us in that chair. That’s an investment they’re not keen to lose when they find a candidate they covet. That knowledge immediately swings negotiations in our favor. Have confidence and get the salary you deserve!

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CareerChoice

Career Changes Change the Plan

If this article were a movie, it would be entitled, “Not Another Career Change Article.” There are so many advice columns about how to change careers, it makes me think people all change careers and become writers. Well, the fact is people change careers an average of two times during their professional lives. This somewhat surprising fact begs the question? If we’re going to change our careers, why career plan in the first place?

I asked that exact question to a management panel while in a summer business leadership program in Washington D.C. between my junior and senior years of high school. One man’s answer changed my life…

“Because if you don’t plan to succeed, you’re planning not to.”

To that point in my life, I hadn’t heard the cliche “a failure to plan is planning to fail,” but these two quotes are surprisingly different in focus. Sure, you have to plan. Plan everything. Things change, of course, but it’s better to know why you’re going ‘off-plan’ than swerving aimlessly looking for something to hold on to.

But the idea of planning to succeed means that, no matter what you do, you will be successful. It’s not just the planning that’s important, it’s the outcome that results from the plan that sets the mind. When you put this in context of a career change, then you understand why some people are successful, and others are not. Why some people seamlessly integrate into new roles, industries, and functions, while others continue to languish in their comfort zones, pining away for something else.

Plan to succeed, and you will.

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Top 5 Situations When You Should Ask For A Raise

I have a google alert for “ask for a raise” because many people are entering  the process of salary negotiation. In the past two weeks, I’ve had more than two dozen alerts hit my inbox. This is about double what I see for that particular alert over a similar time period. People need money, and they need it now.

It begs the question, when should someone ask for a raise? Is there ever a good time when it’s not part of the performance management cycle? How should you go about asking for the raise? These are valid questions and I have some rule of thumb answers that can help.

Question: When is a good time to ask for a raise (outside of the performance management cycle)?

Situation #1: Anytime you get significantly increased responsibility. If someone leaves your department and you have to pick up the slack, then you have an opportunity to ask for a raise. Do NOT ask for a raise right away, though. Show that you can do both jobs and then ask. You will have a better chance of getting the raise you want if you prove yourself.

Situation #2: Anytime you have an offer for another job whether it’s an internal move or to a new company. At that point you have leverage. If you’re good, they’ll want to keep you, so you can leverage the offer even if it’s even or only slightly higher than what you make now. It’s expensive to recruit and hire a replacement so it’s cheaper to give you your raise.

Situation #3: If you’re a performer and you haven’t had a raise in more than two review cycles. This situation is tenuous because you may not have received a raise because of poorer performance. If you know that you’re a strong performer (be honest with yourself), then you should have confidence in asking for a raise.

Situation #4: When your team wins a company award. These are the times to ask, but it’s usually a setup for your performance review. When the team wins an award, then you have recognition on your side. Your boss will be basking in getting the award, so it’s a good time to ask.

Situation #5: When you hear about someone in your same job making more money than you. This is a political play that often works, but not always. When you see peers doing your same job, but make more than you do and you’re a strong performer, you can justify asking for a raise.

If you follow these guidelines, then you have a much better chance of getting your raise. If you want to see how to best negotiate your salary and the information you need where they can’t say no to your request, then check out our Salary Negotiation Guide.

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Salary Negotiation Email

Sometimes it’s necessary to write a salary negotiation email to clarify your position and ask for higher salary. While we at SpringRaise recommend you do as much negotiation as possible in person, over the phone, through a recruiter, or even an HR rep from the company you’re interviewing with–an email can be a powerful way to justify your request for more money.

Key Salary Negotiation Steps

There are steps you must follow in salary negotiation that will better position you to get paid what you want and deserve.

  1. Know how your salary compares to others doing similar jobs.  This can be accomplished in several ways of which SpringRaise recommends a path in our salary negotiation guide, SpringRaise Your Salary.
  2. Understand what data you need to convince the company that you’re worth the money you want.  Certain pieces of data compel employers not only to consider your request for more money, but in good faith, to actually accept it.  [Our salary negotiation guide lays that all out for you.]

If you must write a salary negotiation email, it must achieve two goals:

1. Justify your request for higher salary

Justification of a higher salary request can be difficult because there are few external sources that a company will consider valid to justify your request. There are some great pieces of information that companies do use including salary surveys. These surveys are sold to companies so they can get a sense of what competitive salaries are at different levels. If you have that report, then you have equal ground.

2. Convey that you’re willing to walk away from the offer

Positioning in negotiation is key. The ultimate power in a salary negotiation is walking away. Companies spend thousands of dollars to get people in the seats to interview. When they like someone, they WANT that person. If you are that person and there’s a credible threat that you’ll walk away, companies tend to negotiate. Let me make this clear:

It is cheaper for them to increase your salary than it is for them to keep looking for candidates.
I have hired many people throughout the course of my career and this is generally accepted law, not theory. It’s a secret employers don’t want you to know! So have confidence and don’t be afraid to actually walk away if the salary isn’t right.

Note, and this is VERY important: Don’t try to justify your salary increase by using only salary calculators. That will offend the person with whom you’re trying to negotiate. Why? Because salary calculators are unreliable and companies believe they already offered you a competitive package.

Your justification must have more meat to it, including your current salary, and whether you would have to take a pay cut. If you have the salary information for someone at that company at your entry level, then using that would be beneficial. This is extremely important in winning your negotiation.

Also, your justification should also include something that will benefit the company AND your manager directly. Give the manager something to look forward to when hiring you at your negotiated salary.

FREE Sample Emails:  If you would like FREE sample salary negotiation emails, simply click here then fill out the form and we’ll get you your samples right away.

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