Even though money shouldn’t be the most important factor in your career decisions, it obviously has a big impact on our lives. How much money you earn will dictate where you live, where you vacation, the lifestyle you enjoy, and how and when you 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’re given increases at management’s discretion for annual reviews and promotions.
But what if you had more control over your salary?
Understanding and increasing the value you provide to your organization can have an impact on the amount of money you earn.
Here are five things you can do to increase the value you provide to an organization, which can put you in a much better position to demand a higher salary.
1. Become a specialist 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. Boost the company’s 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 don’t work directly in a revenue producing area of the 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 the ultimate professional – always!
Ok, this one might sound like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to get caught up in office politics, even when you work remotely! Rise above the pettiness that can occur when someone has a negative attitude towards their boss or other work mates. Getting caught up in office gossip or banter can not only significantly lower the production of a group, but participating in trivial activities can impact your annual raise and limit your opportunities for advancement.
4. Be different.
The danger of having a routine is that you rarely leave your comfort zone. Playing it safe doesn’t produce the “WOW” factor. 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 worth.
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’re truly worth. Good luck!