Your career is never static – you are either growing or you are losing ground. Although you may have the good fortune to be settled in a job you love, it is wise to keep striving because staying the same is probably not a long term option.
Even if you’re satisfied with your current pay grade, I suggest you have a strategy for increasing your salary. By taking steps to maximize your compensation, you can generate energy to keep your career moving forward. As you shape your salary development plan, consider these suggestions:
- Add more value. Often, the best way to grow your pay is to grow your job. Look for additional ways you can make a contribution, even if it means shouldering tasks that others don’t want. Help colleagues who are experiencing a crunch, and volunteer to cover for them during vacations.
- Keep learning. Be the person who is always aware of trends and new developments in your field. Read broadly. Look for opportunities to build new skills and areas of expertise. Go to conferences and training programs. And take courses, even if you must pay your own way.
- Help your boss succeed. Know what your boss needs from you, and make sure you deliver it. Understand your boss’s goals and priorities, and the pressures he or she may be facing from above. When you spend time with your boss, be an energy boost instead of an energy drain.
- Seek and act on feedback. Ask your boss for constructive criticism and for suggestions about how you might make a bigger contribution. Then respond by working on the areas that were discussed. For example, if your boss says that your reports are great but would be more useful if they arrived on time, make timeliness your theme. And as you take steps to address any suggestions, ask about how you are doing. A boss who feels involved in your improvement may feel proud and more eager to reward you.
- Develop a higher profile. Go to events, build your network and look for writing and speaking opportunities. Volunteer to join committees. Go out of your way to congratulate others on their successes. Whether it means joining the softball team or commenting on an industry blog, find a path to greater visibility. You are less likely to be overlooked at salary review time if you are well known both within and beyond your organization.
- Make an economic case. The time may come when the only way to get a raise is to ask for it. When you do so, be prepared with a strong case that your contribution is worth more in terms of the marketplace. Research the business environment, and develop a sense about supply and demand and current pay rates in your field. Understand how your contribution is aligned with the most important goals of your organization. Your boss may have to work hard to find money for raises, and will need facts to justify a change.
- DON’T whine or re-visit ancient history. The workplace environment is tougher than it used to be. Pitiful and sentimental pleas won’t work. Neither will empty threats. When it comes time to ask for a raise, DON’T use lines like these:
- My spouse thinks I deserve more money.
- I have been here a long time.
- When I came on board you promised me upward mobility.
- I never get my fair share.
- Somebody else will pay me more (unless you really do have an offer in hand).
Want to explore more issues like this? Contact Bev about workshops or seminars for your group. Meanwhile, visit Bev’s website at www.ClearWaysConsulting.com. Check out brief book reviews, ezine archives and Bev’s Blog. If you have questions or suggestions, email to Bev directly.
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