How you can leapfrog your peers’ salaries by boxing clever
Salary is important. Money equals options; it represents how valued you are; and it increases job satisfaction. Some job seekers are extremely money motivated and others less so, but even if you’re sanguine about monetary benefits, it’s worth being familiar a few tips on how to make sure you’re being paid what you’re worth. The first thing to know is that although your first salary is important – setting the basis for all other salaries to come – it is possible for you to overcome any initial disadvantage. You may realise months into your first job that people doing similar roles are being paid more, and despair. But please don’t.
So, a peer might have been successful getting a role on an extremely well-paid grad scheme, while your starting salary is ten grand less. How do you make sure this isn’t a life-long pattern?
1. Be agile.
The job for life is gone. Yes, loyalty to an employer can be a good thing, and can even pay well, but most people get a salary raise when they move jobs. And it’s not overly cynical to say that in your career, you’ll be the only person putting you first. Don’t jump around to the extent your happiness or CV are compromised, but keeping an ear open to new opportunities is the most important thing you can do to make sure you don’t get paid less than someone being slightly complacent in their well-paid first job.
This comes easily to some, and is torturous to others. Learning the art of negotiation is vital. In fact, you’re at a high risk of not being paid what you’re worth if you don’t negotiate with your employer. This is particularly true with a starting salary. Give a thought to your future self and cast the net for more than what is being offered. Negotiation tips are legion on the internet.
3. Be brilliant.
OK, so this might be obvious, but if you’re better than the others, you are in a good position to be paid more than the others. If you want the big bucks, put the hours in. Add value to your company in every way you can. And then? Just ask.
4. Take advantage.
Many companies offer plenty of opportunity for professional development; take advantage of it. And even if yours doesn’t, you can learn new job-related skills on your own time and be rewarded with higher salary or more opportunities further down the line.