In order to be successful, entrepreneurs are required to work on all of those internal and external issues that prevent them from earning the pay they deserve . . . because at the end of the day, we’re the only ones holding ourselves back, be it in a specific, practical way, or simply by how we perceive the situation. And this is also true of people who are still employed!
So recently, I asked some of my favorite entrepreneurs for tips to share with people who are trying to maximize their pay in an employment environment. And I asked them, are there any particular activities, mindsets, behaviors or conversations that are essential to employees getting the pay raise they deserve? Here’s what they told me:
Sarah Von Bargen, Yes and Yes
“Know your worth. Research the average salary in your field for someone with your experience. Have you created projects or offerings that landed new clients? Have you initiated a policy that’s saved your company money? If you can provide your supervisor a solid, well-researched number that shows how you’re benefiting the company, they’re much more likely to give you a raise.”
Victoria Prozan, branding and customer experience:
“Always be looking for learning opportunities regardless of what you do for a living. Ask for additional duties when it means learning new skills and new software. Volunteer to chair a committee, even if it just to plan the office party! Let your bosses know you are always ready, willing, and able to help wherever it’s needed. Why?
You’re demonstrating curiosity, leadership, and flexibility. Even if it doesn’t translate into a raise or promotion immediately, you are arming yourself with new skill sets that will make you more valuable no matter where you future takes you.”
Nikki Groom, The F Factor:
“As a good friend of mine says, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” and that’s the truth. You can sit and quietly seethe because you’re not earning what you want, or you can call a meeting with your boss tomorrow. But before you do, a few tips:
1. Do your research: Do you have any coworkers or friends on upper management who have advice about the right way to approach the subject?
2. Emphasize the positives first: Talk about what you’ve accomplished for the company, and have solid facts ‘n’ figures to back that up.
3. No matter what the outcome, be gracious. A “not right now” response might not be personal, and you could find yourself next in line for a pay rise in six months’ time.
Finally, remember you’re worth it — otherwise you’ll never convince anyone else that you are.”
Kathy Stowell, Bliss Beyond Nap Time:
“The technique I use with my husband or children when expressing my boundaries and any desired outcomes might help in these sorts of negotiations as well. Take three minutes beforehand to write out your biggest and smallest accomplishments, credentials, experiences and qualities that make you the awesome and worthy woman you are today. Stand (or sit) both literally and figuratively with both feet firmly planted on the ground, breathe deeply as you speak and remember all these items on your awesome list.”
Christie Halmick, Jewels Branch:
“Keep track of everything that you do. When you sit down with your boss to talk money it’s easy to forget all the ways you contribute to your company and end up with nothing to say about yourself.
Journal: this can be as simple as writing down what you do each day in a journal (or journal app). Keep track of the solo projects you work on daily, the tasks involved in those, skills learned, and the bigger team projects that you’re involved in.
Measure: keep track of results of those projects. This might be sales revenue, or cost savings, or social media stats. Make note of any improvements you think could be made.
Gather Praise: keep track of any praise you get. This can be verbal feedback you’ve received from your coworkers, bosses, or vendors, or high-fives sent via email. Make a document and gather this all in one place.
Before you sit down to negotiate a raise, read through your praise file and take all that good energy with you to the meeting. You probably won’t read word for word from the project journal you’ve pulled together. But this data will help you clearly communicate what you’ve already contributed to your company and how you’ll continue to contribute in the future.”
My takeaway from their comments is that clarity is key…clarity over how you fit in to the team and company as well as how your skills measure up. An easy way to start moving forward in getting a pay raise might be asking yourself, where can you achieve more clarity with your career or place in the world currently?
Oh, and did you want to know if I had my own tip? I did a post on this awhile back, relating to my own epiphany on getting the pay raise I deserved when I was working my way through school.
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