Not In Sales For The Fun Of It.
You’re a winner at work so you have a winning wage right? Well, that’s not always the case. A wage, salary or your rates should reflect the value you bring or add to the business you work for. But we all go through times when we think, “am I getting paid enough for my efforts?” Nor is this necessarily a bad thing either - it’s important to feel valued and appreciated. If what you earn is important to you then it’s essential to develop your career path for income potential.
Of course it’s satisfying to bring in that big deal with that client you’ve been chasing for the past two years and it’s even better when your boss recognises you for it. But are you actually being paid a competitive rate of commission or getting that salary increase at the end of the year for smashing your targets?
So how do we know if we are getting enough?
Well it’s not as easy as just plucking a figure out of the air because you feel you are worth X amount. If you do decide to take action you will need some robust support behind you.
The first thing we suggest is doing some research on what the going market rate is for someone like you. There are plenty of salary surveys there (such as Pay Scale), and whilst they can be a good place to start they’re quite generalised and we suggest this only forms part of your assessment. Another good approach is to speak to a specialist recruiter in your field and ask for some general advice on what they would say someone with your skills and experience would be worth.
A good recruiter should be speaking to employers in your area day in day out so they should know the market and any current salary trends – and let’s be honest any good recruiter is part sales person too so they’ll be able to empathise with you as well as advise (we’ve all had that boss who finds a way to wriggle out of paying a bonus).
So if you do feel you deserve a pay increase, it’s now a question of whether you want this to come from your current job or another? Do you like where you work? For some, this is equally if not more important than a chunky pay cheque. It’s totally personal and something you ultimately have to decide for yourself.
But regardless of whether you are thinking about asking your current boss for a pay rise or moving to pastures new, at some point there will probably be some sort of salary negotiation (for the purpose of this post we will assume you want to negotiate with your current employer). The first and probably most important point is not to just jump in and blurt something out hoping your employer will see the light! It should be given some careful thought and preparation. We suggest having the conversation in an environment outside of your work place, this way you and your boss will be more relaxed and you can have the conversation in private. Here are some other key points we advise to help get the result you want:
- Know what your salary negotiation limits are before you enter the conversation, but don’t be afraid to break your glass ceiling.
- It’s not always all about the hard benefit of salary. You could negotiate on other benefits such as health insurance or pension.
- Show loyalty – emphasise how much you want to continue working for this person. Maybe reveal you have had offers with higher pay elsewhere but have declined.
- Accentuate the positive – talk about your strengths and what you bring to the table. Ideally before hand you should prepare how you and your skills add to their bottom line (if you work on commission this shouldn’t be too difficult to work out).
If you still don’t get what you feel you deserve, then it could be time to speak to your trusted recruiter again. When finding the best recruiter it’s important that they are not only specialists, but also that they adopt a true headhunting approach to your job search. This involves being proactive in finding the best roles for you (not just the ones they have on their books) selling your skills with discretion. The other benefit of having a trusted recruiter is that they will be your right-hand person throughout the process so you can remain focused on your current role and building your personal brand.
If you’re looking for your next print or direct marketing hire or looking to fill roles in your business, get in touch with Taylor Higson the print recruitment specialists, we’d love to hear from you.
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Taylor Higson is a Davidson Gray partner.