One Quick Way To Make More Money
This month we are diving into some of the more technical career skills, like resumes, interviews, and of course MONEY.
I think we can all agree that making more money is never a bad thing, no matter where you are in your career.
So if you are hating your job, in a triage job, or just treading water for now – it’s okay to increase your pay check while you figure the rest out!
So let’s talk about how to make more money, shall we?
How to make more money: Part 1
Part one of making more money involves nothing but your understanding.
Here’s the thing, we have developed a weird system of work, in which we value new people more than we value long-term performers.
What do I mean by that?
Well, it starts with a story. See if this sounds familiar…
There I was, at a tepid consulting job I didn’t like. Well, it was more “consulting” than consulting. I was bored, I was tired, and I was pretty sure that this company wasn’t for me in the long run.
I really liked my boss and my team.
And, it was my first big real serious job, so while I was lukewarm on it, I also felt like I needed to give it a real go.
So, I talked to my boss about getting a promotion and a pay raise, after doing some good work.
He ultimately agreed on the promotion (and gave me a tiny bump up in pay).
I was a little disgruntled at the pay raise, and I started looking around for other jobs.
In a few weeks – during a strong job market – I was able to land several interview and multiple offers.
Every single one was significantly higher than what I was currently making.
And not 10% higher – but 20-30% higher in pay.
I decided to go for it – I was lukewarm on my current job anyway, and turning down that kind of bump seemed crazy to me.
When I told my boss I was leaving, he asked me this: “What can I pay you to stay?”
I told him my new number and he gasped at me. “We can’t pay you that!”
And so I left.
And that’s the understanding you need to have: The longer you stay at your company in specific role, the harder it will be for you to raise your salary.
Companies always ALWAYS value outside people more – they aren’t already tied to internal bureaucracy around raises and HR practices, AND that new person is filling a pain point – i.e. an empty position.
So the bottom line is that the longer you stay at your company, the likelier you are to fall behind on compensation.
So while I am definitely NOT telling you to quit your job today – I am telling you to put out feelers every few years so you stay on top of the market, what you are worth, and keep you negotiating skills sharp.
How to make more money: Part 2
But here is what is interesting for most of us: As long as we get a little monetary recognition, we are usually happy to stay put at our current companies for a little bit longer.
So, before I knew I could get a huge bump up by leaving, I actually would have accepted less to stay.
So, while I stand by what I said above (know your market rate!), I also know that most of us would rather stay put and accept less.
And that’s okay. Sometimes you aren’t ready to dive into the job search yet.
So the easiest way to make more money is to ask for it at your current job.
Will you get a huge raise? Probably not.
But will you get something? Chances are high!
We are talking about salary over at the Career Happiness Revolution soon, and I wanted to give you a little insight of the red meat we are diving in over there.
Here are the specific steps I want you to take on your road to more income at your current job.
–>Step 1: Do your research. Are you currently being paid at or above market rate? If so, it’ll be hard to make the case for a raise, but chances are if you have been at your job for more than a year or two, you are indeed below market and it’s time to step up! Get on GlassDoor.com, Payscale.com, and also get on your office’s version of the water cooler. Try and get real salary data from people in your industry who are roughly at your level. Knowing your worth is about 80% of the battle.
–>Step 2: Why do you deserve this salary review? We are calling it a salary review, by the way, so as not to make it an ultimatum on your manager, because no one likes ultimatums. Salary reviews imply you are doing this together. But I digress! Let’s get back to it: Why do you deserve this review? Have you worked at the company for a while and feel you have fallen behind market rate? Have you taken on more projects or a higher level of work that justifies a better compensation? Think through how YOU have contributed to the company and make your case – to yourself – as to why you deserve a detailed salary review.
–>Step 3: Write a salary pain letter. A salary pain letter is something you write to your leadership outlining your contributions (how you help eliminate company pain) and your reasoning behind this request for a raise. You may never share it, but it helps to articulate your case in a way that focuses on the company. Why? Because the company cares about…the company! Not you. So put your argument in words they can understand, and tighten up your argument at the same time.
–>Step 4: Figure out your company rules regarding pay raises. What I mean by this is: Can your manager just push through a raise for you on their own? Or do they need higher-level approval? Think on it, because that will change how you approach your meeting.
–>Step 5: Schedule a meeting! Get on your manager’s calendar and make it clear that you are requesting a salary review. Don’t surprise them in the hallway or catch them in the middle of something else. Money conversations are awkward, and your manager might need to do some prep work beforehand. Everyone wins when this meeting isn’t a surprise ;).
–>Step 6: Treat the meeting like a team effort. Get them on your side! Don’t issue ultimatums, make your case and ask for their help/advice. If they need to go up a level to get permission, consider sharing your pain letter so that they have a great written reference.
–>Step 7: Agree to next steps. Get a commitment from them to follow up with you or circle back by a definite date.
–>Step 8: Reinforce you are on the same team and you are excited to contribute to the company (even if the truth is that you are already mentally half-way out the door). No one likes to fight for someone who is leaving – so tell the best version of your story and say thanks for their time.
And that’s it!
I know it’s easier said than done, and the magic is in your prep work. So make sure you get prepping!
Final thought: I know you may be thinking “I hate this job and I feel bad asking for more when I’m on my way out” or “I don’t know if I should ask.” ASK ANYWAY. There’s a good chance you are being underpaid if you’ve been in your position for awhile (or didn’t negotiate when you started), so all you are doing is asking to be paid market rate. Your company should do that on their own in a perfect world – but most won’t because this isn’t a perfect world. SO ASK.
Are you beyond ready to get the heck OUT of there and need help with the next step?
Here’s a super simple and easy kit to get you UNstuck at your current job (and figure out what your next job should look like). You can do it in less than 10 minutes a day, and it’ll make you feel better…almost instantly.