How can I ensure I get a job that pays me what I'm worth?
Photo © CreateHerStock
Whether you're looking for a new job or thinking of pushing up your rates, it's important to take time to decide what you're worth financially, so we’ve put together a checklist to help you out.
Before you even start looking for a job, there’s a couple of things you should sort out.
Know your financial worth.
Before you even look for a new job, decide what you're worth financially. Research what other people with your experience in your sector are earning, and ensure you’re looking for jobs in the same pay bracket. If you're a freelancer, set your rates around the standard industry rate, ensuring all your expenses are covered. When you get through the interview stage, make sure your new employer is offering you the industry standard, or negotiate for the same before you accept the job.
Decide your ideal job description
If you’re looking for a new job, decide what you think is and isn’t in your ideal job description. If you’re looking for experience in a new sector, it could be worth taking on an internship or lower paid position for a few months while you learn the ropes. If you have a few years’ experiences and want to move up the career ladder, don’t bother applying for anything that’s an exact repeat of what you already do: look for something more demanding, with a higher pay bracket!
Now you’ve decided what you’re worth, prove it!
Improve your CV (yep, even if you just improved it)
When you’re looking for a job – or also if you're currently employed, ensure your CV shows off all your skills and experience. Explain how you benefited your previous company or client. Instead of just saying ‘I lead a team of 3 sales people’, for example, say ‘I lead a team of 3 sales people, holding weekly meetings and using a Whatsapp group to stay in touch. I delegated tasks equally according to team members’ strengths, and within six months we met our sales targets.’ Show what you're worth by literally showing it!
A good reference is priceless. Most employers are happy to provide one when their employees leave, and a lot of new employers require references as standard. If you're freelance and have a few ongoing clients, ask them for recommendations as you look for new clients! Most happy clients will be up for leaving a quick LinkedIn review or writing a little paragraph in a Word Doc for you to forward on to new clients.
That all being said, go into the interview process knowing that you might have to compromise a little… or a lot.
Consider your employer's perspective
Sometimes you're not going to get the job with the salary you think you deserve. Sometimes your employer won't be able to negotiate, or a client won't have the budget to pay your ideal rates. Sometimes you'll just be asking for more than what an employer is prepared to pay. Go into negotiations with this in mind. If your official rate is £20 per hour but you’ve done the maths, and you're happy with £15, and a new client is offering £10, ask if £10 is your client’s maximum budget – they may be prepared to negotiate up to £15. On the other hand, if your old job had a salary of £35,000 and your new employer won't budge from offering £20,000, the position might not be the right one for you, and the best thing to do might be to walk away.
Have you got any tips for ensuring you get a job that pays what you’re worth? Leave a comment!