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How to maximise your salary when changing roles

Rebekah Lloyd
How to maximise your salary when changing roles

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When I started out in my career, I had no idea that you could negotiate your salary. I thought that you should be grateful to even be offered a job that paid you, and the idea of questioning the authority of my potential employer was inconceivable. However, as I got more experience and exposure to the world of salaries as I progressed in my career, including being on the other side of the table, I now know that, within reason, everything is negotiable, it’s just something your employers don’t want you to know.

Throughout your career, you will likely change jobs and move to different companies. Although there are still many people who find joy and success sticking with 1 career, gone are the days where everyone does the same job from when they leave school to when they retire. Careers in the public sector, such as doctors and teachers, tend to have more structured and regulated salaries. In the private sector, however, there is often more flexibility in the range of salaries that can be given to current and new employees. Either way, knowing how to maximise your salary as you progress through your career is a key skill to knowing your worth and achieving financial independence.

Here, I share the top 5 tips for how to know your worth, ask for what you want, and maximise your salary, regardless of what stage you’re at in your career:

1. Understand the market

Market and competitor research is key, and platforms such as Glassdoor can give you great insights into what other people in your sector and career are earning. Having this information will help you evaluate the full picture and compensation being offered, and will help you with salary negotiations down the line. Salary is the main and most traditional form of compensation, however don’t forget there are now many other benefits which companies offer that are worth considering as part of your research to get the full picture.

2. Speak to people in the role

LinkedIn is a free platform that allows you to connect with, literally, millions of people all over the world. Tap into this resource, and if you want to know what the insider scoop of a company is first hand, you’d be surprised how many people are open to share their experience. Similarly, speak to people in your company who are working in that role, or have done previously. Many employers don’t publish their salary data which reinforces the taboo of talking about money and tends to keep salaries lower, so embrace and overcome that awkwardness through an informative and honest discussion. You can double this up with an opportunity to ask about the company culture, or anything else that you’re interested in learning about.

Talking Long Distance GIF by HannahWitton

3. Ask for what you want

Often employers, or recruiters, will ask you what your salary expectations are, however it’s important to remember that every company is different and industry averages can vary hugely. Instead, ask for what their budget is so you know what you’re working with and can make an informed decision. At the end of the day, you need to come up with a number that you feel great about, not one that you’ve just settled on because you’ve felt pressured into it. It might feel uncomfortable at first but becoming comfortable with financial discussions is critical for your financial success.

4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate

Negotiation is an art and is one of the most important skills in business, not just when it comes to your salary. However it’s something that many people aren’t taught, and so it can feel scary when you’re going into negotiations about money. Remember to point out all of the reasons why you deserve your preferred salary based on your experience and what value you will bring to the company. It’s worth keeping in mind that you can also negotiate other benefits, so if there’s something that you’d like to be offered, such as additional holiday days or a personal development budget, these are other ways to get an overall compensation package that you’re happy with.

Negotiate Youtube GIF by Vanessa Van Edwards

5. Say no if it doesn’t feel right

It’s important to know your worth, and despite it being a difficult situation during this economy, don’t accept a salary or job if it doesn’t feel right. There are thousands of companies out there, so if your gut is telling you you’re not going to feel happy and fulfilled with the role at the offered salary and compensation, and the employer isn't budging, take that as a sign and consider other opportunities. You never know what’s just around the corner.

About the author:

Rebekah Lloyd, Founder of This Independent Life, the first holistic educational platform helping all women to achieve personal independence, through knowledge across health, careers, and finances.

Rebekah Lloyd is a speaker, women's health advocate, and Founder of This Independent Life. Her mission is to help all women and girls achieve personal independence and freedom of choice in life, regardless of their background. She partners with thought leading organisations, such as the University of Cambridge,General Assembly, UN Women, and STEMettes, to host and deliver impactful talks and workshops, as well as other educational activities, across all things personal health, careers, and finances. She also leads the support group “Endo, so what?” to provide a safe community space for honest, real talk about the condition, and is passionate about compassionate leadership, authentic networking, and mentoring.

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