Making The Salary You Deserve? How to Make Sure

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shutterstock_115647838There comes a time in everybody’s career when you begin to wonder if you’re being paid enough for your hard work. It can be intimidating to try and find out what you’re actually worth, but doing so is invaluable for your salary and career. Asking for more from your employer can sound scary, or like a good way of making you sound pushy or demanding. However, the trick is all in how you go about obtaining the salary you deserve. Try out these tips and see how much more you could be earning:

  1. Know what you’re worth.

Before you do anything else, make sure you know what you’re worth. Ask yourself a series of questions to find out exactly what you bring to a company. What are others in my industry making right now? What skills can I bring to my job? If I left my job today, would another company snatch me up?

To check out what others are making, try an online tool such as TheLadders Job Market Guides. You’ll be able to search what others are making in your field, and determine whether your pay is too low.

  1. Track your achievements.

If you’ve found in your initial research that you’re making too little, now is the time to start thinking about a raise. Before you ask, though, start tracking your achievements within the company. Your boss may not know about everything you do, so start putting together the evidence of what a valuable employee you are.

To start tracking your achievements, try out this accomplishments worksheet. It will help you ask the important questions about what you contribute, your history within the company and what other evidence you have.

 

  1. Practice and prepare.

Once you’ve decided to ask for that raise and gathered your evidence, it’s time to prepare. Think of the upcoming meeting as a job interview. You’re looking to get across just why you deserve this pay raise, and what your employer will gain in giving it to you. Practicing what you’re going to say, and how you’re going to say it, will give you confidence when the time comes.

Follow the tips in this Gen Y Planning article to prepare for all eventualities. It covers what evidence to use in your favor, as well as what to do in unexpected circumstances.

 

  1. Try a ‘power pose.’

Body language is important during the interview, not just because of what it says to your employer, but for your own confidence too. Research has shown how adopting powerful poses can affect our testosterone and cortisol levels, which can increase our performance. Try a power pose just before your interview to increase your confidence.

If you want ideas for power poses, try out Business Insider‘s list of poses for a variety of situations. ‘The Performer’ pose is designed to make you feel more confident just before you step into an interview.

 

  1. Negotiate

It may feel like you’re going into that meeting to demand the pay raise you deserve, but instead you’re negotiating it. Employers often actually expect their employees to negotiate for a higher salary, rather than simply accepting the one they’ve been given.

Try the Briefcase Technique when you’re looking to negotiate. The technique makes you do 80% of the work before you even step into that interview. It also has you consider the needs of the other person, so you can both come to a reasonable conclusion.

 

  1. Check that you’re paying the right amount of tax.

Something that could be eating into your salary could be your tax contribution. While dealing with tax issues is never pleasant, it could be that you’re paying an incorrect amount, which will be affecting your salary.

Try out the IRS Withholding Calculator to see if you need to make any changes to your tax. Put in your details, and the calculator will be able to tell you whether you need to submit a new W-4 to your employer.

 

  1. If knocked down, try again.

If your employer says no to a pay raise, don’t be disheartened. It could be a number of things that are stopping them, not simply your abilities. The trick is to dust yourself off and try again. Reschedule another meeting in six months’ time. While you’re waiting, work on your abilities, track your accomplishments again and look to make yourself even more valuable. This time, they may not be able to refuse you.

If you are refused, try asking for feedback. The Muse details just how to get and act upon honest, useful feedback that will help you in your next attempt.

 

Refusal to negotiate salary can cost women up to half a million dollars in their working life. If you’ve earned that pay raise, what’s stopping you from going out and getting it? Have you ever found you were paid less than you were worth, or negotiated your salary? If so, please let us know what you did in the comments.


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

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Which Social Metrics Deserve Your Attention the Most?

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Measuring the effectiveness of social media still remains a challenge for social media managers the world over. While measurement is a part of the job, it can still be daunting to hear this question from the powers that be: “What’s our return on investment?”

Determining ROI can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. It can be as simple as examining what you might be overlooking in your metrics.

Cory Edwards, head of Adobe’s Social Business Center of Excellence, talked about this with SocialTimes

One set of metrics that is frequently overlooked is the website behavior of people coming through social media channels. Segmenting your web traffic based on referrals from social media in general, and your own social campaigns in particular, could help you answer questions such as: ‘Am I bringing qualified traffic to my site through Social?’; ‘Am I reaching the right audience?’; ‘How do people coming from Facebook differ in their conversion behavior from Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.?’; ‘Is one channel more valuable than the other in terms of being able to bring repeat visitors to the site?’

So, what metrics should social marketers pay close attention to today? It depends on the company’s objectives.

Some of the most common goals brands use social media to achieve include: building awareness, driving engagement, lead generation, customer support, brand advocacy and product innovation, Edwards said, and the relevant metrics for each vary.

For any campaign, it’s important to start by setting benchmarks before getting started. Here are some example metrics brands should pay attention to for common social campaign goals:

  • Awareness: Track for both sentiment and share of voice. A rise in total mentions seems exciting, but what if your competitors increased even more? Conversely, mentions or social conversations could surge, but if the tone is negative, the spike does nothing to achieve your campaign goal.
  • Lead Generation: Sales and marketing teams will often use special links to track customer behavior. But even more important than overall engagement is the cost-per-user, found by dividing the cost of the campaign by total leads or conversions. Even if a high-profile campaign drives a large number of leads, the cost-per-user might still be a less efficient use of resources than more nimble activations.
  • Advocacy: There are simple methods for measuring this, such as counting the number of active advocates, and the more intricate methods to understand how advocacy impacts business goals. For example, what volume of conversations are driven by advocates, how influential each advocate is, and how these advocates help drive other engagement or sales.

Although metrics such as engagements could be a good indication of the content quality, it is important to understand how social moves more concrete business metrics that are aligned with business priorities.

Readers: Which metrics do you feel are the most important?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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