Let’s face it, we all want more money. Not just to pay our bills and support our families, more money makes it possible for us to have a lifestyle we want. It also gives us status, a sense of accomplishment and security. The question is, how do we make more money? More importantly, how do we ask for more money during salary negotiations?
When you finally gather up the courage to ask your boss for a raise or you are in salary negotiations, how do you typically approach this subject? Most people consider the cost of living in their city, do market research or look at what their peers are making. What people rarely do is look at their value. In fact, most of us don’t even know what our value is. We decide what we should charge or ask for based on what we think we can get. Many times, we don’t even have a clue what that is.
It Is All About Your Value
Have you ever thought about what you might be worth to your employer (or your customer if you are a business owner)? How much value do they get out of hiring you? I know this is not an easy question and most people don’t think about it. Instead, we go online, do our diligent research, talk to our peers, ask around, etc. And then we strategically put ourselves right in the middle and ask for what feels right. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Except that one major piece of the puzzle is missing. Your value. Do you really know your value? And, most importantly, does your employer know it?
When you don’t know your value, it is very hard to show it to others. When you don’t believe it and cannot see it, others have a hard time seeing it as well. Being able to communicate your value to your employer effectively is the key to a successful salary negotiation. In other words, they have to see it and believe it in order to be willing to pay it. In some cases, they already know you are worth more than what they are paying you.
But you really do know your value
That’s right, your subconscious mind knows what you are worth before your conscious brain can even comprehend it. I know this may sound a bit odd, but please hear me out. When you get underpaid you feel unhappy, resentful and sometimes even miserable. It doesn’t feel good when someone doesn’t pay you what you’re worth. So, if you didn’t know your value, why would you feel so bad about getting underpaid? That’s your subconscious’ way of letting you know that you are not being valued enough. A lot of it may come from comparing yourself to what others in your field are making. But I will argue that point by saying that many people in well-known underpaid professions feel resentful about being underpaid as well. Even though they know they are not alone.
So, is there a magic formula for calculating your value? I’m not sure about the magic part but it definitely is possible to discover your value. The key is to use facts, not your feelings. It sounds very simple, why is it so hard to do? Because it is in our human nature to ignore the facts that pertain to us. Our feelings, however, are very hard to ignore. Working with a professional career coach can really make a difference in this area. The professional can help you recognize and identify those facts you may have overlooked.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who want to discover their passion in life and build careers of their dreams. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.