Whether you’re looking for a pay rise, considering a career change, or about to get promoted, it’s important to know how much you’re worth. While these conversations can be awkward, some of the greatest skills you can have are negotiating and understanding the value of the work that you do. Not sure where to start? Here are several tips to help you get on the right track.
Know your market rate
Your salary should be based on your experience, knowledge, skills, and location. A good way to measure whether you’re being underpaid is to look at what other people in your field, at your level, and in your location are being paid.
There are a number of resources to help you get the numbers you need. Firstly you should start by looking at salary websites like Glassdoor and browsing authoritative salary guides. The Michael Page Salary Comparison Tool will give you the necessary insight to learn what you should be paid in your sector.
Secondly, have a look at popular job board sites relevant to your industry. This is a useful way to understand what new hires in similar roles are being offered. Take a look at the responsibilities of the role and if they are similar to what you currently do. This gives you a benchmark for the average salary range you should be sitting within.
Thirdly, lean on your network. Whether you work in marketing, administration, project management or finance, you’ll surely have a network of people around you who work in similar positions. If you’re uncomfortable speaking to your peers, then it might be worth it to have a confidential chat with a recruiter to understand how your workplace compares to the competition.
Know your metrics
Wondering how much you might be worth to your manager? Make sure you track metrics so that you know how much of an impact you have on your company’s bottom line. When it comes time for you to have a job review, you need to be prepared so that you can justify a pay rise.
Keep a record on how your role has directly influenced the business. Did you implement an efficient process that saved the company money? Were you the lead on a new project that has proved to be highly successful? Were you the brains behind a successful campaign that has outperformed past campaigns? You need to make this known to your superiors.
Know what’s within your control
Once you’ve done your online research and spoken to your contacts who work in the same sector, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of what’s within your control. In some industries, there will be factors that are extremely rigid and there may be little you can do about it.
Work at a university or in the public sector? Your role may be subject to an award classification, which means that your pay rate will be decided based on a classification level under that specific award. Employees who are subject to an award generally get moved up a level based on years of experience, tasks and responsibilities, and qualifications and training. Roles can change, so make sure you look at a level above your award to see if you qualify for a pay rise.
Similarly, a corporate company might have an internal pay scale, so have a conversation with your manager about salary policies within the company. Some companies limit compensation increases or have a salary scale in place to ensure people are being paid fairly.
Before you ask for a promotion, you also need to refer to your contract and your company’s financial cycles. If you've been at a company for less than a year you may not qualify for a pay review. Some companies may only give pay rises at the end of each financial year, so make sure you understand these finer details before you ask for a raise.