Rediscovered this little gem in my "Business Quotes" notebook of scribbles from various webinars,
coaching videos, and online courses.
"The amount of money you receive in your life is in direct proportion to the value you create for other people."
This quote is a slap in the face to anyone who feels like they work hard, but are still struggling financially.
It's eye opening to realize if you are unhappy with your finances, it's not because you aren't working hard...
It's not because you don't care. It's not for lack of effort...
It's simply because the value you are providing is perceived to be worth the price tag you have allowed yourself to be sold under.
Take a moment and let that one soak in.
Notice the two emphasized words...
Perceived, and Allowed.
Perception is Reality
If you feel there's a disconnect between your pay and your value,
consider the perception of you that your authority figures have. Perception = reality. Whether that is a fair/accurate picture or not,
understand that their perception is the basis for the reality of your paycheck.
If you're not happy with your financial situation, ask yourself:
"Is my current job paying me my value?"
If YES... great! But if you want more, you'll have to create more.
Outside of your main job, how can you create added VALUE to people's lives?
Or even within that same job - how can you think outside the box and further increase your value?
THAT'S the set of questions to ask yourself, and there are many ways to do it!
(Skip ahead to "How can you provide added value?")
1. Have you checked sites like Glassdoor to get an idea what your pay wage should/could be?
Do a little research! Search your job title on sites like Glassdoor, Craigslist, Indeed -
do some reasearch on what you are worth. And remember - these are pay wages for a brand new employee.
If you have been with a company for more than 6-12 months, you are MORE VALUABLE than these base pays.
Think about the efficiencies you've learned over time: little "shortcuts" to do your job faster, ways you stay organized, the wealth of knowledge that's swirling around in your head...
You, my friend, have more value than you probably realize.
2. Ask yourself these questions, and answer them with deep, self-reflective honesty:
- Could you be easily replaced? How much training would it take someone to do your job as effectively as you?
- Do you consistently show your boss/manager your value add? How can you alter their perception to see you as invaluable?
- Do you ACTUALLY go above and beyond, or do what's asked and expect "meeting expectations" to earn you a 6-figure income? (Hint: Doing 100% of your job isn't an A+ in the business world, it's a "C average". You need to do EXTRA to raise your perceived value!)
- Have you marketed yourself well and been a strong self advocate in the workplace, or have you just said "okay"... "sounds good"... and "yes"d yourself into a situation/pay wage you're unhappy with? (Real talk - been there, it sucks, and I'm here for you)
Think again about that line above:
The value you provide is perceived to be worth the price tag you have allowed yourself to be sold under.
If you want to increase your pay, you first must adjust the perceptions your authority figures have of you. If they see your value but don't pay you accordingly, then you need to stop ALLOWING yourself to be sold for a price tag that doesn't match your worth!
3. Prove your worth
Learning how to negotiate a higher salary is a whole separate blog post in and of itself, but your next step in a nutshell:
apply to similar, higher-paying jobs.
Create a spreadsheet of their pay, their "perks", their vacation & sick time. (Even if you love your job and have no intentions of leaving, this is an important step of data collection.)
Then, make a list of all the ways you provide value for your existing company. Start with your list of job duties, or create one if you don't have one provided by your employer.
Has your job role changed since you first began? Extra work piling on with no extra reward? Separate the list between: what was originally asked of you in your role, and what has been "added on" over time. Beyond those duties, really think about the intangible value you provide to each one.
For example: if one of your job duties is filing, have you been doing it long enough to where now you can do it in your sleep? How much more efficient are you than someone who would be freshly hired? How long would it take them to get to where you are now?
Another example: if you answer the phones at work, do you have such a wide knowledge and lateral understanding of your company that you're able to often go "above & beyond" to help people who call in? Has your helpfulness radically evolved since you first began? Would a newbie be caught like a "deer in headlights" to a situation you could handle seamlessly?
Expressing the intangible value you add to your job is an essential step of negotiating your salary. Combine this with the list of other similar jobs you could apply for and receive higher pay/benefits, and you have a strong case for receiving a raise.
BUT, it doesn't have to end there.
After you align your base pay to be consistent with what you are actually worth, the next question to ask yourself is...
4. How can you provide added value?
If you're maxed out on what you can earn per hour or on salary, that doesn't mean you are stuck! Is there ANY aspect of the business that you can ask your boss or manager -
"If I reach this goal, can I earn a bonus?"
Think about what they would value, that you can have a tangible effect on.
- Is there a way to save the company money, thus making the bonus they pay you a DISCOUNT? (Think outside the box!)
- Is there a metric or KPI that you can have a direct, measurable impact on improving?
- Is there a way you can make your workflows more efficient, and take on an additional task or two?
If this isn't possible for you and you're feeling stuck -
try having a heart to heart with close friend or loved one.
Your perception is your reality.
Often our brains can get hard-wired after seeing a situation a certain way for too long,
like a horse wearing blinders.
In other words: if you think you are stuck, you will be.
A deep conversation with someone you care about can shed new light on how much POWER you actually have!
Sending you love, sending you light...