Your Next Salary Negotiation Starts Now

Author: The Career Passion® Coach |

Blog by The Career Passion® Coach

Everyone would like to make more. But if you feel underpaid, under-utilized or under-appreciated, the feeling is especially keen. You can start NOW to work toward a salary increase of $10,000 – $30,000, just by being more proactive in your current job. Here are some tips:

  1. Learn your worth. Some employees focus on what others are paid at the same company. While it stings to make less than the coworker doing the same job in the cubical next to you, remember that your skills have a different value on the open market. Check out your job title, for your market, education and experience at Then, when you are networking, ASK people in the know. You might say, “Do you know how much a person with my experience might make in that role at your company?”
  2. Understand the hierarchy of titles. Get or create an organization chart for your company. Understand the subtle nuances between one level and the next. For example, in an account management organization, you might have an Account Coordinator, Account Executive, Senior Account Executive, Account Group Director and VP of Account Management. Test your knowledge when talking to people from other companies. Ask them about titles: “What’s your title? To whom do you report? What’s the next level? To what executive does your department report?” When you get a bead on the right Target Job Title for you, the job hunt becomes so much easier. If you decide to stay where you are, you also know just the right job to work toward.
  3. Apply only for jobs that pay what you are seeking. Spend some time reading job descriptions to know whether a job is above your level, below your level, or just right. In a job switch, it makes sense to only go for a step up. You can do it! If you have been at your company more than 5 years, you may be able to jump 2 steps. Each job title has a salary band of about $20,000. So, if you jump two levels, you could be interviewing for $40,000 more!
  4. Apply for ANY reasonable job in your favorite Target Company. Sometimes it pays to apply to a lower-than-your-skill-level job just to get to know the recruiter at your Target Company. You will probably be disqualified in a phone screen, but if you make a solid impression, the recruiter will save your resume for her pipeline of candidates. Then, keep in contact from time to time and watch for opportunities like a hawk. And, network with current employees to learn about openings BEFORE they go public.
  5. Load your resume with results. You already know the measures of success: money saved, product sold, percent increases in revenue, margins, etc. Keep track of the results you produce, and continually upgrade your resume with lots of numbers.
  6. Don’t EVER reveal your current or past salaries in conversation with a recruiter OR a networking contact. It’s not relevant what you currently make. Recruiters will test you, saying: “We really can’t continue until I know we are offering within your range.” You can reply by saying, “What is your range for this position?” Or, “I have done my research and know the range for this position. I feel I’m at the high end.” As soon as you speak a number, say, $72,000, you can bet the offer will come back $74,000 or $75,000. If you don’t say a number, the offer might have been $80,000 or even $85,000.

Begin now to practice these concepts – even if you love your current job. They will help you get internal promotions and raises, too.

One of my specialties is helping job seekers with Interview Prep and Salary Negotiation. I can help with 48-hours notice. Just give me a call if you are at that stage want a strategy to do it right: 512-868-6886.

On your side,

Catherine Jewell
The Career Passion® Coach

PS: Join my Career Passion Tribe on Facebook and get updates on job seeking and the Austin job market in real time.

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