Are you being paid for the value you bring?
Every year, companies evaluate their staff, and look at the pay scales that employees are graded on. Most jobs, and companies, will be paying based on a pay band.
These pay bands are reflective of the market rates for a certain set of results.
The more results that you can generate, the more value you have to the marketplace, and the more money you can demand. This principle helps govern your earnings, whether you’re looking for a cost of living raise, or something more substantial.
How do Raises work?
All corporations plan out their payroll costs in advance. While this helps the finance team prepare for the future, it also led to a side-effect that too many people have heard.
This side-effect can be explained simply as: “It’s not in the budget”.
How many times have you heard that in your own careers? Whether it’s a new project, or a raise, this line is used as an excuse, a justification, and an explanation all in one go.
There’s only one problem with that sentence. It’s a lie.
You see, all companies have the ability to deviate from the budget, especially for the right reasons. You could ask any company if they would be willing to spend one hundred thousand dollars to make a million dollars. The answer would be a resounding yes.
Not once would someone say, “Hold on, let me check the budget.”
It’s not a question about what the budget has in it, or what the pay band is. If the value is there, every company would be happy to pay for that value.
The secret then is how do you increase your value? And how can you demonstrate that to the marketplace?
How Do You Increase Your Value?
There are three key areas that help you increase your value. Each of these three areas will help you produce more value, and thus become more valuable to the marketplace.
“Attitude is everything, so pick a good one.” ~ Wayne Dyer
How you approach a situation, the attitude you adopt, will play an unprecedented role in generating results. A person with a positive attitude not only is more pleasant to work with, but that positivity will even help you overcome obstacles more easily.
The best part about attitude is that improving it is free, and instantaneous.
Take a look at your attitudes surrounding work, life, family, and money. Where can you turn your thoughts into something positive, and increase your successes?
Knowledge is power. It’s also extremely valuable. There is a reason that doctors and lawyers get paid so much. It’s because the knowledge they hold is valuable.
In every profession, learning how things work will make you more valuable. Whether that’s new systems, new processes, or new ideas. Learning about your field will help you command a higher price tag to the marketplace.
Education is an on-going process. If you want to be more valuable, and thus paid more next year, you need to increase your knowledge this year. Every month, every week, every day, you need to strive to be better than you were yesterday. That is how you will continue to increase your value and raise your earning potential.
While knowledge might be learnings, skills are a subset of practical wisdom that you can apply for better results. The primary skill that everyone should focus on is communication. The ability to communicate effectively is alone with the price of admission.
Developing skills like communication, time management, and prioritization will help you produce exponentially better results. Those results will in turn drive up your value to the marketplace.
How Do You Demonstrate Increased Value?
Becoming more valuable is only half the battle. You also need to be able to demonstrate that value to the marketplace.
Showcasing your skills, attitudes, and knowledge can be tough though. While some knowledge, like a law degree, can be verified from an academic institution, the vast majority of your education will come from other places.
The books in your library. The seminars, conferences, and courses you’ve taken. The experiences you’ve had.
Demonstrating a positive attitude is again something that is harder to show-off. For this one, you need only to approach life with a positive can-do attitude, and your reputation will take care of the rest. People are quick to vouch for someone brimming with that can-do-ness.
But for your employer, most of the time those nuances are taken for granted. Demonstrating those qualities aren’t always enough. In those cases, you need to determine what value-add activities you perform, and showing how you produce a positive return for the company.
Take a look at your work. Are you generating revenue for the company? If so, look at your billable utilization. The more hours you bill, the more money the company makes. If you can deliver more value, you can be billed out at a higher rate. As you grow in your career, how much more can you make for the company?
Answering that question will help you tremendously in any compensation discussions, as you can show how your growth and development actually makes the company more money.
If you’re in a non revenue generating role, look at the projects you are undertaking. What is the impact of your efforts? A project that reduces the costs for a company is just as valuable as generating revenue. Reducing expenses helps grow the bottom line.
Learn what value you bring to the company. Understand how the work you do each day helps drive success for the company. Once you know this, you can shine a spotlight on the areas that you are valuable.
How do you raise the roof on your economic earning potential?
Become more valuable, whether it’s through a better attitude, additional knowledge, refined skills, or a combination of all three. And then learn how your efforts are creating value. Once you can explain that, you can command a higher economic premium for your efforts.
Success is a journey. One you don’t just go through, one you grow through.