VOL. 129 | NO. 36 | Friday, February 21, 2014
Make More Money This Year
By Angela Copeland
If you’re like most people, you created a list of new year’s resolutions at the end of December or in the beginning of January. One of your resolutions was probably related to your finances. It may have been to save more, to make more or both. Regardless of which you selected, increasing your income can achieve both goals.
If you’re like me, your parents and grandparents worked at the same jobs for their entire careers. Companies were more loyal to their employees back then, and in turn, employees were more loyal too. You often stayed at a job for 30 years where you grew your career, got promoted, earned more money and, eventually, retired with a fat pension and a lifetime of amazing health insurance.
Unfortunately, times have changed. Many companies can no longer afford to (or choose not to) provide this level of security and comfort to their staff. Layoffs and cutbacks are a common occurrence in the corporate world, as has been demonstrated by many big companies in Memphis over the past five years.
Although it may go against the advice you’re getting from Mom and Dad, I’d suggest that when you start to look for your next job, you do it outside of the walls of your current employer. It can feel uncomfortable to leave what appears to be a stable environment, but the potential benefits should not be underestimated.
First, working for different companies can expose you to different business practices. It can expand your knowledge and understanding in a similar way that taking a new class does. In addition, you may have the opportunity to work in and learn about a new industry. You will also grow your personal network as you work with different folks from different backgrounds.
But, the best advantage by far to switching companies is the opportunity to increase your income. My guess is that at your current company, your last annual raise was somewhere in the ballpark of 2 to 3 percent. Is that correct? Funny how I guessed that, even though we’ve never met and I have no idea about your job performance. It may have been just enough to keep up with inflation. You probably felt frustrated when you found out, but you decided that it was OK, because your boss explained that’s what everyone else at your company got too.
When you switch companies, you get to do something that you typically only do once: negotiate your salary. I have seen folks who have switched to a new company increase their annual salaries by 10 to more than 50 percent. This of course depends a lot on where you fall on your pay scale today (whether you’re at the top, middle or bottom).
At an annual increase of 2 percent, it would take you more than 20 years to grow your salary by 50 percent. When you switch jobs, you can increase your salary over the phone in just a few minutes compared to what would have taken years at your current job.
Just try not to reveal your current salary if at all possible; it will give you much more leverage in your discussions. Last, but not least, don’t forget: your new company expects you to negotiate your job offer. They will never offer you the highest salary first. It’s up to you to ask for it.
Angela Copeland is CEO/founder of Copeland Coaching, www.CopelandCoaching.com, and author of “Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job.” You can follow Copeland Coaching on Twitter (@CopelandCoach) and Facebook (Facebook.com/CopelandCoaching).