What would more money mean to your life? More freedom? More security? Increased self-respect? Being underpaid and feeling under appreciated doesn’t help anyone – employers know that happy employees remain in their jobs longer and contribute much more to the workplace.
There is often no obvious correlation between a high-income earner and their similarly qualified colleague (who earns less) in terms of education, years of experience and ability to do the job. The secrets are in the subtleties. As an ex-recruiter, I was constantly amazed at how some job candidates got paid more than their equally competent counterparts time and time again.
The good news is that these subtleties can be learned and, over time, mastering means that they really add up. Here are 5 secrets high-income earners know:
You have to ask for what you want
The meek shall not inherit the earth. If you want something you have to, in no uncertain terms, ask for it. This does not mean that you have to be a swift negotiator or a pushy employee. You just have to communicate to your boss what it is that you want – inclusion on a project, a promotion next year, a salary increase. Managers are not mind readers! Don’t assume they know what you want.
Communication = career acceleration
People who ask for what they want and speak up at work have more opportunities for promotion and progression; it opens up a dialogue for a deeper, broader career discussion and asking is a clear marker of assertion and confidence. This is a skill that leaders possess, which is why it’s important to develop your communication skills and learn to articulate goals to a senior audience.
You have to believe in your worth
This factor is crucial. High-income earners simply believe in themselves more.
Try this simple exercise in order to feel more confident in your job:
On paper, draw a line so that you have 2 columns. List on the left your accomplishments, your successes, your wins, and any developments (however small) over the past year or so. Don’t be bashful here!
On the right-hand column make a correlation between how everything on your first list benefits your greater team and organization. For example: I increased operational efficiency by streamlining and simplifying the invoicing process. Benefit: 3 hours saved per week and timely invoices always sent out to clients! OR I exceeded my sales goal by X% Benefit – There is a bottom line profit increase of X amount this quarter. Remember that your employer cares about the benefits to the organization so be clear on your achievements, always. Focus on them over any mistakes.
Replacing people is expensive
This is great knowledge to have in general – when applying for a new job, when negotiating a raise, when you need a boost to feel more secure at work. Think about it from your manager’s point of view – a high employee turnover comes at an undesirable price. If you were to resign, the energy spent on filling your job vacancy involves:
- Hours spent on the hiring tasks and administration (advertising, resume screening, interviewing, second interviews, background checks, human resources on boarding).
- Hours/weeks in lost productivity while the position is unfilled.
- All of the additional work for co-workers and your manager/supervisor – the overtime, onboarding the new hire, the additional projects, lots of temporary work added to already busy peoples’ plates. An overworked team is never a happy team!
- Number of hours spent in orientation and training of a new employee.
- Lost knowledge – when a great employee leaves they take a great deal of information with them.
- Ramp up time – it can take anywhere from 3-12 months for a new hire to be as proficient as an experienced, former employee.
- And finally – the risk of a new hire… what if it doesn’t work out? Does the process begin again?
Oh, and how much will the new employee cost – the amount (or more) than you secretly wanted? Does this make is easier for you to get a raise, perhaps?
Attitude is everything
The best and most successful CEO I ever worked told me that the most important quality he looks for in the people he hires and promotes beyond their professional know-how is their attitude. Remember that positivity, not pessimism, wins! And optimism generates opportunity. The best leaders are likeable, optimistic and believe in possibility. Is this you? Fortunately, confidence is an acquired skill that can be developed by following the right formula.
Self-belief, communication, attitude and asking for what you want are all winning attributes when it comes to the earning stakes. As we rapidly head towards a new year, how does this information empower your earning potential?