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 Using a Job Search to Increase Your Pay

By Joe Stein

It is probably an obvious statement, but I am not sure if there is anyone who would not like to make more money. It seems that regardless of whatever you may make, you could always use more. The challenge is, however, on how to increase your compensation.
It is unfortunately true that, in many situations, a person has to leave his or her current employment in order to maximize pay. I am not sure why employers value those who do not work for them more than those that do, but this is sadly the case for most companies. What this means for you is that if compensation is a priority, you may have to change your employer several times during a career.
So, how can you leverage your position as a Job Seeker to increase your pay?   Below are some tips for you to consider:
·         Be a Choosy Passive Job Seeker – A Job Seeker can maximize their compensation when they hold an edge in the negotiation with a prospective employer. You can do this by being in a position of strength as a “passive” type of Job Seeker. In other words, be someone who does not “have” to change jobs or find a new position immediately. If you are someone with a current job, without an immediate need to leave, then you can be choosy with your next position. If a company does not meet your compensation requirements, you can simply wait to the next opportunity. All along you just continue to work at your current position. The only thing you have lost is the time spent pursuing this position that has not resulted in a viable offer.
·         Communicate Your Range – Everyone is busy, and I think it is important for both a Job Seeker and a prospective employer to reach an understanding early, if you are someone they can possibly afford. With that being said, a key is what you actually communicate. Instead of focusing on and stating what you currently make, communicate your range, outlining what you want to make. Especially if it is a situation where you will have to be convinced to leave your current employment to make this change. Remember, you want to make more money than what you are currently receiving, so your required range is the real number. If a Recruiter pushes you hard for your current salary, there’s something you can try. Inform them that you feel that the compensation structure of your current employer is confidential and in order to maintain this, you prefer to not communicate this information.
·         Know Your Worth – This is so much easier to do than in previous decades with the onset of the internet. You have an idea you are underpaid. Perhaps you have an idea of what your colleagues are making, or know others in your field making more.  You can go online and validate this gut feeling. Make sure you try to be as accurate as possible regarding your specific type of work and skill level. Also, match up your information to the Western New York area, as there are major geographic differences in compensation depending on where you live in this country. This way when you negotiate with a potential employer, you are doing so with a knowledge of the market.
·         Seek Promotional Jobs – Unless you are grossly underpaid for what you do, you will need a promotional type of role to significantly increase your compensation. Now is not the time to be shy or lack self-confidence. In many situations, a person faces several roadblocks in their way of an internal promotion, and these obstacles may not exist when you seek a position in the external market. Variables, such as a position has to exist, someone has to leave or be created, or simply companies sometimes focus too much on the negative aspects of what they know about an internal candidate and do not want to give them a chance. In order for you to obtain this external promotion, however, you have to apply for it. So, if you feel you are qualified, then go for it. Don’t allow yourself to be talked out of it by that internal voice in your head that is causing doubt. You should, however, make sure that this is really what you want to do. For example, often the promotional role will require you to lead others. You need to be sure that this is what you want in your next step.
·         Be Ready to Say No – Sometimes it just feels great to be wanted. You have gone through the interview process and have been presented with an offer. You love that they are interested in you and feel great over them speaking so highly about you during the process. If your primary goal, however, is to increase your compensation, then you need to have your range met. If this creates a need to say “no” and move on, then you have to be prepared to not settle and have zero regrets about it.
So many Job Seekers are searching out of necessity. They may have become unemployed or find themselves in a current employment situation that is unbearable. If you are in the fortunate situation of being a passive-type of Job Seeker, you can enter the market in order to maximize your compensation. Consider taking advantage of profile option. This allows you to communicate to employers that you are currently employed but will be open to other opportunities. It is all on!
As always, best of luck in your job search!