De­ter­mine your worth

Make sure you are com­pen­sated fairly for your work and the ex­pe­ri­ence you have to of­fer

CityPress - - Careers - SU­SAN RICKER ca­reers@city­press.co.za – Ca­reerbuilder.com

How much is your po­si­tion worth?

In po­lite com­pany, you’re not sup­posed to dis­cuss pol­i­tics or pay cheques. But that won’t get you far in the real world.

When it comes to job search­ing, pay is one of the most im­por­tant qual­i­fiers, yet it’s rarely dis­cussed be­fore a job of­fer is made and ne­go­ti­at­ing for bet­ter pay can be dif­fi­cult with­out a proven for­mula for why you de­serve more.

Per­haps em­ploy­ers pre­fer that salary in­for­ma­tion be kept pri­vate, but if you want to en­sure that you’re re­ceiv­ing pay for what you’re worth, you’ll need to do some re­search.

Here’s how to get started:

Go on­line

Whether you’re look­ing to join a new field or take on a new role, it’s help­ful to know the range of your po­ten­tial pay.

In or­der to cre­ate a pay range, start by look­ing on­line.

“A great start is to use some of the many on­line re­sources,” says Katie Dono­van, a salary and ca­reer ne­go­ti­a­tion con­sul­tant, and equal-pay ad­vo­cate.

“You also can find salary wizards on most job sites. Most salary wizards have the op­tion to spec­ify the lo­ca­tion, the in­dus­try, the type of or­gan­i­sa­tion, the size of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, the can­di­date/em­ployee’s ex­pe­ri­ence and the can­di­date/em­ployee’s ed­u­ca­tion.”

Get on the phone

While on­line re­sources can gar­ner the range that your salary may fall into, the more per­son­alised your quote, the bet­ter.

This is the time for a hu­man as­sess­ment, and Dono­van rec­om­mends us­ing staffing agen­cies.

“Call one up, and tell them your job ti­tle and pay,” she says. “Then ask: ‘Can I do bet­ter?’ They will let you know if they are get­ting open­ings for that job with higher pay and if they cur­rently have any. This call ac­com­plishes two things: You find out if your cur­rent pay is in line with the mar­ket and you can start/ex­pand your job search at the same time.”

Go through your own num­bers

It’s es­sen­tial that you un­der­stand in­dus­try stan­dards to en­sure that you’re pric­ing your­self real­is­ti­cally, but there’s one last fac­tor to con­sider be­fore you name a num­ber: you.

“Sure, you need to talk about your value, but you in­di­vid­u­ally are truly the third cri­te­ria in the de­ter­mi­na­tion of pay,” Dono­van says.

“The job value is first. The em­ployer’s abil­ity to pay and its pay phi­los­o­phy are sec­ond.”

How can you go about prov­ing your worth to a po­ten­tial or cur­rent em­ployer? As Dono­van says, the num­bers need to back you up.

“You need to talk about your value in terms of fi­nan­cial im­pact since you are dis­cussing fi­nances. You want R100 000 more in an­nual pay – then tell man­age­ment how you saved R1 mil­lion by chang­ing ven­dors or im­prov­ing a process. Tell man­age­ment how you made R2 mil­lion more than a sales goal or mar­keted to a new de­mo­graphic,” she says.

Pre­pare other bar­gain­ing chips

While a big­ger pay cheque is an at­trac­tive out­come of de­ter­min­ing your worth, it may not be the only perk you can ne­go­ti­ate.

Paul McDon­ald, se­nior ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor at HR con­sult­ing firm Robert Half, says: “Think be­yond start­ing salary/ca­reer in­vest­ment. What does the com­pany of­fer in terms of long-term ca­reer prospects, growth and learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties? Does it have a sta­ble man­age­ment team in place? Will you have sched­ule flex­i­bil­ity and other work-life ben­e­fits? Many fac­tors should go into your de­ci­sion be­yond just the ini­tial salary of­fer.” This is the ben­e­fit of de­ter­min­ing your worth. While some may place em­pha­sis on bet­ter pay, oth­ers may find work flex­i­bil­ity to be a bet­ter of­fer, while oth­ers still would pre­fer more mod­ern tech­nol­ogy.

No mat­ter what qual­i­ties you gather to de­ter­mine your worth, the goal is to be fairly com­pen­sated for your work.

PHOTO: JUPITER IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES

BAR­GAIN­ING CHIP In or­der to cre­ate a pay range, start by look­ing on­line

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