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How to Improve Your Salary Prospects

Are you overworked and underpaid? Well, before you consider switching career paths, it’s worth investigating if, and how, you can improve your salary prospects and negotiate a pay increase in your current position.

How an Employer Determines What You’re Worth
There are a number of variables that come into play when an employer is trying to determine the salary for a specific employee. First, an employer must determine the value of the employee’s position in the organization. Human Resource managers establish this amount by researching data on pay practices for comparable jobs at comparable companies. Factors that influence a position’s salary figure include:

  • geographic location
  • company size and profitability
  • industry standards

When it comes time to interview potential employees it is the hiring manager’s responsibility to adjust this amount in order to fairly compensate a candidate based on their background and experience.

Five Things That Can Improve Your Earning Potential
The value of a potential employee is quite simply the value of the position (as determined by Human Resources) adjusted for the skills and experiences possessed by the candidate. The more skills and experience you have, the higher your earning potential (and salary figure) will be. Here are eight factors that can greatly increase your salary prospects:

  1. Years of professional experience
  2. Education, training, and professional development
  3. Past performance reviews
  4. Memberships in professional associations and organizations
  5. Flexibility and the willingness to work overtime

Negotiate You Way to a Higher Salary
Learning how to leverage the above eight factors correctly can have a huge effect on your earning capacity and salary prospects. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your personal potential:

Years of Professional Experience: Typically, more experience results in higher pay. If you have more experience than what is required of your position, don’t be afraid to mention it.
Education, training, and professional development: Having an educational background in your chosen field is important; what many employees don’t understand is that the quality of this education is just as important. If you’ve earned a degree from a top-notch institution, make sure that your employer is aware of your accomplishments. Enrolling in company-sponsored professional development programs is also a great way to show your employer that you deserve a higher salary.

Past performance reviews: Performance has a significant impact on pay, especially if you work in a commission-based industry. Show your boss that you’re an integral part of the team; keep a file that documents every time you’ve been awarded positive feedback on a project, or received a favourable review from a co-worker. When it comes time for your annual assessment you’ll be able to provide your employer with a long list of past accomplishments.

Memberships in professional associations and organizations: Certifications and memberships in professional organizations will almost always have a positive effect on your earning potential. If you have a certification that is optional, but considered beneficial to your position, you should definitely use it as a bargaining chip when asking for a raise.
Flexibility and the willingness to work overtime: Logging a few overtime hours is one of the fastest ways to catch your boss’s attention. Employees that are flexible and able to contribute extra during times of need are typically recognized when it comes time to review salary figures.



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