Landing a job is the easy part. It’s earning what you’re worth that is more challenging. Learn how to increase your salary by up to 30% by doing what? Leaving your job!
Leaving a job is one of the toughest decisions to make. We all go through the same initial motions:
We get offered a job by a company and accept it because we may not have a better option. Over time, we get used to the daily tasks and become comfortable. When we were first hired, we were content with the pay and the scope of the position (we did accept the job after all). But as time went on, we became better at it, accumulated knowledge and experience, and yet our pay didn’t keep up with our personal growth. The 3-4% annual raise just doesn’t add up (especially when you consider inflation, which is currently at 1.9% as published by the U.S. Labor Department).
A few years into the job, nothing is challenging anymore. We’ve built a circle of work friends and feel that if we decided to leave, we would be cutting ties and would have to start all over again. Back to square one of being the new guy at the office and trying to make new friends.
In some cases, we may have to move to a different part of town or state altogether. Change scares us. So, we do nothing. We stay at the same company, collect a few percent in raises each year, and although we hate it and have grown out of the position, we stick around. We are scared. Scared of even seeing what opportunities are out there.
Well guys, I’m here to give you a reality check… It’s time to SNAP OUT OF IT!!
Read carefully because the advice I am about to give you is important…
LEAVE YOUR JOB!
Don’t even think twice. You don’t owe your employer anything.
I am obviously not suggesting that you just leave your job and then do nothing. First, find a new job… then leave your current job.
Create accounts on websites like LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed and Glassdoor so you can research potential job opportunities in your field. Next, update and upload your resume. Make sure you really take the time to polish up that old resume that has been tucked away in one of your many file hosting/cloud storage accounts like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive.
Side note: If you are not using a cloud storage service to save important documents such as your resume or business ideas, then you need to stop what you are doing and get that done now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost track of my latest resume and have had to update it more than necessary. Now that I have it stored on the cloud, I no longer worry about having the latest version. I go to one single place regardless of where I am in the world or whether I have my personal laptop with me. As millennials, we basically live on the cloud. But if you are not a millennial and don’t have a cloud storage service, please… please… please… get one. Lots of them are free up to a certain limit (which is more than enough for saving some important documents).
Why Leave Your Job?
At this point, you may not be convinced as to why you should leave your job. Let me explain.
First, interviewing for a new position will allow you to find out what you are currently worth. You can then use this knowledge to negotiate a higher salary with your current employer.
Furthermore, if you’ve always thought about one day making six-figures and are currently making $50,000 or $60,000 (which is honestly not that much considering that it is the starting salary for a lot of entry level jobs in a technical field, such as Actuarial, Engineering, Analyst, etc.), then you are in luck.
Switching jobs is one of the fastest ways to get yourself in the $100,000 tax bracket.
Studies show that staying at the same company for more than two years will earn you 50% less. This is because companies want employees who are in demand. If you are already employed, you will find that it is easier to get an interview than it would be if you lost your job and are currently searching. So, why wait until you are jobless to job hunt? Why not leave on your own terms and negotiate better pay as you move around?
This will also free you from the restrictions of your current employer’s salary caps. For the new company to make sure that you will accept their job offer, they know that they have to make the proposal sweeter than what you’re getting from your current employer. Otherwise, why would you want to jump ship? Oftentimes, you will experience nothing less than a 10-20% raise, and in many cases, you will experience offers that are 30% better or more.
However, before you can get these offers, you need to fix up your resume.
Updating Your Resume
When I say fix up your resume, I do not mean that you should simply make some small changes here and there. Spend some real time editing your resume, taking out old and irrelevant positions from when you were in high school or even college. Keep the ones that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
For example, don’t apply for a junior level marketing analyst position but have on your resume that you worked as a caterer in high school/college. However, if that catering position was one that allowed you to use some marketing and analytical skills and you want to point this out to employers, then do so.
The only time it is acceptable to keep irrelevant jobs on your resume is when you are coming out of college and are applying for your first professional job. In that case, you need to include everything you’ve done up to that point as well as relevant courses to show the potential employer that you have prepared yourself for the opportunity and are a go-getter; that you haven’t been sitting around for 4 years just taking classes.
If you were a dishwasher, include that. Make sure that the potential employer knows that you were the best damn dish washer that was ever hired. It doesn’t matter what you do for a career, but whatever it is that you decide to do, make sure you are the best at it!
Submit Your Resume to Job Search Sites
After updating your resume, submit it to the job sites that you created accounts on so that you can start applying for new positions. If you are using LinkedIn, spend a little cash and upgrade to the premium account. When you do this, you will be allowed to send a message to the recruiter who posted the position in the form of “InMail.”
Also, a premium account allows you to see what the potential salary for the position will be as well as how many other participants have applied for the job and their education level. You will be able to see where you rank in the application pool based on your experiences, so make sure you have fully updated your LinkedIn profile.
Check out my article on Why You Should Use LinkedIn To Job Hunt for more details on the benefits of LinkedIn and how to maximize its features. If you are looking to switch careers or companies and are applying via LinkedIn, read this first:
Why You Should Use LinkedIn To Job Hunt
As soon as you submit your application, send an InMail to the recruiter to let them know that you applied. Simply introduce yourself and express your interest in the position. If you don’t do this, your resume will most likely sit at the bottom of the pile along with everyone else’s. I recently found that when you upgrade for the premium account, your resume increases in priority and you get placed at the top of the pile.
Once you have used LinkedIn, Indeed or any other job portal, your third step is the interview process.
Do your due diligence and make sure you are well-prepared for this step. Research, research, research! I cannot stress that enough. I’m big on doing your research and properly preparing yourself for the opportunities that may come. Without proper research, you are leaving a potential job offer up to complete chance. If you do get the job, then you may have left a lot of money on the table by not doing your research beforehand. Meaning that without more research and preparation, you won’t be putting yourself in the best negotiating position for that higher salary.
Research the company, the people who are interviewing you, and the job (if it is a new career). Find out how long the company has been in business. What is the dynamic of the company and what is most attractive about it? Make sure you bring this up in the interview.
Say something like, “I really like that the company is into alternative energy. It seems that global warming is something that matters to the employees here. It’s actually something I’m very passionate about.” Then proceed to explain why you are passionate about it to create an engaging conversation with your interviewer. If they don’t bite, steer the conversation elsewhere. The goal is to get them to engage with you outside of the written questions they already have. Remember, they need to like you to hire you (to an extent of course).
I know some of you might disagree with my last statement but put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes:
There are two people you are interviewing for a job. You are indifferent about the first candidate (you are neutral). You don’t like them, but you don’t hate them either based on the interview. The second candidate gets you really engaged in conversation and is very likable. Both are qualified on paper which is why they are being interviewed to begin with. Out of the two candidates, which one would you hire? Obviously the one you took an automatic liking to!
Lastly, you should have a handful of questions for them. Questions that will help you decide if the job is really something you would be interested in. You need to know if the company culture is one in which you can see yourself. At this point, you are interviewing your interviewer. This is very important because you need to want to be there just as much as they want you to be there. However, don’t overdo it and end up acting like you are God’s gift to Earth!
Remember… create a more “conversational” atmosphere. Make them feel comfortable with you.
On Your Way to Six Figures
If you employ these tips, I’m confident you will get the job. They will call you and offer you the position and at this point, you negotiate your salary.
You should negotiate a salary that is at least 30% higher than what you are currently earning. Make sure you include some of the benefits you receive in your total package unless directly asked not to. For example, if your current company offers to pay for your car miles or gives any type of stipend, include that in your salary. Then you can bring the offer to your current employer (assuming you don’t want to leave) and see if they will match it. If they do, then great, you have just received a 30% raise (or more). If they don’t, then you can accept the new job.
The days of staying at the same company for many years are over. It is no longer frowned upon to job hop. In fact, it is now becoming more of an asset. Why do you think companies offer two-year rotational programs? It is for this same reason. They know that moving around every two years allows you to quickly learn new skills and to gain perspectives that people would not have if they were to stay in one department or position. By job hopping, you will be able to bring new things to the table based on your previous experiences that may be unique to the employer.
If you have a technical career/background, you most definitely will not be disappointed with this method. You will be someone who benefits the most and could even see a 50% increase in salary simply by going to a different company or interviewing for a different role in a new company. My friends and I have experienced 30-60% increases in salary by doing everything I mentioned above. None of the advice provided is theoretical. It is based on personal experience! It is worth noting that I have given this advice to many of my friends. Many of my friends that have heard my switching jobs spiel. 4 have tried it and all 4 received a 30%+ increase in salary!