Cut the Bullshit & Earn What You’re Worth!
“No one will ever pay you what you’re worth… They’ll only ever pay you what they think you’re worth.” This is the powerful opening line to Casey Brown’s Ted Talk ‘Know your worth and ask for it”.
It’s great to see other experts enforcing the same principles I’ve been sharing with clients over the years. The actual phrase itself may sound harsh, but there is a silver lining; that we control what others perceive our value to be. We are only rewarded to the extent that we create value. This puts the power back in our hands.
I remember being at a job interview that was going extremely well. The Hiring Manager seemed genuinely engaged, nodding at all the right comments and making positive observations about my background and experience. Then time for the final wrap up. I was asked the golden question: “What are your salary expectations?”. Although I had a figure in mind, I was somehow caught off-guard. I didn’t want to undersell myself, but also didn’t want to pitch myself out of the ball park either. Somehow I caved under pressure and made an instant decision to shave $10K off my initial salary expectations. This was followed by the Interviewer nodding and smiling, which signalled to me that he readily accepted my figure. Suddenly I had a sunken feeling in my gut that I caved in too early. Had I stated far less than they were willing to pay? I knew I’d blown it. I was offered the role, but at my own de-valued rate which was significantly lower than what I should have been earning. Boy, have I learnt a thing or two since then.
Many people struggle with salary negotiation. I regularly meet with executive clients who are highly adept at pitching, negotiating, winning and managing multi-million dollar accounts, yet when it comes to their own personal value, they have a completely different mindset.
Imagine finding a job that encompassed everything you desire: purpose, meaningful and challenging work, career prospects, a great culture and whatever other perks and benefits you crave. Then you arrive at the salary negotiation part of the selection process….
How do you ensure you earn what you’re worth?
It starts at the very beginning of the process. Firstly, you need to have a positive self- perception. Your words reflect your thinking about yourself and in turn, how others see you. Choosing the wrong words and phrases or not being confident enough can also easily diminish your value.
Let’s say you’re at a professional networking event and you ask the woman standing next to you what she does for a living. Her reply is: “Oh… I work in finance”. This doesn’t exactly lend itself to wanting to know more about her, does it? It also doesn’t do her any justice in describing what she does.
Now imagine being faced with an alternative response such as: “After spending many years working as a Financial Advisor for a global bank, I decided to venture out on my own and pursue my true passion, which is working with small businesses to help them grow and step up to the next level financially. I do this by sharing my knowledge and tailoring the best strategies for them. It’s extremely rewarding and I’m always open to new connections who could value from this service”.
Think about how different this sounds compared to the first option. It has a certain element of confidence and lends itself to wanting to know more. It also creates an opportunity to form new connections that may even lead to a referral.
You don’t have to channel your inner Kanye to articulate your value either. It’s not about being arrogant or bragging, it’s just knowing how to convey your worth to others. Once you find your voice, it needs to be authentic, personal and resonate who you are.
Part of this involves identifying your unique skill-set: values, characteristics, strengths, achievements and experience. It then needs to be translated in writing on your CV and social media, particularly your Linkedin profile. The message needs to be consistent as does any conversation you have with anyone- whether it’s an informal networking situation, or a more formal job interview.
Start by asking yourself:
- What’s my unique skill-set that makes me better serve my clients?
- What are the unique characteristics about me that people like?
- What problems am I good at solving?
- What is the value I deliver to others?
Having the right tools are critical to your career success. Personal branding doesn’t stop once you’ve got the right job. It needs to be carried out in all your interactions at work. To find out how to cleverly craft your 30 second pitch, contact Fiona at Career Mojo for a free chat.