Have you ever asked for a raise or promotion? Have you ever been asked your salary range during an interview? Have you ever wondered if you’re being paid a fair wage compared to your executive peers? Many professionals struggle with determining their market value, mostly because they haven’t taken the time to analyses and compare their experiences against current salary data. In some cases, people rely on intuition and an educated guess when negotiating compensation. But that isn’t exactly the most effective or strategic approach, obviously.
At the executive level especially, you need to know your worth, so you can confidently ask for that raise, pursue that promotion or close the deal on that new job opportunity. The stakes are high but knowing your unique executive talents and promise of value can give you the confidence to negotiate a top-dollar salary.
Do your research
It’s really that simple. There are jobs and recruiting sites online to help you figure out the going rate for the type of work you do. Trusted sites like www.salary.com, www.indeed.com, www.hlassdoor.com and (if you’re in the United States) the Bureau of Labor & Statistics website can provide valuable insights into compensation by field, industry, job type and even geographical location.
A few words of caution, however: Take some of the information you discover with a grain of salt. Typically, you’ll find rather large pay ranges on these sites and you’ll have to rely on averages. But, your skills might not be “average,” particularly at the executive level. Your career trajectory might have exposed you to skills and knowledge that the average candidate represented by this information might not possess. Still it helps to gather Intel from multiple sources to get the best idea of your market value and give you a leg up during salary and pay raise negotiations.
Here are a few factors to consider as you review salary information online:
- Your location
- Your education level
- Your years of experience
- Your current responsibilities
- Your metrics-driven accomplishments
- Your soft skills
- The size and scope of the organization
In addition to Goggling salary information, talk with other executives in your field to discuss their compensation. Some people are more open than others, of course, but obtaining information about salary, raises and other forms of compensation directly from the source can give you greater insight into where you might fall within the average pay range you find on popular websites.
Make sure your brand matches your value
Once you’ve determine your market value, it’s critical to develop and maintain a fully aligned professional brand. This involves refreshing your career branding materials like your resume and LinkedIn profile each year.
All too often professionals—even executives—neglect their brand until the last minute, leaving them scrambling to quickly build an image that will resonate with employers, clients and Board organizations. Don’t procrastinate! Each year take stock of your skills, experiences and achievements and evolve your brand accordingly. Perhaps you’ve learned something new or completed a major project that will bolster your market value. Are those new skills and accomplishments clearly represented in your professional branding materials?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of developing and fine-tuning your resume, LinkedIn profile or other career marketing tools, look to a qualified and reputable executive resume writing service to tackle the challenge.
Validate your worth
You can’t simply walk into an interview and demand a six-figure salary or tell your CEO you deserve a raise without just cause. You must develop a clear case with concrete evidence of your value to support your request. Being able to articulate your value by outlining specific achievements, skills and knowledge is crucial to giving you a competitive edge. Remember that your professional brand should reflect your unique promises of value. Your resume, your cover letter writing service, your LinkedIn profile—each career marketing tool should include specific metrics and details that validate your worth. Refreshing your brand each year will help ensure that you’re presenting the most up-to-date qualifications.