Salary Starting Point
When I was younger, I was too humble and too easily satisfied to a fault. I’m linking this to a lack of self confidence in myself and my skills. If I was applying for a new job and they wanted to hire me, I would take it, no questions asked because I was just thankful to have a job. During early jobs, even after years of hard work and great service, if the company was skimping on deserved raises, I would look for excuses to the situation. “At least I have a job, at least I like my team, and at least they pay for my cell phone!” I had an endless list at my disposable to reason away any job shortcomings.
Fast forward to today. I’m no longer a rookie in my field, but for some reason my mindset and confidence is still linked to my newbie days. I must be doing something right, right? Get this into your thick skull Buck! The biggest challenge was at the end of last year when a new opportunity popped up. My mindset nearly crumbled at the 25% salary pop and additional responsibilities. I felt I didn’t deserve the pay increase because I thought I was being fairly compensated. I also doubted my self and my skills. “Could I really perform 25% higher than my current level?” Illogical, I know, but with Baby Buck on the way, I manned up, took the plunge, and shattered my old way of approaching a new job with my Robert California routine. Funny what a kid can do for one’s ambition. During the song and dance negotiation, I even counter offered the initial starting salary. My boss countered back with a lower number, but it was slightly higher than the initial number. He did understand this is the time to set the bar. In a way, I think this move earned more of his respect.
Thinking back I had three big advantages. I already had a job so I had nothing to lose. I had a man on the inside saying that I could walk on water and the person I was replacing had much to be desired. Seven months later, things are humming along. My anxiety was uncalled for. I carried several critical projects, hit some home runs in crisis, and feel I am more than earning my keep. Our annual performance review happened and I got a nominal raise for good work. Please don’t mistake this as senseless rant so I can pat myself on the back. This is a reminder to myself that my sleepless nights of anxiety were unnecessary. Since I wasn’t being unreasonable and I pushed my envelope ever so slightly, my future raises will be even more fruitful because my salary starting point was bumped higher. Hope this helps you in your future jobs, this includes you Buck!
What salary negotiation tricks do you have up your sleeve?