There are few phrases I dislike more than “getting paid what your worth.” Let’s get one thing straight, your salary market value has NOTHING to do with your worth!
Salaries do not define who we are or what we are worth….just ask a teacher.
The best way to think about your salary market value is like the stock market.
Say, for instance, that you want to by AAPL (Apple Inc) and see you that the stock price is $370 per share.
- If you feel it is worth more, you will by it today.
- If you feel it is worth less, you will by it when the price is BELOW what you feel it is worth.
The price we pay for the stock is dictated by the market in much the same way as our salaries.
Just because supply and demand has lowered your salary market value does not mean that suddenly you are less successful now than you were 2 years ago. If you see this lower demand continuing, change or beef up your skill set.
- Not willing to take 1 step back to take 2 steps forward for financial reasons is what I call penny wise and pound foolish.
- Not willing to take 1 step back to take 2 steps forward because of what people will think is just foolish.
Salaries use a few more variables than just how many buyers vs. sellers to determine the market value.
Here are the top 4 considerations when determining salaries.
1. Internal Equity.
Even if a company has, across the board, lower than market salaries for its employees, it cannot make it up one at a time. They are asking for trouble if they bring someone in to do a job at a higher salary than that of his/her exact peers with the same education and years of experience. There are many reasons why a company will pay lower than market salaries including:
- Above market benefits,
- Internal growth opportunities
- Any other reason people would rather work at that company than other companies.
Botton line, lower than market salaries could be because it is an amazing company, everybody wants to work there and they have a very low turnover rate or because it is not such a great company they do not place much value on human capital.
2. Most current salary leverage.
If your last salary was less than market, than it will take some explaining as to why. The hiring company has no idea why, other than your word or the word of your references as to why your salary was below market. Most companies will want to stay closer to what you were making and make adjustments later after they see your performance in action.
3. Supply and demand for your skill set.
If you have 5 companies courting you to work for them than your overall leverage is increased. This is where you can push the boundaries on internal equity and most current salary. Most likely there will be significant data to show the slim availability of your skill set and offers can be signed off on quickly.
4. The perfect fit scenario.
If a company has a very unique wish list for a particular job opportunity that almost does not occur naturally in nature (Recruiters call this "looking for a 'purple squirrel'”) and you are that “purple squirrel”, well, HELLO LEVERAGE!
In your career, keep the big picture in mind and your overall career strategy. Remember, just like the stock. You have made up your mind to buy AAPL because it is a great addition to your portfolio and you believe in the company AND it is a good value for the price.
Want help with the “money question” in an interview?
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Posted by:Saundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee
According to Inc. Magazine’s “State of Pay” the C-suite Executives’ salaries are tracking higher. Given the new increased financially regulated corporate environment we are moving towards, the CFO is much more in demand than they used to be compared to other C-suite Executives.
First we should clarify “in demand.”
When a CFO role needs to be filled the list of criteria is extremely high.
Common criteria for a CFO experience;
- Company industry match
- Company growth match
- Company size match
- IPO, venture or alternative funding
- Big 4 public accounting
- Treasury or Capital Markets
The list of criteria is not the same for every CFO position but the uniqueness of the “wish list” can make the talent acquisition even more difficult.
Q: So when can the “wish list” be up for negotiation?
A: When the CFO candidate is within the network of the CEO, Board of Directors or funding partner.
- Familiarity with the work
- Cost of Acquisition (which includes the time spent as well as the money)
This scenario does not necessarily spell out good news all the way around but I have been seeing increased demand for people on the Finance side for the first time in a couple years and that is good news for those with accounting and finance career paths. Many jobs still want to see solid accounting experience but companies seem to be on the hunt again for people with a “big picture” business sense.
If you are interviewing and want to make sure you make the most of your salary negotiation, check out my “Money Question” tutorials to guide you through the process.
Saundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee
Out of all the job interview questions to prepare for when in a job search, the one I get asked about the most and the one that most people blow it on is THE MONEY QUESTION.
Watch this video for a quick run down on how best to handle the question without knocking yourself out of contention by going too high or selling yourself short by going too low.
So that is the short answer but sometimes, in an interview, you can get pushed into a corner.
What do you do?
Get the 8 minute video tutorial for a more indepth explanation on how to handle the most difficult salary discussion in an interview.
Am I still satisfied with my job? Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence? Is it time to move on?
These are all questions we ask ourselves more often that you think.
Salary.com just released its 4th annual survey of employee job satisfaction and less than 15% respondents said they were “extremely” satisfied.
65% of employed survey respondents said they are looking around (up more than 17% this year). 60% said they plan to intensify their job search over the next three months despite the economy.
So how do you know if you can rekindle your job satisfaction where you are or if it is time for a job change?
Ask yourself 3 questions:
1. What do I really want?
3. Is it possible to achieve here?
Money isn’t enough! As human beings, we have a need to grow and contribute. The biggest battle is figuring out the “where, how, what.” The measure and definition of “growth” and “contribution” is different for everyone. Some might need recognition, to create, team synergy or leadership. Most of the time when we lose job satisfaction is it because we have lost our desire, motivation or ability to grow and contribute.
Before you give your notice, make sure you have done everything possible to discover whether or not your current company can deliver what you want. Never wait for the counter offer, as accepting a counter offer is what we call a CEM (career ending move.)
I have found, as a Headhunter, that when people say they want to look for a job to make more money, it is usually because the feel all the work they are doing is not being valued. And yes, if an employer makes a decision to pay a fantastic employee below market for their workload with no added benefit or means to an end, that employer will lose that person.
Satisfied or not, ALWAYS keep an eye open! It never hurts to hear what else is out there because you never know what might happen with your job tomorrow...new management, new parent company, outsourcing, etc. The best time to look for a job is when you have one if you do it the right way.
Ask yourself this question,
“What are the odds of finding the ideal job when I need it or am not busy?”
Knowing what job satisfaction means to you is the key.
When you know what you want the *universe has a way of presenting it to you.
- If you are struggling to figure out what job satisfaction is to you. Check out one of our upcoming career workshops such as “Making the Career of Your Dreams a Reality.”
- *”universe has a way” is a quote from Will Smith on his success. It is a video I highly recommend watching.
Posted by: Saundra Lee President, Dubin & Lee
Last week, I was speaking with a man currently working in a Big 4 accounting firm and was interviewing with our client for a Corporate Accounting role. He was a very confident interviewer because he had done so much research on the company and had the ideal experience for the job but he was unsure about one question....what to say if they asked about money.
There are really two parts to that question.
- What are you making?
- What are you looking to make?
1. "What are you making?" is a very straight forward question and should get a straight forward answer. I understand it is something that you don't tell the person next to you at work or use it as pick-up line but the interviewer does get to know this. Of course, you are not required to divuldge your past salary but keep these two things in mind.
- If they are interested in making you an offer, most of the time they will ask you to sign a release form to do a background check which usually includes education and employment verification as well as W9.
- If you do not give a straight answer and come off secretive or defensive about your last salary this could make you appear less confident that you will be paid what you are worth. It is best not to wave a red flag on this topic.
Think of it like the doctor's office getting to have your social security number.
2. "What are you looking to make?" is what I call a "future" question. Past and present questions need to be answered with actuals or facts as where future questions can be anwered in theory or with intangibles.
See my Vlog on that part of the money question and please comment with your experiences with this interview question.