How to take your salary to the next level

Everyone wants to know how they can grow their salary, how they can take their increase above the standard percentage point and take home more for their hard work.

Fortunately, there are steps that anyone can follow that will help them to grow their salary and their value.

Your first step is to know your value and believe in yourself. If you walk into a meeting to negotiate your salary and you’re vague on your value, then things are unlikely to change. If you’re confident and recognise how you contribute to the business, then you are more likely to negotiate with confidence.

Have a clear understanding of your job requirements and what is expected of you. Things are always changing, in every profession, and those who keep abreast of the latest trends and technology, who are constantly updating their knowledge will be in a strong position when looking to negotiate a raise. Build a network of peers, expand your understanding of your role and develop your skills.

This will make a huge difference in how you can negotiate. It is further supported by going the extra mile. Hard work does pay so if your standard increase is 7% and you are angling for a 9% increase, then you can’t be a 9-5 person. Ensure that you achieve performance scores beyond what is expected of you.

Show your value

In fact, by consistently overachieving on your KPIs, you are placing yourself in a very strong position as an employee. However, you also need to let the business know that you are a high achiever and that you are adding value to the business. It is important to showcase your work, to let management see how you are performing and to make yourself an indispensable resource.

You almost want to ensure that your company is now working to keep you happy. Put your hand up, accept challenges and expand your role. Be the person who is visibly making an effort to be a part of the company.

Before moving into any salary negotiation, you also need to do your research. Find out what your role is worth on the market and what the salary benchmark is. There are different levels of benchmarks, so you need to do all the right things to negotiate and earn at the upper level.

Be willing to grow

Know your strengths and your weaknesses too, and be receptive to criticism. Show how you are working to grow yourself and to make all the right changes. Look for ways to work smarter and be sure to share your knowledge. Use feedback to build a strong relationship with your manager and an open line of communication. If you talk to your manager and make his or her life easier, they will see your value to them as well.

Finally, be unique. Don’t be the run-of-the-mill employee, be the person who stands out and makes a positive and constructive difference. This doesn’t mean vibrant feathered hats; rather a focus on doing the best you can while ensuring that people know you are there and willing to do your job. By immersing yourself in the culture and future of your company, you will be in a strong position to grow your salary that important extra percent.

Lavine Haripersad is the Payroll Manager at South African Payroll Association (SAPA).

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