How to triple your salary – 4 tips for executive women
For many of my readers money is not the most important thing.
I get it. We know that chasing the dollar for your entire career is not necessarily going to keep us healthy and happy forever. And if you have read my 1st book Step Up, Speak Out, Take Charge, you may remember me discussing the feminine ambition trifecta – while we want the money, we also want to know that our voice is heard and that we are making a difference – and that when we don’t feel like we are getting all three things, we are more likely to pick up our bat, ball and briefcase and go elsewhere.
But money is important to many, so in the wake of Equal Pay Day on Friday 25 August – let’s talk about how to increase your salary – specifically, as in the case of one of my clients, how to triple your salary.
FOUR IDEAS TO CONSIDER IF YOU WANT TO TRIPLE YOUR SALARY
One of my clients shared recently at one of my Women in Leadership Retreats in Palm Cove, QLD, that she had more than tripled her salary in just 15 months. There was a moment of silence followed by a heap of cheering and questions.
- “What had she done?”
- “How was this even possible?”
- “Was she selling her soul to the devil?”
(And we all laughed pretty hard at the last one.)
While tripling your salary isn’t for everyone, here are four ideas to get you started.
- It’s both an inside and an outside job – You’ve got to believe in the value you bring, so spend the time and do the deep work to truly know, and own, your own value. If you don’t value yourself, others won’t either. If you have no understanding of the value you bring to the business or the difference you are making to the enterprise, it’s going to be hard to develop a compelling business case for any sort of significant increase. You’ve heard me talk about collecting evidence of your wins and achievements on a regular basis – well being able to quantify your results is also important. Sometimes this is hard when you work in an industry that doesn’t quantify results so when that’s not possible, focus on quantifying scale and scope of the work you do instead. Once you quantify, then work out how that benefits your department/organisation – understand the big picture. Be sure to benchmark your salary externally and validate with external sources. And finally, no more dismissing of your skills or expertise as though it happened by luck or happy accident. Own it like a boss – and remind yourself (and others) weekly of the value you bring.
- Consider multiple moves – it’s not disloyal. I’ve had several of my clients triple their salary, and it’s been via a series of step changes – two or more – over a period of time. In this instance it was two job changes in 15 months. I’ve also seen it done in four moves – two promotions and two job changes over a longer time frame. While research tells us that women tend towards being more loyal to their organisation it can come at a cost – and that is often bargaining power. While I’ve seen people more than double their salary in one fell swoop, I have yet to see anyone triple their salary in one move. (However, never say die! After all, most of it is a mindset game. DM me if you have!) So if money is important to you for whatever reason at this point in your career, then consider a series of step changes rather than one move. When done right, it’s not disloyal, it’s smart.
- Execute a Sector Segue. Consider changing sectors to one that is more highly paid, especially if you’ve found yourself in a highly feminised and/or low paying sector. For example, if you work in the community sector but have a talent for technology and projects – consider segueing into the technology or project team in the organisation you currently work for where salaries are often higher – then use it as a springboard into a more lucrative sector.
- Nurture your Champions and Sponsors. Champions and sponsors are those people in industry who are prepared to put you forward for opportunities because they don’t just know what you do, but they know the value you add as well. Confidently keep your Champions and Sponsors up to date with your career success. Never take them for granted and don’t just be needy or a victim, as that’s a turn off. The key is in the word ‘nurture’. Adopt a give and take mentality where you provide value as much as they add value to you.
My client did all four of these things in order to more than triple her salary –
- Worked on knowing, quantifying and owning her own value. She worked out what she was worth and what the market should pay for that, where the market would more easily pay for that, so from there it was much easier to work out her plan.
- She was prepared to change roles
- She was prepared to change sectors
- She nurtured a network of champions and sponsors and continues to do so to keep her in the loop for future opportunities.
Even if you don’t want to triple your salary, but instead want a significant raise, you can follow these steps too. And while it may not happen overnight, with an execution plan, along with sitting in a bunch of discomfort plus gathering up all your courage, you can do it too if that’s what you really want. The only thing stopping you is you.
I started my business with one mission: to help women to play a much bigger game – and do so with BIG ideas, BIG impact and BIG, audacious bucket loads of confidence, so that together we can shift the balance of power and create a better place for us all. Helping women win raises, promotions and the recognition they truly deserve is a fabulous way to do this.