Beat salary envy. Seven practical ways to take control of your pay.

Linda Whitney

by , Emolument

15 Dec 2015 /  

15
Dec 2015

Beat salary envy. Seven practical ways to take control of your pay.

Here are some short- and long-term strategies to boost your salary without changing your job.

Am I getting paid enough? Hitting the ‘compare my salary’ button on salary benchmarking sites can unleash rampant salary envy. Your pay may not match up to the Goldman Sachs median salary of £100,000, or the £83,000 average at Google, but simply moaning about it won’t help. It’s also a waste of time regretting that you did not take one of the highest paid degrees (economics and law, since you ask), or were born female and so typically earn less than male colleagues.

Don’t allow yourself to remain a passive victim of statistics. Taking control of your pay is more likely to deliver the goods. Here are some short- and long-term strategies to boost your salary without changing your job.

1. First benchmark your salary.

You stand a better chance of negotiating a raise if you can prove you are underpaid. The free Emolument.com salary benchmarking service pits your earnings against others with your experience and qualifications - valuable ammunition when asking for a raise. Money Saving Expert’s income tax calculator helps you work out take-home pay after tax, student loans and pensions, can help you decide how much to ask for.

2. Apply for awards.

Women in the City, which runs The Future Leaders Awards, says that most finalists are promoted to a senior executive position within six months. The Wealth Management Awards recognise the wealth management industry’s best performers. An award makes you a more desirable commodity, and thus more likely to succeed when requesting promotion or a raise.

3. Make friends at work.

Turns out it’s not the ruthless types who scorn friendship who always do best. Stats from Office Vibe show that people with a good friend at work have 35% higher commitment to quality, and receive 137% more personal development support - all more likely to raise your profile and help you along the way.

4. Work on your body language.

Only 7% of our judgements are based on what people say. People who maintain eye contact come across as being more engaged, outgoing and enthusiastic, while those who stand straight with head held high or sit forward convey confidence. Copying the boss’s body language will increase one-to-one rapport, which can help on a daily basis as well as when you are asking for a raise, and don’t forget to smile - it’s almost guaranteed to put everyone in a positive frame of mind.

5. Manage your relationship with your boss.

Beating performance expectations and resolving problems before they arise will help you stand out. It’s tempting to assume that good performance will automatically earn a raise, but this may not be the case. Clever employees let it be known that they are looking for an salary increase, and provide concrete evidence (ideally in the form of figures) that their work has boosted revenues or improved productivity.

6. If a basic pay increase is not possible, what about asking for more benefits instead?

Increased employer pension contributions, a better company car or other benefits such as extra training will boost your overall package.

7. Consider meditation (really!).

Meditation is proven to increase compassion, improving your leadership skills, which should result in greater performance in your team. It is known to reduce stress and develop clearer thinking, allowing you to take control and practical action - not least, to beat salary envy.

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