A fulfilled job and the right salary – salary coach and senior HR expert Martina Ernst reveals the three most important steps to your success.
Summer is over and autumn is always a good moment to question career and salary.
Why don’t you use this moment to clearly define your career plans and prepare yourself for the next career step and an appropriate salary? What is important right now?
What do you really want to do professionally – time for a professional assessment
Do you know your professional strengths?
Sit down and think about what you want to do professionally, what you like about your job, what is easy for you, what gives you energy and where you are good at– and be sure to ask your professional and private environment, where in business they experience you in your full power and where you exceed their expectations. And very important: write down everything, this will increase the clarity of your decision.
And it’s just as important to ask yourself what you are willing to invest for your career? Everything has its price – so, be sure to think seriously about whether you’re really willing to work overtime, take on more responsibility, move on to another employer, or take a better-paid job in another city/country?
What is your market value? To get a clear idea, you can’t avoid a thorough research. Luckily, the Austrian market offers numerous platforms such as Karriere.at and Kununu to compare your current salary with the market median salary for a similar position.
And it is also helpful to ask mentors who work in similar industries which salary they would find appropriate for a comparable position.
What career options do you have?
Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side and therefore you can try to get the perfect job in a new company. If you want to change because your work environment no longer makes you happy, how do you know that it will be much more pleasant in your new job? Be sure to ask critical questions in an interview to be able to assess the new corporate culture and your professional development opportunities – and ideally you ask for a preliminary meeting with the future team.
If you want to climb the career ladder and get more salary, how realistic does it seem to you that a new company that doesn’t know you will offer you the next higher position? Of course, if the new employer is a smaller company, then chances are quite high.
But who tells you that you couldn’t get the next development step nor another compelling job opportunity in your existing company? A change can be the right step – it should only be well considered and ideally only takes place when you have carefully examined all options in the current company
How do I take the decisive next step?
If you want to change company, then networking is a priority, because you may find your future employer in a relaxed way – and who doesn’t like to hire someone she knows, trusts and whose career she has already followed over time.
If, on the other hand, you want to grow in your existing company, you should know that most companies have special periods in time, where manages discuss professional development with their employees – often coupled with the annual salary rounds.
Who do you need to talk to? Most of the time it is your direct superior but occasionally it can be helpful to include someone from the HR department or even get the next higher superior on board – together with your direct boss. Allow an hour of time because such conversations do not work on the fly.
And don’t forget, if you only talk about salary, you limit yourself far too much. Rather think about how you can help the company grow by providing added value – and how vice versa you, your area of responsibility and your salary will grow as well. So, how do you find out, which effort could be considered adding value to your company? Ask your supervisor to specify her expectations regarding your job responsibilities during the next 3-6 months and ask her also under which criteria you will meet or exceed her expectations. Be sure to summarize everything and have it confirmed (in writing)
Conclusion: Create added value, then you will be worth a higher salary/responsibility