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Maximizing Your Salary Potential

May 18, 2008
Be prepared to receive a fixed salary amount during the initial stages of your job for a long time, irrespective of your performance. Most of the time, it is only after an employee becomes an indispensable part of the organization and threatens to resign, that a company considers reviewing increasing the salary range.

Negotiation vs. Inflation

When you are negotiating a salary offer, it is also vital to consider another important factor of the total package. Besides determining whether your salary will be able to meet the ever-increasing rate of inflation, also ensure that you discuss in detail what the company's policies are when it comes to rewarding employees for excellent performance.

Although both of these aspects may seem to be similar, there is obvious difference between them. While a hike in pay in order to cover the increasing cost of living is meant to beat inflation, on a personal note, a raise for your good performance can give you a much-needed boost to your self-esteem.

Effort Counts

An annual raise of 3-5% is a typical example of a raise to protect you from mounting inflation. However, a well performing employee deserves to be rewarded with a raise that goes beyond the rate of inflation. It's an incentive meant to compensate you for your hard work and dedication. Very often, employers compensate their employees in an effort to offset the rising cost of living - not for their performance.

Thus, to ensure that you receive your fair share, you need to do your homework. This means researching specifics about job duties and salary ranges. Having this knowledge will enable you to negotiate effectively right from the beginning.

Consider all your future prospects during the negotiation process. You need to research prevailing market conditions and the current pay scale of your profession and industry. Also, find out the company's policy on compensation, bonuses and other factors related to achievement and performance. Discussing these issues not only stresses your overall worth, but also helps to avoid any misunderstandings later on.

If you are already working, but feel that the compensation policies of the company are not fair, you need to bring this to the attention of management. If you are not receiving the typical 3% raise each year, you can point out that your income does not match the pace of the rising inflation.

Besides this, you also need to suggest to your employer that they integrate a reward system into the organizational structure that rewards the work of employees and their contributions to the company. Back up your negotiations with research. You should also have on hand convincing documentation of your accomplishments that prove your value.

Irrespective of whether you are negotiating for a better salary on a new job or an existing one, make sure that you consider other aspects of the compensation package like benefits and commissions. Above all, make sure that you stay calm, professional and convincing at all times.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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