Career Development: 5 Fast Tips ...what to include in your salary negotiations

Being prepared to negotiate for your salary and developing the skills to do so are absolutely vital to ensure that you earn what you're worth. 

As one of my mentors once said to me "If you're going to work X hours a day - it may as well be for as much money as you can make. There's only finite hours in a day". So true. And an area where Career Chicks can really help each other in sharing experiences, learnings and success stories.

One aspect of this is to understand what is negotiable. There are numerous items and benefits that can be part of remuneration negotiations and you will be in a stronger position when you understand all of the areas which you can bring in to the discussion. And where you can make trade-offs or negotiate for future benefits.

Here are 5 Fast Tips of what to include in your salary negotiations:

1. Base Salary - this is crucial to your standard of living and the regular financial commitments you can make. It is also important to your future earning potential as your annual salary review is likely to be a percentage of your base salary and the amount of your % increase on your base salary is determined by how much your base salary actually is.

There are two approaches to your base salary - one is to be negotiable on this amount and make gains on the other areas of your package such as your annual bonus and benefits. Alternatively you could sacrifice some of these in order to secure the higher salary.

2. Performance Bonus - this is becoming more and more a part of business remuneration packages. It is definitely a  great point for negotiating on - as you are able to create the linkage between what you will deliver and how much the company will pay you. It is very low risk for the employer because if you don't deliver they don't pay - but when you do, they do. Win. Win.

3. Shares, stock options, car parking, health cover - you may need to be a reasonably senior Career Chick for these to be options - but if they are, know what their value is and ensure that these are calculated in your discussions. I know a few stories  of people who have been caught out by negotiation a total remuneration amount, being told that car parking was part of their benefits and THEN finding out that they were expected to pay for it out of their package. Too late when you get to that stage.

4. Tools of trade - lap tops, smart phones, Internet access - these may all be included as part of your package. Make sure that you negotiate for what you need to do your role and understand if these are being included in the financial calculation.

5. Flexibility - although working hours or remote working arrangements may not add directly to your pay packet - they can make a HUGE difference to your quality of life.  Moving into a new role or organization is the perfect time to put your request / preferences / needs on the able and include them as part of this negotiation.

This list is certainly not exhaustive and there may be other benefits up for negotiation such as club or association memberships, study assistance and extra leave. On the other hand, not all of these  may be of interest to you or available from your organization.

Know what is applicable for your role and organization, and most importantly  what you want to negotiate for.

Have you negotiated for any other benefits as part of your package? Let the rest of us Chicks know!

Thanks for the chat!

- Karen


Career Development: 5 Fast Tips ...to be prepared for new opportunities

Preparation can help you jump into new opportunities
By Karen Adamedes

Sometimes opportunities come to us that we were not expecting.

For instance, there may be a new project in your organisation that you're asked to join, an unexpected vacancy that you're asked to apply for, or a recruiter or another company ring you out of the blue to sound you out about a role.

Even when you are totally happy in your current job these kind of opportunities can throw you into a tail spin. Should I do it? Shouldn't I? I like what I'm doing but this seems a good opportunity. Arrgghhh! Help!- these are all pretty common reactions.

To help you decide if you should take advantage of an opportunity when it comes up - you need to be prepared.

Ready for action.

Here are 5 Fast Tips of how to prepare so that you can act when opportunities present themselves:

1. Have a career plan - written down - it helps if you have already thought through what you are trying to achieve and where you want to go. When an opportunity arises you will be able to reference back to your career plan and see if it is line with your plan.

It may not be the exact move you were planning on next - but you'll know if it's heading down the right (or even same path). As Seth Godin says in his new book, Poke the Box, when discussing the evolution of Starbucks, "One led to the other by the usual route, which is never a straight line".

Careers don't follow straight paths anymore but when you have a career plan to refer back to - you'll know if you are even in the same strata sphere!

2.  Know what you like - the environment you want to work in, the type of people you want to work with and for, and the sort of work you want to do. If you have this clarity you will be able to ask the right questions to assess if the new opportunity measures up to your requirements.

3. Have a mentor - when you have a big decision to make if you have been working with a mentor you will be able to call on them for an emergency discussion. Most importantly, you will have someone who you trust, who understands you and who has no vested interest in your decision that you can have an open and honest discussion with.

4. Use your network - to find out more about the opportunity, the company, the people - your network is an excellent source of information to help you make your decision.

5. Say yes - if the opportunity is right for you. Don't miss out because it doesn't align with the scheduled number of steps in your career plan or because you don't think you are ready.

Whether your career moves are planned or reactive being prepared so that you can recognise opportunities when they come along is a skill to develop and manage your career.

Have you had an opportunity come along that you weren't expecting? Please share how you made your decision.

Thanks for the chat!

- Karen

Career Skills: 5 Fast Tips ...for handling negative feedback

Don't hide from negative feedback
by Karen Adamedes

Despite all our best efforts sometimes we get negative feedback at work.

It may or may not be deserved. It may be that you did what you thought was required and there was a miscommunication issue. It may be because what you did wasn't understood or that requirements changed during a task or project. Or it may be that your work wasn't as good as it needed to be.

Whatever the reason - knowing how to respond to negative feedback is a valuable skill that needs to form part of your personal Operating Style.

Here are 5 Fast Tips if (when) you do receive negative feedback at work:

1. Acknowledge and clarify what has been said - it's good to clarify what you have just heard. It's easy when you hear something negative to stop listening and start thinking about the reasons why and your response. Or to think that the other person is being more critical than they are. Acknowledging and clarifying what has been said will ensure you have understood the issue/feedback.

2. Thank the person for their feedback - often it is very difficult to give negative feedback and they may be as nervous as you. A "thanks for mentioning this" type comment can show that you are taking this as a business not a personal issue.

3. Ask for time - if you need it to think about what has been said. Be honest if you need the time and tell them this has caught you off-guard and you would like some time to think about it. Reschedule another meeting time so it does not look like you are avoiding the issue.

4. Ask questions - clarify your understanding so that you know exactly what the issue is, why and what is required.

5. Take action - work with your manager/customer/supplier to develop a solution and resolve the specific issue. This could be anything from solving an immediate requirement to enrolling in a course to develop your knowledge or skills in a particular area.

This approach can help you be seen as professional and solution-oriented and positively impact on your credibility. It's like the old adage - turning a negative into a positive - as how you handle things is often at least as important as the work you do.

Have you had any experiences you could share with other Career Chicks?

Thanks for the chat!

- Karen

Career Skill: 5 Fast Tips ...to have your good work noticed!

The strategy of working away, tucked into the corner of the office, waiting for diligence, results and talent to be recognized is a strategy that often just does not work.

A preference to 'keep your head down' and 'get on with it' may be more appealing to you than running around telling people how good you are - but it probably won't help you get ahead. If you've ever seen someone who you think has not contributed as much as you or is not as talented as you be recognized or promoted above you - you no doubt understand why.

The trick is to get the balance between looking like you are more interested in being seen as good rather than doing good and to get enough positive publicity out there so that the people who will make decisions about the opportunities you may be given know enough about your contributions.

Managers are often busy, stressed and stretched (or all three) and don't necessarily have the bandwidth (time, interest, attention) to find out exactly how good you are at what you do.

Which means you need to make it easy for them and make your accomplishments known. Here are 5 Fast Tips how:

1. Know what your contributions are in numbers - X% increase in this, Y% expense reduction in that. Numbers are a powerful way to communicate what you have done.

2. Respond to "the" question - you get asked twenty times a day "How are you?" (unlikely to be Wassup in a business setting ☺) with a quick response that tells a positive story about you. Like "I'm good, I'm just writing up the report on the new IT system, it looks like we've reduced expenses by about 15%". Easy to do (if you you know what you've done, shares the credit AND gets it on the map that you are being successful.

3. Speak up at Meetings - have something to say that demonstrates what you know or what you have been achieving. The questions you ask can be a comfortable way of demonstrating this - and you don't have to worry about being seen as a-know-it-all!

4. Contribute to your company intranet site or newsletter - commenting on internal blogs or contributing an article on your latest project help give you visibility in your company.

5. Volunteer to present what you have been working on at team meetings. It gets your good work out there and it's great presentation practise!

There's lots more but that's 5 to get you thinking (and started).

Would love to hear from you - do you have other tips to share?

Thanks for the chat!

Karen