Working as a career coach, I am in a position of working with people in a variety of different circumstances. Some are facing offboarding, redundancy or outplacement, while others are navigating tricky situations in their current role.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Harry (a pseudonym to protect his identity) who is currently in a middle management role. His organisation provides him with everything he wants – he enjoys the work, he loves the culture and he looks forward to working with his team.
Of course, there’s a catch. He’s concerned about his remuneration – he would like an increase in his pay, but doesn’t quite know how to navigate the situation.
The best job in the world needs to pay you well
Harry’s concerns probably don’t sound too dissimilar from something you’ve experienced in the past:
- The cost of living is rising rapidly and to keep up, he needs to be earning more
- To keep up with his peers – in lifestyle and other factors – he needs to be earning more. If he doesn’t, he’ll be left behind.
- The organisation has a history of only giving small pay increases at annual salary reviews
- He worries that if he does get a payrise, it won’t be enough and he’ll need to look elsewhere anyway
For Harry, a pay rise is essential, but he worries that he risks his role, with an organisation he loves, if he asks for it, potentially risking staying stagnant or even taking a step backwards.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? It can be tricky to navigate. There are two things you should do.
Be honest with your manager
It can be daunting to have this conversation, but the reality is that if your manager or a higher-up manager doesn’t know that you are worried about this aspect of your position, they can’t fix it. If any of them are worth their salt, they’ll be open to having this conversation – they know that if they can’t provide appropriate remuneration, they’ll lose you. And if you are one of their best and brightest employees, that’s going to hurt.
Expand your skillset
Becoming indispensable is essential. The more unique your skills, the more your employer will see your value in the team and want to keep you around. The more indispensable you are, the more they will be willing to pay to keep you. Think about the new skills you can acquire that will be highly valued.
Do you need to get clear on which skills will help you in your current role and help you achieve your longer-term career goals and fulfilment? Check out my career clarity book to learn more.
The perfect setting for these conversations? Stay interviews.
Organisations should be conducting stay interviews in order to keep their best and brightest employees from leaving and looking elsewhere – for any reason.
But employers don’t have to be the only ones benefiting from stay interviews. They can be the perfect opportunity to raise your concerns about remuneration, explain your willingness to learn new skills and express what you love about working with the organisation.
Stay interviews are even more effective for employees if they are conducted by an independent third party, giving you more opportunity to be honest and to have those ‘up front’ conversations without worrying about the direct relationship with your manager.
At the end of the day, leaving an organisation and going through offboarding, outplacement and the re-hiring process is hard work. Do everything you can now to stay in the organisation – particularly if you’re like Harry and love the work you’re doing.
Even still, remember that remuneration is important and you deserve to be paid according to your efforts and in a way that helps you achieve your financial goals. Use stay interviews to ensure your employer knows what’s important to you so they can do everything to keep you around.
Are you tackling the job search now – or thinking about it for the near future? Preparing your LinkedIn profile for the task is one of the most valuable things you can do to put your best foot forward. Take part in my mini course that gives you the best tips and tricks to showcasing your expertise and capabilities. Secure your place now.