Archives for compensation

3 Ways to Overcome Having Been Overpaid

All in a Day's Work by Damian Gadal of Flickr.jpg

All in a Day’s Work by Damian Gadal of Flickr.jpg

 

While research shows and some politicians feel that most workers, particularly women and federal employees, have been underpaid for far too long, some have been blessed to be very well paid. If this is you, I hope that you are taking full advantage of it and, rather than increasing your standard of living, are using the money to pay off debts and saving for the future. Experience has proven that being paid above market value puts you on the chopping block if your company ever decides that the money is better spent elsewhere.

To boot, if you are separated from your company it can be that much harder to find a job above market pay or even to convince employers that you are willing to take a pay cut.

Employers have justifiable concerns hiring somebody above market range. You could be asking for more than your boss is earning, which usually does not produce strong rapport to build a good relationship.

As with most situations, this poses a challenge, but is not necessarily an obstacle. There are ways that you can conduct your search and mitigate any potential perceived risk you pose by being someone paid above market.

 

  1. Know your numbers

If you are someone who excels at managing personal finances, you probably have strong accounts of what your monthly expenses are, and you also probably have very clear-cut savings goals for retirement. Evaluate whether there are areas of your living expenses or entertainment expenses that can be downsized.

If you have not been keeping very clear records of your monthly expenses and do not have clear-cut retirement, or other savings goals, now is the time to meet with a financial advisor.  (I know a few great ones, if you need a referral!)

If this task seems daunting to you, I can relate, and it can be tempting to guesstimate, but this is potentially very dangerous for you. If there is something you do not account for, like if you own a home and you are not accounting for an emergency fund for all the unexpected, very expensive repairs that come along with owning a home, you could be underinsured for some acts of God. Another example could be that you need to increase in your life insurance coverage if your standard of living has increased over the years. If you had a 401(k) with your previous company, a financial advisor will help you determine the best way to reinvest that to match your desired level of growth, risk, and future life needs. This is something you want to expert help on. Even if you are an expert at these things, it is wise to obtain a second opinion. Just make sure that, whatever decisions are made and whoever makes them, you are fully educated on the options and apprised of the ongoing status. Always maintain control and awareness.

If you genuinely are able to take a pay cut because you are earning above your means, coming in with specific substantiation of that will show an employer that you are fully prepared, and not guessing. Many employers have personal experience with this that they will trust over your word. You can convince them that you are not a flight risk by taking a salary cut if you write or say something specific, such as, “My house is paid off, my kids’ college is paid for, I have no debt, and I can afford to take a $43,000 pay cut.” You can do this from the get-go in an approach or cover letter, you can empower your recruiter to negotiate this on your behalf, or you can state it upfront in conversation when you have a chance to speak one-on-one with your next potential boss.

By the way, just because you are willing to take a pay cut does not mean you should not try to negotiate your package, especially if in your role you are expected to be a strong negotiator. Focus on some of the perks of a package, like a corporate car or car expenses. Perhaps you already have health care through your spouse. You can either negotiate for them to replace some of the perks they would have offered you with compensation, or where they cannot provide you with compensation, ask for perks. Come in knowing which perks have a monetary value to you.

 

  1. Know the market

Indeed, Glassdoor, and Salary.com are all places that will give you some good numbers around what the market is paying for particular roles in particular geographies. However, you may bring with you some niche skills or experience that has additional value in the market. A niche recruiter can be a very good resource in these situations. If you are going to ask for a higher salary than what the market seems to be paying generally, you need to bring with you some substantiation of your requests, and know that even if you are able to educate an employer on why you are worth more than the average candidate and are offered what you ask, ultimately if they have not budgeted for such things,  you risk the chance of being the first to go should the financial constraints of hiring you prohibit their strategic plans to invest or spend in other areas. You are also going to be held to a higher standard and had better not only deliver the goods, but continue your campaign to promote that you are delivering the goods; do not assume it will be acknowledged. People are usually very skeptical of an “overpaid suit.” You will have the stigma to combat until you earn people’s trust.

 

  1. Have a Plan B

If you really cannot afford to take a pay cut, or you really do not want to lower your standards of living, you can find other ways to make up the difference in your salary, such as investing in real estate, businesses or other financial products. You could do some consulting or coaching on the side, pending it will not be a conflict of interest with your employer. You could write a book or develop an online course. You could become a paid speaker. Let’s face it: you have managed to earn more than your professional counterparts, others will want to learn how you did it – you have something very valuable to teach.

 

You might not have thought being well-paid was such a detriment until you find yourself justifying it, defending it, or even wanting to hide your pay. (I do not recommend hiding your pay. People have their ways of finding out and you pose an even bigger risk as someone who is not forthcoming or even deceitful.) Keep in mind the employer’s perspective. Chances are if you have been on the hiring side you can completely empathize with their concerns, and, if this is so, definitely express that.

You may have to address your salary upfront, which is contrary to other negotiation advice, to get the chance to interview and establish your value, and then, once you have them interested in your value, you will have to address it again when it comes time to design a compensation package that works for all parties. Keep in mind that most employers want you to be a creative problem solver, so think of this as one of the things that you can creatively resolve in partnership with your employer to further demonstrate that you are exactly who they want.

 

Ahh. The end of the world as we know it.

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Over the past few years I have been doing some “light” reading on quantum physics in my “spare time.” I say it was light reading sarcastically; the content was so technical that I often had to re-read the same sentence several times to absorb its meaning. It was my “spare time” because I could rarely capture moments of silence to focus on these incredibly mind-flipping concepts. It took me a whole year to read one book (The Field by Lynn McTaggart.) It was substantiation that I needed, however.

When I first started Charésumé, The Secret was making its rounds in some of the circles in which I was networking. I didn’t read The Secret, but I did watch the video. I wanted to believe in the Law of Attraction (that which we focus on, we attract) because it meant that I had the power to create my circumstances and that I could create circumstances that led to success. At the same time, I didn’t want to believe in the Law of Attraction because it meant that my current circumstances, which were not very conducive to the success that I sought, were my creation as well. In the end, I wasn’t going to believe anything that had little scientific basis, so the books I read chronicled the progress of quantum physics studies and their implications on the universe and its laws. I found that some of the concepts in The Secret were supported by science.

So while I did have to confront that some of the unfavorable conditions in my life were my own doing, I also had to be proud of what I had accomplished knowing that it was more than luck. And, if I could figure out how to continually recreate the conditions that led to my successes, I might just reach all of my goals. I thought to myself, if I can just train myself to calibrate my energy, how easy it would be to make the impact and contribution that I’m driven to make with all of the collaboration and resources of an abundant universe.

In the past couple years I had been gaining a new understanding of reality while hype around the end of the Mayan calendar, prophesies of Nostradamus, and Harold Camping’s rapture predictions continued to build. It led me to wonder – if there was an end coming, maybe it was the end of thinking of ourselves as separate physical entities and the beginning of worldwide acceptance of our true energy nature. Furthermore, if the whole world understands the implications of their energy, then we can intentionally and naturally align ourselves with like-minded individuals who will give and receive generously to make things happen.

If this were the worldwide approach to success, everyone would approach careers from a starting point of passion and contribution. Adopting this paradigm requires that you have faith that the universe will furnish for you what you desire and what you need to fulfill on your missions, not just what you need to live.

The more I immerse myself in this new (to me) idea of reality, the more I meet people who have studied the same. Some of them have invested tens of thousands of dollars on their education, and they are realizing amazing results in their lives and careers. The old me might have met these people and believed that I was not on the same level, that I was unworthy of the kind of success that they have achieved, or that this level of success was for other people, not for me. Now, however, my recent breakthrough has allowed me to receive these people as kindred mentors and see myself as someone who can add value to them as well. Already (since mid-December) I have been approached for 2 jobs (I am not looking), was introduced to a powerful potential speaking partner, inspired 3 great talents to join my Board of Advisors for my mobile app, and managed to save money for the first time since I had kids. I’m learning new investment strategies and preparing the infrastructure of my life to support wealth, in anticipation of great wealth. I am asking new questions and getting new answers.

This is not the start of my journey, but I know it is a turning point. I am so grateful that you are reading this and that you are experiencing my journey with me. I would love to hear about your journeys. I hope you know me as someone who would jump at the chance to be of assistance to you. If I have wisdom, resources, or connections that will move you forward in an authentic direction, I am happy to offer it. I believe that this moment in time could be the end of the world as we know it, and what a wonderful world it could be if we change our approach to intention, vocation and collaboration.

Picture it. What would you give, do, have if you knew that money would always be there?

Please add your comments.

Need a financial breakthrough? Get thee to the MMI!

Millionaire Mindset Intensive review:

As much as I complain about the amount of incoming e-mail, junk and relevant, some times I come across complete gems.  I received, by way of a marketing guru’s e-mail list, free tuition to a seminar that promised to reset my financial thermostat, which was a very intriguing concept. I had read books on the psychology of money (check out Crazy About Money, by Dr. Maggie Baker). A financial thermostat is a concept to explain why few people accumulate ridiculous wealth and, even if they lose it (eh-huh, Trump), can easily rebuild it while most others struggle to break through income barriers. It also explains why some lottery winners lose their fortunes.  Upon viewing the video, I made a reservation. Then I had to figure out how I was going to get there – who was going to watch my kids, since it was my husband’s crazy-busy work season and swim season, where I was going to stay in Baltimore (the closest and easiest location), and even how I was going to pay for the trip, since it was Christmas–time.  It’s funny how once you decide to do something, some things just fall into place.  I had no problems figuring any of this out.

As easy as it was to make the weekend happen, I had no traffic getting down to Baltimore on a Friday afternoon, I arrived early at my hotel, had no problems checking in or parking, and found out that the convention center was just on the other side of the parking garage. Then I find an Ale House right across the street from the Convention Center (Pratt Street Ale House), AND they had a homebrewed New Zealand Black Ale. I digress…

I was just as eager and anxious to find out if and how this weekend-long financial freedom seminar was going to deliver as I was to leave my babies for my first weekend away.

There were about 200 people, and apparently that is a light crowd, as they have not done this yet in Baltimore. As the weekend progressed, I realized that there were people there who were hoping to overcome tremendous adversity and there were people there who had already achieved millionaire status through the teachings of T. Harv Eker and wanted to get to the next level.

The education was about more than just being a wealthier person. It was about being a more genuine, more generous, more self-actualized person. It was about breakthroughs.

break·through noun, often attributive ˈbrāk-ˌthrü

Definition of BREAKTHROUGH

1: an offensive thrust that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line in warfare

2: an act or instance of breaking through an obstacle <a breakthrough agreement>

a : a sudden advance especially in knowledge or technique <a medical breakthrough>

b : a person’s first notable success <a breakthrough novel>

Though I do believe that financial freedom is everyone’s to achieve, I recognize that it takes a person of certain qualities to go out and get it. It takes open-mindedness, a sense of hope, self-worth, coachability, drive, and commitment. Of those qualities, coachability is the most critical, because with coachability, anyone can acquire the rest of the qualities, for they reside within all of us. In many of the personal and professional development workshops I have attended, I have seen closed minds open, hope restored where it was lost, unworthiness shattered, drive discovered and commitments made all because a coach had the keys to unlock a spirit that had shut down, perhaps even long ago. The MMI provided this for those present and participating.

Even though the “apocalypse” could have been approaching, no one there was counting on it. For a moment I wondered if the end of the world as we know it could really be a new beginning and, if everyone could attend a weekend like this, what a wonderful world it could be. I decided to write a couple of blogs on that very idea.

This blog, my first educational review blog as promised in my newsletter,  was much more important to do first, however, because there are a few MMIs coming up and if anyone reading this wants what the workshop has to offer, the time to sign up is NOW.  When my financial thermostat was turned way up, I immediately wanted everyone to experience financial breakthrough. I signed up as an Ambassador for the program and can offer you complimentary tuition (valued at $795!)

All you have to do is sign up and show up (and whatever planning that requires.)

Go to www.MMIgift.com and enter the Ambassador 2.0 code MMI39526.

That’s it.

As far as the upcoming blogs, there are really two things to consider, and therefore two blogs will be written: 1) What would the world be like if no one HAD to work – what would people choose to do, contribute, learn, be? And 2) What would the world be like if everyone effectively applied the best practices of career transition and management?

Stay tuned and keep sharing!

I will look forward to hearing about your new financial future.

Disclosing your salary

Let us All Apply for Our Stimulus by Robert Huffstutter of Flickr

Let us All Apply for Our Stimulus by Robert Huffstutter of Flickr

Recently, many employment professionals weighed in on whether or not they would work with a candidate who did not disclose his or her salary. This is a very important topic, I feel, because there are so many factors that should determine the answer and some outplacement firms and other career coaches seem to definitively advise their clients NOT to be the first to divulge. This can be dangerous advice. Read some of this feedback straight from employers’ mouths:

“It is important to know if you are pursuing a candidate that you can afford. I’m not going to pay them less than the range nor more. Candidates unwilling to give that basic information are likely going to be a problem child on other items as well.” – Corporate Recruiter

“I won’t waste my time, or the candidate’s for that matter, if I don’t know if we are even in the same ballpark. You are there to help him. You can’t do that if you don’t have all of the information.” – Internal Recruiter

“99% of your interviewees don’t have a problem with discussing salary. Why waste time with the 1%?” – President, Executive Staffing Firm

“During my twenty years of overseeing recruiting in almost every conceivable specialty there is one and ONLY one reason a candidate would not reveal salary- that reason quite simply is: He is embarrassed at how low his salary is compared to your opportunity (assuming you have revealed the figure for your search), and even if you did not reveal the figure for your search, he has come to the conclusion revealing his salary will hurt his bargaining position due to it being below market value.” – President, Executive Staffing Firm

 

The majority of these professionals understand the importance of earning a candidate’s trust. If they recognize that there is none or that it is unidirectional, they may decide that their time is better spent working with a candidate who is willing to share the information that they need to earn the trust of the hiring manager, which is much more valuable. Certainly it is recognized that power in negotiating can be gained by holding your cards close to your chest, but the gamble that you take to have the position of power is that you will be left out of the game completely.

 

Listen to how the question is formatted

There is a difference between a salary requirement and a salary history. At the very least, confidently state your salary requirement. It can be in a range, but be able to verbalize what would make you consider the lower end of the range versus the higher end. If salary history is requested and you are asking for more than 10% of what you had made, be prepared to justify your request without being defensive. Educate yourself on the market and the value of your skills. Remember that the process is a give and take, so ask them what you need to know as well.