Always Ask For More

I like my job. I like the people I work with. I like the projects I’m assigned. I like the convenience of working from home indefinitely.

What I don’t like is that I was brought on with the promise of rapid advancement and, nearly three years later, I’m in the same position any barely enough of a pay increase to cover cost-of-living adjustment. I initially took a large pay cut and lower title because I was that excited for the growth opportunity.

That opportunity for advancement has yet to arrive. It has been a bummer, but it was hard to walk away from the work-from-home convenience and security during a global pandemic, so I have stuck it out.

When a colleague put in her notice three weeks ago, I asked some questions. She shared my frustrations and was able to secure a higher title and significant pay increase at her new position. She could hardly contain her excitement.

So, I followed suit and submitted a handful of applications. A few stood out, and my giddiness to move on to something new began to blossom. Here we are, just three weeks after first considering making the leap, and I am wearing the smuggest of grins.

It’s a hot market for employees. Apparently this year is being called the Great Resignation because so many employees are disappointed by their employers’ expectations post-covid. Employees made sacrifices to work from home successfully. And now many are being asked to return to the office full-time. And employers are eager to fill empty seats, and willing to do so at a higher cost.

Knowing that cards were stacked in my favor and given that I’m not desperate to leave my current employer, I decided to have some fun with my salary asks. It felt gutsy, but in different interviews, I asked for 20%, 30%, and 40% over my current salary, depending on the role, which would take me to the upper range for my title and experience.

One particular posting I came across was a one-to-one match to my resume. Everything they were looking for, I have experience with. I saw the posting and knew I was the perfect candidate. In my 45-minute screening interview, the recruiter verified that I was a good fit and followed up with the question: what were my salary expectations? I had planned to ask for 75% over my current salary, but I first asked what her salary range for the position was. Her range was 95-180% of my current salary. I took a moment to process and asked for more than double my current salary, the lower end of their allotted range. I know that’s the value I offer, but I am still pinching myself!

They offered me over double my current salary and I accepted on the spot. The total compensation package is mind-bogging. I didn’t even ask if they give out performance bonuses. I would have accepted less. But I didn’t have to.

Had I not asked for more, I would have been leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table. I’ve been leaving money on the table my entire professional life because I have been too timid to ask for what I know I’m worth. I know that many people do, especially women and minorities.

I can’t afford to be timid anymore. Cost of living is skyrocketing and frugality is no longer enough. I’m a high-achiever and will thrive in the right position. At the end of the year, I firmly believe what they are offering me will likely feel like a steal to them in relation to the value I will bring. I can’t wait to see how this new opportunity unfolds.

I imagine this is an outlier experience, as what I offer is extremely niche with a infinitesimally small candidate pool. However, I have many friends who have effortlessly secured 15% to 40% raises by switching employers this year. In the current atmosphere, unfortunately, loyalty does not pay.

There are opportunities out there. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask. Whatever it is you desire, I hope this inspires you to build up the courage to ask.

5 thoughts on “Always Ask For More

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  1. A big congratZ to you! That’s awesome news!

    However, I have to say that the message annoyed me a little bit. All my life I’ve been told to ask for more when accepting a job offer and all my life employers told me there was no room for negotiations. Am I just unlucky? Are those employers just odd examples? I can’t figure out the problem/solution here…

    Many people are quitting. Many companies are having trouble filling empty spots and they WILL end up offering a lot more, which makes me think that companies will want to incentivize their current employees so they don’t leave, but it doesn’t look that way…

    It’s definitely something to ponder…

    Like

    1. Thank you!! I completely understand the frustration. I have been significantly underpaid for my roles over the last decade; with new companies and when seeking an internal promotion, I’ve also been told there’s no room for negotiation and no room in the budget countless time. To be honest, I think I mostly got lucky this time, as my experience is an exact match against the position requirements… I knew I was the “perfect’ candidate and would have some leverage. I’ve been fighting for a promotion/raise at my current job for 3 years to no avail, but as soon as I put in my notice, they are now trying to incentivize me to stay. It unfortunate, but it seems that’s how the employment game works nowadays…

      Liked by 1 person

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