Value shopping, coupon clipping and saving will trim the fat off a budget. But making more money will pump up financial muscle.
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate showed improvement as it dropped to 10.4 percent, according to the state Labor Department. In March, 9,900 jobs were added in the area. To be sure, the pain is not yet over. However, increased income can turn a Band Aid into an antibiotic.
Whether newly hired or a company veteran, negotiating salary is an important component of financial security. Even in times of economic distress, asking for what you’re entitled to is acceptable, according to human resources and career coaching professionals.
“Companies are getting serious about pay for performance,” said Cathy Missildine-Martin, a board member for the Society for Human Resource Management in Atlanta. “If you’ve performed well, you should be confident about asking for money. When this economy heats up, they’ve got to be really serious about keeping their talent.”
Nevertheless, it is often an awkward topic to broach with employers, especially when so many people are taking furloughs, pay cuts or not working at all.
“Something about money makes people a little uncomfortable,” said Michelle O’Donnell from Georgia Coach Association. “It’s putting some worth on yourself and there’s a fear that a boss ‘May not think I’m worth this much.’ That’s where the anxiety comes from.”
So, how do you ask for more?
Know the job’s worth: There are multiple resources, from salary surveys done by professional organizations to Web sites like Salary.com, Payscale.com and others that show what someone with your experience in the career field earns. After you’ve been offered a job, expect or ask for pay that is based on sound research, said Debbie Brown, president of D&B Consulting.
Know your worth: Document your accomplishments throughout the year for your performance review. Be prepared to confidently show how you’ve contributed to company goals. Be firm, but respectful.
Leave others out of it: The biggest no-no is mentioning the salary of a colleague. It’s about you and your job.
Give a range: When an application ask for your expected salary, give a range based on what the average pay of that position is. An incomplete application goes in another pile, said O’Donnell.
Question: Have you asked for a pay raise? Was it uncomfortable? In this climate, is it proper to negotiate salary upon being hired or just take what they give you?