By Perminus Wainaina
What is your ideal salary? Do you feel as though your employer pays you enough? When looking for a job, do you think the salary range given is too low?
As a professional, you should be remunerated according to the value you bring to the company. However, many of the times, you might feel as though the employer is taking advantage of you and paying you much less than you deserve.
When you’re looking for a job, how do you ensure you get your desired salary? If you’re already working, how do you get your boss to increase your salary to match your expectations?
Over the weekend, I was interviewing professionals for a communications position. Stella was the third interviewee. At the end of the interview, I asked if she had any questions.
“Just one,” she said, “why is the position paying so low? I expected it to be higher for such a position.” continued Stella.
I explained to her how the employer had arrived at that figure.
After my explanation, Stella had one more question.
“This is what most companies are giving out there, but I don’t think it’s fair given the amount of work one has to do,” she paused for a while, breathed out, and then continued, “How does one get a high paying job?”
Before looking at ways to increase your salary, let’s first look at why you need a job that pays well.
Here are some of the top reasons why you should look for high paying jobs.
i. Your next employer will consider your paying you based on your previous salary. Most employers will pay you what you were previously earning, or slightly higher.
ii. It’s a measure of value. Your pay should be equal to the value you bring to an organization.
iii. Higher pay increases your self-esteem. When you have a high salary, you’ll feel your effort and work do amount to the general output of the company. This, in turn, can raise your self-esteem and confidence levels.
Does your reason for getting a high paying job match any of the above?
It is important to note that most employers will pay you according to the value you’re bringing. If the employer feels you bring value to the organization, they’ll likely pay you a high salary. However, if an employer sees your input is low, they’ll likely give you a lower salary.
To start us off, let us look at some of the best-paid professionals in Kenya. The likes of James Mworia, Polycarp Igathe, Gideon Muriuki, and a few other names come to mind. What is it that these professionals have that others don’t? More importantly, what can you do to get you on the same level as these successful professionals?
Here’s how you can get a high paying job.
1. Gain relevant professional skills
Professional skills can be divided into two; hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are the technical skills each field possesses. Each industry has its own technical skills you need. For example, the technical skills for an engineer are different from those of a procurement officer.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are personal habits that will enable you to interact with others effectively.
An example of soft skill is communication. Whether you’re a salesperson or an accountant, effective communication skills will help you in the workplace and even in life.
When you grow your soft skills, you’ll be able to relate with your colleagues, bosses, and customers better. Already, this will put you ahead for better pay –and possibly a promotion.
Examine yourself to see the soft skills you lack, and then look at ways to grow them. For instance, if you struggle with communication and presentation skills, you can read a book on how to improve the skill, ask for help from someone with great public speaking skills, or even take a short course on learning how to speak with confidence.
Though all soft skills are important, there are some that you should give key attention to.
Here are some of the soft skills that will help you through your career;
- Communication skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Leadership skills
- Influencing skills
- Time and priority management skills
2. Have a proven track record
Oftenly, you’ll see a professional ask for a higher salary. When you ask them why they feel the salary needs to be increased, they do not have a concrete reason.
If you want to get a high paying job, you’ll have to show you’re worth it.
For an employer, the bottom line is what value you’re adding. If you’re in sales, for example, you can look at the numbers.
If you can show an employer your involvement in the company adds tangible value, they’ll be in a better position to give you higher pay.
Before approaching the employer asking for better pay, ensure you have the facts and figures correct.
The same goes for a job seeker. If you can prove your value, you’ll never be out of a job.
When you look at some of the highest paid professionals mentioned earlier, you’ll see they have a track record of success. Even when they leave a job, companies are already approaching them with lucrative deals.
3. Get a job you’re passionate about
In a recent interview, one of the professionals had experience in three different sectors. He had barely worked for two years in any of the industries.
When I probed further, he told me he was looking for a place that could pay him well. However, after he got a job, he’d eventually get bored and leave –despite the pay.
His story is not unique. There are professionals who follow the money only to be dissatisfied and disappointed.
When you follow a job you’re passionate about, you’ll give it your all –put in extra effort, work past what is expected, and look for ways to be better. In turn, this will give you success in your position, which will then translate to recognition from your superiors and that could increase your salary and professional status.
If you have to make a choice between a job you’re passionate about and another that is paying well, go for the one you’re passionate about. Eventually, the money will follow your passion.
In summary, you’d like to earn more than what you currently getting. If you’re looking for a job, you want to get a job and earn a lucrative salary. However, it all comes down to what you’re willing to do –what skills are you willing to learn? What track record are you willing to be exceptional at? What jobs are in the areas you’re passionate about?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to get a job that pays a high salary.
What else do you think could help you get a high paying job?
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR & Recruitment consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through personalized career coaching he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing. Click here for more on career coaching.