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Negotiate Your Salary

You’re on a good salary! Or are you? Many people are underpaid in the United States, but don’t know it. If you want more income, the first thing you should do is make sure you are being paid the right wage, and if you aren’t, ask for a raise. Perhaps the best method of negotiating a pay rise has been developed by Rami Sethi, a personal finance advisor and entrepreneur. Here’s how it works.

Before you kick off the negotiations, search through jobsites that post local jobs and learn what salary you could obtain by moving to another employer. You should also search for average salary details compiled by PayScale. Enter your details on this screen, click ‘Search Salaries’, and find out how much your employer should be paying you. Other websites that will help you identify the salary you should be paid include and

You can search for salaries according to geography, industry, and the type of company you work for – you may even find out what others in your company are being paid. If you are a top performer, it’s likely that you’ll be able to negotiate a very sizeable salary increase. Here’s how to negotiate your salary:

  • Make sure your boss knows that you know you are being underpaid

Ask for a meeting. Point out positives about your performance (beating deadlines, reducing budgets, coaching others, etc.). Having set a positive tone, you can begin to discuss your salary.

  • Show how much you should be paid

Point out that you have done your salary research (mention the websites you have used) and outline how much more it appears you should be paid according to your rank, experience and role, and comparatives in the market.

Reaffirm how much you enjoy working in the company, but assert that your compensation is not fair and that there is a need to adjust to be fair to you and the company.

Note, there’s no room for aggressiveness in this conversation. But there is room for silence. As soon as you have made your point, be quiet. Let your boss talk.

It’s likely that your boss will either discuss how tough things are right now or that they would be happy to discuss your salary. Whichever is the case, it is your opportunity to reaffirm that your current remuneration isn’t even at the average, and that according to your research you should be earning x% more to get you to that position.

Now let your boss speak, with the knowledge that a few thousand dollars extra per year is an amount that your company can certainly afford, whatever the economy is doing.

  • End positively

Your boss will probably agree to make an adjustment to at least the average salary. This is now your chance to negotiate for more, but you must do so diplomatically. For example, state that your research shows that the top salary range at your grade shows that your salary could rise by double the amount that would bring you to the average.

However, don’t demand this rise. Instead, say that you’d like to discuss an immediate adjustment in your salary to bring you to the average number, accompanied with what you can do to further fulfil your role’s expectations and get to the top of the salary range.

This method of negotiation should get you an immediate raise, and then set the benchmark for achieving a higher income at a known time in the future.

Remember, it is more difficult for an employer to refuse a nonaggressive and fair request for more pay if the request is justified with verifiable evidence and with future performance agreed.

Change Jobs Often, but Not Your Industry

There’s a misconception that changing jobs every couple of years is bad for your resumé. It used to be that employees would stay with a company for life, but not now. Loyalty doesn’t bring the reward it should.

In fact, research has shown that employees who stay with the same company for more than an average of two years will make 50% less than regular job changers over the course of their career.

Start a Spare-Time Side Hustle

Your experience, skills and qualifications could make you the ideal candidate to step into a spare-time side hustle – one that could transform your income.

Before you say that you don’t have the skills to do something else, take a good look at yourself as others would see you. For example, your IT skills could make you a great candidate to work on a virtual helpdesk for a tech company. Your organizational and office skills could lead to a side hustle as a virtual assistant. Your command of the English language could be used in a teaching role.

There are plenty of ways that you could make money without a jobwatching videos, taking online surveys, food testing, mystery shopping, and even sharing your opinions are just a few.

Many side hustles can earn you big tips – become a taxi driver, waiter or waitress, or a pizza delivery person. Jobs that you can probably do very well, and very easily.

You could start to build a portfolio career. A work life in which you have several jobs. You won’t rely on a single employer, and you will benefit from a good variety of work, building skills, and meeting new people along the way.

Start an Online Business

One of the great advantages that the internet has delivered is the ease with which it is possible to start a business. There is a huge world of potential customers waiting for the skills you possess. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

One thing is certain – if you start a business doing something that you have a real passion for, you are more likely to be successful. And it won’t feel like work. Read our post 49 Surprising Hobbies That Make You Real Moneyfor a bucketful of ideas.


The bigger your network, the more opportunities that will come your way. Invest your time in building your network online and in person. As you develop your professional network, it will start developing organically.

You’ll meet prospective employers, clients, mentors and others who will help you access the resources to boost your income.

Online, use LinkedIn to your advantage. Make sure that your profile is complete and keep it up to date. Share interesting posts that are relevant to your network, join industry groups (online and offline), and be helpful to others who seek advice.

Stay Consistent and Build Your Personal Brand

Consistency is key to building your personal brand and building your success. Your network, colleagues, clients and customers must know what they can expect from you. Provide a consistent and steadily improving service, and everyone on the block will know you or the service you provide.

Your personal brand is what makes you unique. It’s what will win you loyalty from your clients and those who work with you or for you. Work on it every day, by being genuine to others and loyal to your beliefs and values.

Develop Good Habits

No matter what you do, your success depends upon what you do every day. Developing good habits helps you stay on track with less effort. There have been many books and articles written about the habits of successful people. Here are 10 of the most common:

  1. Organization – Plan your time and your tasks.
  2. Prioritize – Do the most important tasks first: the ones that will power you toward your goals.
  3. Act now – There is no time like the present. Work on your priorities now, before they slip into the urgent column.
  4. Take care of your health – Make time to relax. Eat healthy and exercise.
  5. Stay positive – If you think you can, you will.
  6. Network – Exchange ideas and collaborate.
  7. Be frugal – Time and money are finite resources. Be economical with both. Never overspend.
  8. Wake early – Take the right amount of sleep, wake early, and make the most of each day.
  9. Give back – Be community spirited. Donate to charity. Mentor others.
  10. Never stop learning – There is always something to learn. New practices, processes, technology… Learn something new every day.

Teach Others

People have a desire to learn. This may be for pleasure or need. They may wish to learn skills that improve their performance and enjoyment of their hobbies and interests. They may need to learn new skills that will help them gain promotion.

You are the perfect person to pass on your skills. Get out of your comfort zone and create courses that you can present in person or online. Pass on your knowledge freely, and you will receive the feedback that will help you improve at what you do.

Leverage Your Time

Get good at managing your time effectively. Set priorities, create tasks, and act fluidly. You’ll make the most of each day. But don’t think you only have 24 hours in a day – you have the power to leverage your time.

Technology and automation of tasks helps you to become more productive. A task that used to take an hour now takes five minutes. You’ve just given yourself the potential to do more than ten times as much as before.

Technology also allows you to work with others in real time. Hire people who have the expertise to do what you can’t or what would take you longer to do. Projects that would takes days or weeks now take hours.

Choose your collaborators and technology wisely – know exactly what you need and ensure that the people you hire know what you need. Otherwise, you will pay good money for unsatisfactory results.

Learn How Things Work

Knowing that something works doesn’t mean that it will be easy. It is important to know how things work – and this takes time. But, once you learn how something works, you can put the process or practice into action. Eventually it becomes easy. You do it without thinking, and this accelerates the process.

Consider what you are reading now. It took you a long time to learn how to read. But once you had learned, and then practiced, you grew able to do it without thinking. You don’t need to ponder over every word to understand its meaning and context. It’s a process that you know and understand, and thus you do it automatically.

The same principle holds true for all you do – including building an income and investing.

Invest as Soon as You Can

With your income growing and your expenses controlled, invest as soon as you can. By doing so, you access a secret weapon called ‘compound interest’ – a highly potent phenomenon that will help your investment wealth grow exponentially.

Compounding interest works by reinvesting the interest on your investments back into those investments, and then benefiting from interest on this interest. The result is dramatic:

  • If you invest $5,000 today and it compounds at 8% each year, in 40 years it will be worth $108,623.
  • If you invest $1,200 today and then $100 each month for 40 years, you will have invested a total of $49,200 – and it will be worth $337,099.

Try out the compound interest calculator at NerdWallet to see how your investments could accelerate in value thanks to the power of compounding interest.

(For more insight, read our post ‘How Can Investors Receive Compounding Returns and Retire with a Million Dollars?’)

In Summary

The DollarBreak formula takes you from mindset to financial freedom. By developing financial goals, setting a budget, and finding ways to reduce your expenses and increase your income, all your financial goals will become achievable.

Our job is to share our experience and knowledge, so that you take the right steps to stay on track and reach your full financial potential. Welcome to DollarBreak.

The content on is for informational and educational purposes only and cannot replace any professional financial advice.
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