$3,726,400. That’s a lot of money – and the amount that you could be earning over the course of your working life as a Salesforce Professional in Denver. If you’ve ever thought that becoming a millionaire was unattainable, you thought wrong. Over the course of your working life, multiple millions of dollars will pass through your hands. Think about that! This is why your income is so important.

I’ve always had an infatuation with personal finance and have enjoyed reading books, magazines, and listening to podcasts related to the topic. I’m not wealthy by any means so I’m not really one to be giving advice. That’s why this isn’t going to be a post about how to become a millionaire. Instead, I want to encourage you to think about the importance of your salary, and to encourage you to work towards getting an increase if you’re underpaid.

RELATED: GoodCall’s 2016 Report on the Real Cost of Student Loans

Why Your Income is Important

Your income is the best wealth generation tool you have at your disposal. Unfortunately, we tend to muddy the waters and prevent ourselves from becoming financially stable by flirting with excessive debt and purchasing on credit cards instead of cash. Student Loans have now surpassed credit cards and automobile loans in terms of the amount borrowed (source), and the default rate is steadily climbing. While not in default, I’m one of those that still has student loans sitting around, sapping money from my take home pay each month.

Not only does a steadily increasing income increase the changes you’ll pay off those debts and build wealth, but your income goes a long way to building wealth without you even knowing it.

Remember that employer 401(k) or 403(b) match you probably have in your company? That’s free money that’s contributed on your behalf – and it’s directly tied to your salary. The higher your salary, the larger the contribution. Some companies offer additional benefits which are tied directly to your salary.

Knowing how to negotiate your salary becomes an important part of your career earning potential.

Negotiating a Salary Increase

Again, I’m not an expert in salary negotiations, but I have had good luck over the course of my relatively young career. Since starting my Salesforce career in 2010, my base salary has increased nearly 70%. This isn’t due entirely to salary negotiations, but I have been able to negotiate a number of increases.

Determine Your Worth

Before asking for an increase, you need to look at your performance and determine if you deserve an increase. Put yourself in management’s position and ask, if you would give yourself an increase. Begin to document the value you’re adding to the organization.

Valuable employees will be rewarded for their contribution to the organization. Going into a meeting with your manager with details on how you’ve contributed, and how it’s impacted the organization positively, will demonstrate the need for an increase.

Know Your Numbers

Perhaps more compelling than documenting your value, is demonstrating that you’re underpaid or deserve an increase with the use of raw statistics. Salesforce salary information can be difficult to come by. That’s why the Denver User Group has performed an annual salary survey for the past few years.

Providing a salary range helps to justify your request. The Denver User Group has also found that having this information has empowered women to ask for increases, and close the income inequality gap – and we’ve seen an improvement over last year’s salary ranges!

The old adage, knowledge is power applies here. Learn as much as you can, and present the facts.

RELATED: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating a Raise

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

If you never ask, you’ll never know. Employers can’t fire you for asking for a pay increase. If you’re afraid that asking will put a target on your back, then you should probably look for a different job with a better working environment!

Every time I’ve asked for a raise, it’s been well received by management, even if a raise wasn’t issued.

Your ask shouldn’t be filled with emotion, and there should be no situational or circumstantial elements to the ask. Just provide the facts, and be thankful for the opportunity to have such an open and honest conversation.

Of course, keep in mind that the largest salary increases typically are accompanied by a job change. Employees who change jobs can typically expect at 10 – 20% increase in salary – sometimes even more (source)!

What About You?

Have you been successful in asking for a salary increase, or perhaps you’re thinking about asking for an increase in the near future? I would love to hear your story! Leave a comment below and let the Admin Hero community know what’s worked well for you!

14 thoughts on “ Don’t Leave Money on the Table – Negotiate Your Salary ”

  1. Kudos to anyone who knows how valuable they are!!! At one point, I got a job offer that I thought for sure I would never reach at current position. When I explained that to my boss, they nearly doubled my salary to stay.

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    1. I had that same thing happen with a different outcome…they declined to even come close to matching so I took the new position. I found out later that they hired two people to replace me…after I began charging them $150/hour to do ad hoc work for them!

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      1. Hopefully you love your new position, Velma! Sometimes you have to go where you’re appreciated and where people know your true worth.

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  2. Hi Brent,

    Great post to get you thinking about where you stand in the SFDC ecosystem. Would it be possible to do a salary survey for other areas such as Philadelphia similar to what you did for Denver? That is where I am based out of and I think many other readers would be interested in this data for their respective cities as well.

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    1. Hey, Chris! Talk to your user group leaders. The Denver User Group is happy to talk to user group leaders about what we’ve done, and even share the survey questions with other leaders.

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  3. Hello Brent,

    Thanks for the information presented and for sharing the findings of the Denver UG Salary Survey! This is perhaps the subject of a future blog or one already written, but when does someone know they are ready to make that jump from Admin to Business Analyst, Admin to Developer, or in your case Admin to Consultant in order to experience pay increases associated between those distinctive roles? I know this is another form of leaving money on the table for those who do not make the transition and look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

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    1. Making the transition is a personal and practical decision. In my specific example, I knew that I wanted to move into consulting, but I wasn’t in a rush. I knew that it was time to look for a consulting position when I knew that I was nearing the upper threshold of pay for Salesforce Admins in Denver (thanks to the salary survey). Making the move provided a bump in income I wouldn’t be able to negotiate moving from one admin role to another. Every employer change I’ve had in the past 6 years has been very strategic. It was never enough to move just to change job titles or work in a “better” organization. It had to have a significant salary increase to also merit the move.

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  4. Hello Brent,

    Thank you for the article! Salary Negotiations may not be an “easy” conversation but you must have them. I always say, even though you are an employee of a company, look at yourself as a business corporation. You provide a service and you want to be compensated for what your service is worth.

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  5. I tried to negotiate a higher salary after taking on the role and being a Salesforce Admin for 6 years and was told “No, You don’t do anything that is not in your job description” (Crap). Left that job very soon after and doubled my salary at the new one. Best decision !!

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  6. So many of us work virtually and talk to our bosses or owners of the company very infrequently. I would love to hear feedback on experiences asking for a raise via email or hangouts (when that is the norm for company communication) vs using that same communication to say “I would like to set up a meeting with you to talk” (which also raises red flags). Or other recommended ways for bringing up the conversation (if reviews are not performed regularly.)

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    1. Hey Heidi! If virtual communications are the norm for you or your company culture, then I would treat it like any other conversation. I’ve always had a scheduled 1:1 with my manager so, unless it was an urgent conversation, I never had the schedule a meeting. If you aren’t in regular communication with your manager, then I would suggest doing just that in a tactful way. Red flags sometimes turn out not to be red flags at all! If you have the option to do a video chat, I would in order to get the social queues and some of the body language into the conversation to help the process.

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