How 10 Minutes of Coaching = $5,000 Pay Raise

I couldn’t resist sharing this story with you because it demonstrates the power of career coaching and why anyone who wants to make more money needs a coach on their side... Last week, one of my CareerHMO.com members reached out to me in a panic. She had been offered a job with a company she had been doing some contract work for. The job wasn’t her dream position, but she felt established there, knew she could do the job well, and frankly, was in need of full-time employment with benefits. The problem was the offer was $5000 less than what she had hoped for. In fact, if she was to accept the job, she admitted she’d need to find a way to make the extra income. She was already taking a pay decrease from her last job, but this was just more than she was willing to accept. So, she was contacting me to get my perspective on whether she should:


A) Pass on the job.

B) Take the job and look for a new one with higher pay and leave as soon as she could.

My response was, “You should do neither.” You see, there should have been a third option there: Ask for the money. I realize in this economy, most folks (ESPECIALLY women!) are just grateful to get a job and think, “If I work really hard and show them my worth, they’ll see it and give me more money.” But gang, this is business. Tell me one business you’ve gone back to and said, “Wow, I love your product/service so much, I’m going to give you more money for it!” It doesn’t work that way. You need to negotiate your worth before you accept the job. So, I spent 10 minutes walking this CareerHMO.com member through the right way to approach the conversation with the recruiter. We developed all the key points she needed to address and then discussed how she should say it. These points included:
  1. Appreciation for the offer.
  2. Acknowledging her respect for the company and the hiring manager.
  3. Being tactful but candid about the disappointment in the starting salary.
  4. Evidence to support why she wanted more money.
  5. Examples of how she would make it more than worth it for them if they could give her the additional funds.
  6. A simple ask if this would be something they could consider.
Within just a few minutes, she was ready to have the conversation. While she wasn’t excited to do this (who is?), she felt confident she could present it in a way that would be well received. We even discussed what to do if the answer was a flat out “no” and how she could still take the job but at least know in her heart she tried and could therefore take a new job with higher pay without feeling guilty. Well 20 minutes later, I got word the conversation had gone well and she had gotten the additional $5K pay raise she wanted. And, here’s the best part: The recruiter’s response was, “I’m glad to see you know your worth.” The moral of the story: Retain a coach and use them regularly. The 10 minutes you spend getting coached on your situation could be worth a lot more than the investment in retaining one. Especially, if you are in the most cost-effective career coaching program in the United States: CareerHMO.com. J.T. O’Donnell is the founder of CAREEREALISM.com and CEO of CareerHMO.com, a web-based career development company. Pay increase image from Shutterstock

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