The Key to Unlocking a Higher Salary

Salary has long been a central topic in the recruitment world but it’s certainly heightened in a post-pandemic landscape. With Covid-induced pay freezes and rising inflation, it’s no surprise that everyone is thinking about their financial stability.

Want to increase your salary? Welcome to the club!

It goes without saying that most would like to increase their salary. And that’s great – it’s admirable to have goals and aspirations when it comes to our careers and financial well-being. 

But let’s delve deeper and explore the fundamental question: 

Why should you have a salary increase? 

One of the trends we’ve noticed is the justification of a salary based on variables outside of your control, eg.:

  • Cost of living crisis and inflationary pressures
  • Competitors are paying ‘x’ % more
  • There’s a candidate shortage, so let’s try my luck

While these factors hold some value in salary  negotiations, relying solely on them can leave you vulnerable.

Sure, you could strongarm your employer into paying you more because your counterpart elsewhere earns a higher wage, or your expenses have surged, or your skills are highly sought after. However, hitching your request solely to external variables can backfire.

What happens if inflation becomes deflation? 

What happens if there’s no longer a skills shortage in your market and it becomes candidate saturated? 

What happens if your competitor stops paying more?

Would you be prepared to take a pay cut in such instances? 

Probably not.

Now, let’s not beat about the bush: it’s important to ensure you’re always paid fairly and  competitively for what you do – and many employers fall short in this regard. However, when it comes to elevating your salary, there’s a more effective approach.

Know your value!

Most people are terrible at articulating and demonstrating their value – and we see this all the time. Whether it’s initial calls or interview preparation, candidates often struggle to showcase their true worth (for more help on demonstrating your value in an interview, check out STARV)

Unlike external variables, ‘value’ is concrete and quantifiable. It’s about understanding the impact you bring to the table and showcasing it consistently.

When it comes to negotiating ​and setting your salary benchmark, try this reverse approach:

  • ​W​hat value am I generating to justify this uplift?”​
  • ​What would have been the impact to the business / client / team if I hadn’t executed my job to a high standard?

This isn’t about jumping through hoops or assuming others will blindly acknowledge your worth. It’s about positioning yourself accurately, realistically, and demonstrably to navigate negotiations in all market conditions.

​Take charge of your own professional growth ​and​ ensur​e​ that you present a compelling case for your worth. 

By understanding and articulating your value, you empower yourself to thrive in any situation, regardless of the external factors at play.

Curious about how tax salaries have fared across the UK & Europe over the last year? Get a free copy of our salary guides for Direct & Indirect Tax here.

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