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Each month, we invite you to ask your questions anonymously to the talent club community. We select 3 questions, let the community answer them, and sum it all up for you in an article.

Last month, hundreds of you answered the community’s questions 🤩  (if you missed it, here is the recap article of the Q&A #1).

This month, we help 3 more people👇

❓ Question #1

"Colleagues of a similar level of experience and education are getting paid much more while contributing as much to the company as I do. How should I present this information to get a raise?"

Mentioning your colleagues' salaries when asking for a raise can be counterproductive. Instead, take time to explain why you deserve a raise, based on your contribution and the value you bring to the company.

Managers don't care about salary. They care about the employee contributions”

1. Don’t compare yourself to your colleagues, show your value

Don't mention anything about your colleagues. Experience and education are not what you are paid for. You are paid because you help the company make money. If you are bringing a lot of value to the company and you deserve your fair share, just explain it to the right manager.”

In addition, make sure you bring objective facts to the table about your contributions when discussing them with your manager:

Summarise your daily work, responsibilities and achieved goals. Be as concrete as possible by showing measurable results. Also, be clear with your salary expectations. You should avoid direct comparisons with other colleagues. Present your value to the company and you will obtain the raise you deserve.”
You need to be objective. Personally, I tend to use a brag document that serves as a basis for discussion with the manager.
- It helps discuss the impact you have: is it aligned with leadership? If not, how could I shift my impact to be better aligned with leadership’s goals, and then ask for a more justified pay raise?
- It gives your manager arguments to negotiate your pay raise
- It helps you during your self-review: how do I feel about my contributions? What kind of contributions made me happy and can I ask to make more contributions like this?”

To make it short: focus on you, not on your colleagues.

2. Make sure you know the market

Showing your personal contribution is not enough. You should give market insights as well to prove you deserve a salary raise:

Usually, referring to your colleagues’ situation is frowned upon. It is better to talk about the kind of experience you have and the projects you do and find out what the market pays for that.”
Bring figures, and make sure you know your value on the market (don't underestimate your worth, don't overestimate it either).”

Check out our salary report to get an overview of the market, and this article to find out how to get a pay raise ✍️

3. What if the negotiation doesn’t work?

If you don’t succeed in getting the salary you want, maybe it’s time to leave:

If nothing works, then maybe mention with caution you're paid less than your coworkers. In the end, if a raise is out of the question and you feel you're not being paid according to your contribution, maybe it’s time to consider a move”
According to statistics such as those found here, job changers are achieving higher pay raises than job stayers. I would suggest securing a new role that you really want before taking this to your current employer for a potential counteroffer.”

❓ Question #2

"What has been the best career move for you so far?"

A special question, that could inspire you in your own career. Here are some of the best moves made by the community:

  • Going freelance back in 2018/2019. This was really liberating (and a very good move finance-wise).
  • Define your own career roadmap and be open to opportunities. Every career step I have made brings me closer to my ultimate career goal.
  • Leaving my last company.
  • Proactively take responsibilities outside your comfort zone. Then, switch to companies in different sectors. This gives you broader experiences that you will benefit from later in your career.
  • Networking endlessly and mercilessly.
  • After 3 years doing a post-doc, I decided to move to a company as a software engineer. And it opened many directions and choices in my career.
  • Finding a job that really makes me proud.
  • Applying for jobs I wasn't really into but fit my profile, so I got to practice job interviews! You need to practice job interviews. You'll learn that many HR departments work the same way. You'll also find yourself challenged, sometimes way beyond your capabilities. Every single contact is a very useful learning opportunity you should use to hone your skills and understanding of how HR works. If you're well versed in interviewing, and that also entails asking the right questions to your "future" employer, you'll be a lot less stressed out if the day comes when there is "THE" job you really want to have. Preparation is everything.

❓ Question #3

"Should I share my intention to leave the company before I have found a new job?"

60% of respondents think you should not. Here’s why:

1. Saying you want to leave could put you in a difficult position

Sharing your intention of leaving the company too soon could bring you some problems, especially if it takes you time to find a new job or if you end up staying with your company.

I don’t think there’s any harm in bringing up the issues that are causing you to consider leaving, but I wouldn’t explicitly mention that you want to leave. For example, if it takes you 6+ months to find a new job, there may be opportunities you miss in your job because the company doesn’t want to give it to the person who’s not on board.”
No, it's none of their business, and it would look weird if you end up staying. Because it would mean that you're only staying because you couldn't find anything better, but actually you'd want to leave.”
Absolutely not. You might not get a new job soon and the relationship with the current company would not be the same. I see the place you might be coming from; you might think it's a fair warning and you owe it to the company since they will be the ones filling the gap. But unless you want to wield your looking for a new job as a weapon over the current company's head, I think you only lose by doing so and gain nothing.”

2. What if you’re not sure you want to leave the company?

If you're uncertain about leaving but still need to express concerns about your current job, simply speak with your manager to find solutions. Avoid explicitly mentioning that you want to leave during this discussion.

IF (!) you really need to talk, then talk to your boss about being unhappy at the place you're at. And better be prepared for some hard questions. If you simply announce that you'd like to leave you'll find yourself very quickly in hot water.”
You can talk 1-1 to your closet boss and tell them that you do not feel as motivated as when you started.”

Thanks to all participants! You’ll be able to ask new questions next month, so keep an eye on your mailbox 👀

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