Chase the money. Always chase the money.

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No matter what anyone says, the fastest way to reach your career goals would be to chase the money. Now i’m not saying to be in cahoots with a Nigerian prince as good as it sounds, but the idea is that in the corporate world, your value is really based on how much your company or organization is willing to pay you. That pat on the back is not going to pay the bills.

I thought that it would be best to illustrate this point with my own personal experience. When I got my first job out of college, my basic pay was $3000 as a trainee manager. Less than 2 weeks later, someone saw that i deserved more so I ended up with a promotion and pay raise of $200. That was how I ended up being the store manager of a regional flagship store and pulling in $3200. That didn’t last too long but I was able to land the next job as an events manager (because 3 years of hustle in college counts as experience.ha!) and was paid $3500. A year later, I was offered a position as a regional operations manager and doing B2B events all over Asia. I got a $400 pay increase.

All that happened in less than 2 years out of college. So to give you guys the short of it, here is what it looks like.

1st job to 2nd job – $200 increase, 6.67% increase
2nd to 3rd job – $300 increase, 9.3% increase
3rd to 4th job – $400 increase, 11.4% increase

In less than 2 years, that’s a nett increase of 30%. nett increase yo. 

In absolute terms that is not a lot but as wonderful as the opportunity was at the time that it was presented, I always made a very conscious decision to think thru how much I am being offered. Other benefits aside, your pay offered for the job you are doing is a very tangible measure of how you are doing. At least this shows how much and how fast you are growing. Of course there are people doubling their pay in that time but I think this is a good gauge for most of us.

The last thing I would like to address for this is that chasing the money or the best is not exclusive to you alone and that is information that you should learn to leverage on. When a company has a sudden manpower shortage, brain drain, lack of moolah and you suddenly show up – and able to miraculously offer them a lifeline – you would be in prime position to negotiate your way up.

But you have to do the digging. Find that information. Extract it out during the interview. Ask around. Know more than the hirer expects of you. Then use that information and leverage on it. Maybe i’ll share with you how to negotiate that pay upwards. For now, I hope you are able to find yourself that Next Job.

Share with me your thoughts on how chasing the money has worked for you!

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