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The Stages of the Pay-Cheque for Millenials

The Stages of the Pay-Cheque for Millenials

You have probably received your pay-cheque for the month, or are about to in a day or two. Which is why,  reading this hopefully will make you laugh instead of invoking grief or tears. Once caught in the web of what millenials refer to as “adulting” there is no escaping. Your timelines, plans and most other things in life are structured around the much awaiting pay for the month. And from the day you receive it, to the day you realize you are broke, there are a few distinct stages. Here is summarizing the five distinct stages of the pay-cheque.

Stage 1 – Around the 15th of the Month

Somewhere around the middle of the month is when your pocket starts to feel lighter and you realize that you have started to make plans with your next pay, already! This is also the stage where you indulge in self-shaming, by telling yourself that you have, once again, successfully sabotaged your ‘saving’ plans and plan on salvaging it best you can.

Stage 2 – Around the 23rd of the Month

This is the stage where you “really” make up your mind to be prudent with your earnings from now on, and save money from the next month. All of a sudden it strikes you that you are in your late twenties and don’t have a single proper financial investment to your credit, and that snowballs into a different level of existential crisis – now a mixture of financial, emotional and just everything conceivable because life hits you smack on your face.

Stage 3 – Around the 25th of the Month

Your account balance is currently about Rs. 88.56. It is so sad that it’s actually funny. This is when you start living on leftovers, and cancelling any and all weekend plans. You make your peace with staying in and watching Netflix – unless, you’ve been too broke to pay for the internet! The situation is dire and you start feeling jealous of your friends who are still living with their parents – at least they have free access to unlimited good food!

Stage 4 – Between the 30th – 2nd

This stage can also be referred to as the ‘dance of joy’/ ‘I am so rich’/ ‘YESSS’ stage. That beautiful moment when your salary gets credited to your account and you get a text message informing you of it. It would be safe to bet that we are all so proud and overjoyed with those monthly texts that we don’t delete them. The week that follows the pay-day is when we believe we can afford everything we may want. We also realize that the money was spent in our head long before it hit our accounts, because of the several plans pinned on the month’s salary. Old habits do die hard.

Stage 5 – Around the 15th of the Month

Your account balance has steadily diminished yet again – the rent has been paid, the maid has been paid, phone bills, internet, grocery and a zillion other things you never thought you’d have to pay for. And then of course, all the things that you want and don’t need.

And here we are again. Back where we started. And so continues the endless vicious cycle. To end on a positive note though, if you love what you do, all of this becomes worth it! Happy adulting folks!

Asking for a Raise – 5 Strategies that Will Help You

Asking for a Raise – 5 Strategies that Will Help You

It is that time of the year when performance review requests come calling for many. Forms will be filled, review meetings with managers scheduled, and sometimes tough and sometimes happy conversations will take place. Raises may or may not get discussed depending on many factors – company performance, your performance, your manager’s approach, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. One thing is for sure – when you feel you deserve a raise, sometimes the only way you can get it is by – yes, asking for a raise.

And that’s the tricky part, how do you start the conversation and how do you decide the content of the conversation? Well, the good news is, even though you may feel you are absolutely unprepared, and feel intimidated regarding the possible reactions from the other end, rest assured that while this may be the first time you are asking for a raise, it is definitely not the first time your employer is being asked for one! People have surely been in your place before and have been able to deal with it. The first thing you must remember is, it is always better to have a one-on-one conversation regarding matters such as these, rather than any form of virtual communication. Request for a meeting through an email while stating the purpose briefly, and asking for a convenient time for the meeting. Once you’ve done that, here are the five strategies that will help you guide your conversation in asking for a raise you deserve successfully!

Asking for a raise strategy #1 : Know how you much you are worth –

The only way you will be able to sell yourself is, Asking for a raise if you have a strong sense of how much you are worth and deserve. Weigh and assess your skills and your achievements. Make notes about the skills you have picked up while on the job and analyze your own career graph yourself. Factor in any investments you may have made in order to enhance your skill set, and how it has benefited the organization you work for. As we cited in our earlier post on salary negotiation – conduct a personal SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to understand your differentiators and the special skills or experiences that make you a more valuable employee. Ensure you have these differentiators written down, as this information can then be used as leverage to a raise. Before you arrive at a conclusion, let your thoughts be known to a trusted colleague or friend, who has a sense of the situation you are in, to be able to get a second  opinion.


Asking for a raise strategy #2 : Know how much your job is worth –

Keep a reality check on your expectations. Gather some understanding of the domain you work in, and the standard pay ranges in your company and outside. Do not compare your pay structure, to a friend’s pay structure who is from a completely different domain, even if you may have the same years of experience. For example, a job in the social development sector, may not pay you as much as say a job in a corporate MNC. Have practical and realistic expectations. At the same time, know that you mustn’t sell yourself cheap. Once you have a sense of how much your job is worth, and the work and effort you as an individual put into the role you have been trusted with, arrive at a sensible number.

Asking for a raise strategy #3 : Research the company’s pay practices –

It is important to do this so as to not end up being disappointed. In case your organization does not have the budget, you will notice that your colleagues have gone down the same trajectory, and have been denied a raise. However, in case that is not the case, having a sense of the percentages of appreciation/hikes will help you against undervaluing yourself or overstating your expectations.

Asking for a raise strategy #4 : If not a raise, negotiate for a bonus or more perks –

If your employer acknowledges your case for a raise, but has his/her own valid reasons for not being able to process it right away, have a plan B ready. Ask for other bonuses in the form of more paid leaves, increment in your TA or DA, or any other incentives your organization may be able to offer you.  We have some good tips on negotiating bonuses and perks in our post : Salary Negotiation Tips – Talking Numbers – Part II.

Asking for a raise strategy #5 : Timing is key yet don’t delay –

May be we don’t need to really illustrate this point. You do know that asking your boss for a raise when he/she is in a bad mood isn’t really the best idea. Or asking for it when a big project is just about to be rolled out and your request comes across as a threat. Wait for a time when things are comparatively smooth and the annual/bi-annual performance reviews (if your company has these) are not finished. Then your request for a raise has greater chances of being entertained. Yes timing is key, however, waiting forever won’t get you that raise! Overthinking this will only get you more confused. If you know you deserve a raise, go ahead and ask for it!

These conversations can often go awry if not initiated in the proper manner. They do qualify as sensitive conversations. We are not saying this to you to intimidate you, but to tell you that it is important to follow direct channels of communication for these conversations and strictly avoid any via media pattern, the lesser the chaos, the better your chances. Also remember to follow up with the details of the conversation through an email, so that there is an official acknowledgement of the conversation and conclusions that followed the conversation. All the best!

Salary Negotiation Tips – Talking Numbers – Part II

Salary Negotiation Tips – Talking Numbers – Part II

Continuing with the previous post about salary negotiation, we talk about bonuses, flexibility and the two super hit, tried and tested methods for negotiating your salary – the Noel Smith-Wenkle Salary Negotiation method and the Jack Chapman Salary Negotiation Method.

Regarding the Bonus

At times, a large chunk of our salaries are our bonuses. Different companies have different ways of paying bonuses to their employees. Terms and conditions being attached is not unusual. The employer might say that the bonus is discretionary. However, make sure you seek clarification about what the discretion is going to be based on – group performance, individual achievements or achieving targets? Also, some companies have a rule of revoking the bonus of a certain time period when you put down your papers (resign). Ensure you have complete knowledge about all these aspects.

Be Persistent Yet Flexible

Rarely would an employer accept the numbers you quote at the first go. If you know exactly what you are worth, be persistent. However, if the company does not wish to negotiate at all and this is the job you have been waiting for, be flexible and try making up for your in-hand salary through other incentives like extra leaves, travel or communication bills’ reimbursements, remote-working, better health insurance, etc.

The two most popular practices for salary negotiation are the Noel Smith-Wenkle Negotiation Method and the Jack-Chapman Salary Negotiation Method.

The most basic rule of the Smith-Wenkle method is to never tell the employer how much you are expecting. This is the first question the employer would ask you. Here are four steps which comprise the Smith-Wenkle Method:

  1. If the company asks for the expected salary on the job application you submit, leave it blank.
  2. When you reach the interview stage and the employer asks how much you are expecting, be diplomatic with a response to avoid it by telling them you are more interested in the type of work.
  3. When they ask you for a second time, saying “I will consider any reasonable offer” works as a stalling tactic.
  4. When they ask you yet again, telling them that they are in a position to gauge how much you deserve almost always works.

Thus, your motive when you employ this method is to never quote the salary first. This works nine out of ten times!

The other method is the Jack Chapman Salary Negotiation Method by career coach Jack Chapman who states five rules for negotiating your salary.

  1. Postpone salary negotiations until you have been offered the job: It can get embarrassing if you start talking numbers even before you have been offered the job. It is important to first secure the job offer before negotiating your salary!
  2. Let the other side make the first offer: Use the Smith Wenkle method to accomplish this. Also, here is a short video by Chapman to face awkward questions regarding salary history – http://salarynegotiations.com/Video.htm
  3. When you hear the offer, repeat the number – and then stop talking: Termed as “the flinch” by Chapman, the almost immediate effect of this tactic is a raise. It also helps you buy some time while pressurizing the employer.
  4. Counter the offer with a researched response: Like we have mentioned before, you should do your home-work regarding what salary you are expecting. Your counter response to their offer should be well researched and balanced.
  5. Clinch the deal some more: Once you have frozen on your salary offer, negotiate the additional perks like extra leaves, company transport, etc.

This is all that there is to negotiating your salary. Finally, we would say practicing a mock negotiation with a colleague, friend or relative is the final touch up for your preparation to negotiate your salary and you are good to go! All the very best! 🙂

Salary Negotiation Tips – Talking Numbers – Part II

Salary Negotiation Tips – Talking Numbers – Part I

Now that you have cleared the initial interviews, what comes next? The next step, and perhaps the most crucial one is negotiating your salary. Here comes the step when you need to sell yourself in order for the employer to recognize your worth! Before you start talking numbers though, make sure you have established that you would indeed be a resourceful addition to the company. This way, negotiating your salary becomes easier. They would be willing to go the extra mile, to match your expectations and get you on-board.

  • Always ask for some time to consider

    If we get a job offer which we have been waiting for, for the longest time, saying “YES!” immediately can hardly be called an impulse. However, after the initial elated moment, breathe, and then ask for some time to consider the offer. This time that you ask for is when you do your homework about how much you think you should be offered as against what you have been offered. Do your math and get back to them.

  • Always let them quote the numbers first

    During salary negotiations, it is always best to let your prospective employers quote the numbers first. This spares you the mistake of quoting a salary too high or too low. Also, what one must be careful about is, this is the exact same trick the other side employs during the salary negotiation. Have an expectation in mind, but wait to respond.

  • Deciding a base salary:

    Use websites like salary.com, www.glassdoor.com, www.careerbliss.com, www.payscale.com, to help decide the appropriate base salary for the job position being offered to you. Ask colleagues or relatives who might have prior experience. The base you decide is crucial and that is what you would build on. Ensure a realistic and comfortable amount. Not too low, not sky-high.

  • Know your Strengths and Differentiators:

    This is what career coach Lisa Quast’s (contributor at Forbes.com), advice is -“What makes you special and unique from everyone else? Conduct a personal SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to understand your differentiators and the special skills or experiences that make you a more valuable employee. Ensure you have these differentiators written down, as this information can then be used as leverage to negotiate a higher starting salary with the hiring manager.”

  • Selling yourself:

    As clichéd as this may sound, we all know this is the age of survival of the one who is able to persuade the best. Once you have done your homework about how much you ought to be paid, convince your employer that you deserve it. Mention your accomplishments and work experience, highlight relevant achievements and gather credible references. Make yours a strong case.

Tune in for our next post which talks a little more about talking numbers and being on the top of the salary negotiation game! We have exactly what you want!