Job Search = MORE MONEY!

It’s time for you to uplevel your salary at your next position. But how?
The first thing that’s important to recognize is that switching jobs and companies is one of the best times to make more money. Your income and future self is relying on YOU—not your future employer—to figure out how much you should be making. Asking for a higher salary, or for a salary that’s commensurate with your skills and experience, will ultimately fall on your shoulders.

But what is the right salary? In the Smart Job Search System, we have a name for this: Fair Market Value.

Step One: Understanding Fair Market Value

So, what is your Fair Market Value? It’s what companies in the market are willing to pay for your education, skills and experience. Now, that’s not the same thing as what companies will offer you…many will lowball you, significantly undercutting your real value. But by taking the time to determine what you’re actually worth with real, reliable research, you can avoid getting shorted. Also, remember that fair market value may vary within a set range depending on benefits and other variables.

Step Two: Develop the Right Mindset

When it comes to figuring out your Fair Market Value, it’s important to think like a consultant rather than an employee. You must understand how much your time, energy, and job title is truly worth. Don’t forget, this isn’t just about how to calculate your salary—it’s about considering the whole package. What can you bring to the company and the position? What will the position do for you in terms of leveraging your experience? How much upward mobility will you be able to access? Make sure to look at the situation from all angles.

Step Three: Find a Good External Recruiter

(Psssstt…If you missed my Recruiters 101 guide, check it out for more information regarding external recruiters.)

External Recruiters are great for many reasons (I know I am biased :), but one of them is in helping you determine how much you should be asking for, and what the market is currently paying for specific roles. In some cases, my firm has helped people who’ve been with their current company a long time double their salary just by helping them determine fair market value and sticking to it throughout their search. I don’t want to make it sound like this happens all the time, but it does go to show that knowing your current value is crucial to getting the best possible salary and not falling behind on your career-long earning curve.

Step Four: Do Some Online Research + Talk to Other Professionals

How to find out or know your salary can seem tricky, but it’s actually pretty easy. You can find out by looking up what other people in your position are making using tools such as LinkedIn Salary or And you can use tools such as the Salary Estimator from Glassdoor, which bases your estimate on where you live, what you do and for whom.

Anyone in your network who has a pulse on your potential worth (i.e. ex-Managers or ex-HR folks), as well as external recruiters who work in your industry, can offer even more insight, so don’t forget to ask them about this when you talk to them.

In Conclusion…

It’s my firm belief that external recruiters are one of the most untapped resources for professionals today. I talk a lot more about how to leverage them and how to get an advantage in your job search in my FREE email course, Dream Job Toolkit. You’ll learn how to take advantage of the ridiculously undervalued power of external recruiters, how to communicate with professional allies (yes, I even include scripts), and the fundamental tactics that will help you earn a better salary—no matter what your industry or job title currently is! Sign up now or learn more.