John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
It’s one of the most common questions: “What’s the average salary for X position in valuation?” For the sake of the discussion, let’s say you get the answer. Then what?
Your salary is either higher or lower. (Mathematically speaking, almost no one is average.) If you discover that it’s higher, how much satisfaction is there? If it’s lower, what are you prepared to do about it? Are you planning to go to your boss and say that “so-and-so” says that my salary is below average?
Comparing yourself to others, especially when it comes to pay, can be a waste of time and energy. A better measure is satisfaction. It’s more difficult to define. However, in the end, it’s what you’re seeking even with your questions about money.
Use a scale of one to five to check your level of satisfaction when it comes to the range of responsibilities you handle, the kinds of engagements you get to work on, your relationships with your boss, your peers, and the firm’s clients.
If one of your scores is less than a five, look to see what change would push it to five. Are you ready to do more of a report than you have, previously? Are you prepared to take on that complex engagement that just came in the door? Would you like to play a bigger role in handling communications with clients?
Look around to see whom you need to approach for authorization to take on those additional tasks. Maybe it’s not a case of asking so much as it is a case of offering to do more or, depending on the situation, taking the initiative to do it. For example, if you typically handle steps 1, 2 and 3, and then get authorization to move to step 4, try doing step 4 before you take the work to your supervisor. (Don’t jump to step 5, however. That can get you in hot water!)
When your level of satisfaction is high, it shows in your performance. When you ask for more responsibility, so you raise your level of satisfaction, your boss will notice. Moreover, when you’re “running on all cylinders” in this way, there’ll be no need for any of the comparisons you used to think were important.