5 Secrets to a Top Salary — Page 2 of 2


4. Get A Meaningful Referral

“It isn’t what you know but who you know,” is an oft-repeated saying that has a nice ring of truth. Only it’s only half true. In this age of the hi-tech boom when technical proficiency is essential for surviving in a sink-or-swim environment, it is very much what you know that counts most. But who you know can speed up dramatically the process of finding an open door.

The interviewers in the human resources department have no reason to give you special attention if you’re only one of dozens of qualified applicants. But if you happened to have met a high-level company executive at an industry function, trade show or a job fair and got a business card and a referral to call about a job, you will be given personal attention ahead of the other applicants and will likely enjoy more favorable attention. That often means the difference between getting a quick interview with the decisionmaker and having to go through a weeding-out process that may take months only to be aced out by someone who had a personal referral. It pays to make the effort to meet a decision maker. You don’t need a longstanding relationship to make good use of a referral. All it takes is a business card and a referral that can be relayed orally or by cover letter to the person making the hiring decision. If you’re on the entry level, the referral of even a respected professor may help get you to the express window. That little advantage can make all the difference in helping you stand out from the crowd.

5. Get a Commitment

It’s entirely possible to rise up through the ranks and be discovered, appreciated and rewarded purely on the merits of your job performance. On the othe hand, it’s just as likely that your efforts will be overlooked in the day to day confusion of the workplace. That’s why it’s especially important to get your boss’s commitment to notice and reward you for your work. That commitment is best obtained at the time you accept the offer of employment. “If I perform up to your expectations, what kind of advancement can I expect?” you might ask. Chances are, you will be given some oral, or preferably, written commitment to value and reward your contribution. If you weren’t able to get it when starting, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your boss to go over her expectations for you and what your rewards would be for living up to them.

But remember that a commitment cuts both ways. Once you have gotten one from the boss, you have made an implied commitment to live up to her expectations or face the consequences. But for a fast-track professional determined to rise swiftly, there’s no better way to motivate yourself to do well and ensure that you will enjoy the rewards. Prev

1 | 2