Unless you’re Bill Gates, you’d likely jump at the chance to earn more money. That’s not surprising, considering 39% of employees believe they are underpaid, according to a 2014 Glassdoor survey. As a worker, you may be more to blame than you think: less than 50% of Americans actually ask for more compensation.
If you feel like you’re making less than you deserve, don’t wait until your boss offers you a raise. There are many ways to negotiate a higher salary, and the first step is to find out what you should be earning.
Hit the books (or the web)
It’s crucial to get an accurate picture of standard pay for your position across the industry. This is actually not as difficult as it may sound. You have tons of tools at your disposal- use them! Online resources such as Glassdoor and Monster.com’s Salary Wizard provide information on average income for specific roles. Browse these sites for accurate comparisons to what you’re being paid. Remember compensation can vary widely depending on where you live, so keep that in mind as you explore.
Do you daydream about working from the beach? Never sitting in a cubicle again? What about being your own boss? Those dreams are closer to reality than you might think.
Independent workers—whether they’re freelancers, contractors or solopreneurs—are on the rise. The number of people who work for themselves grew 14% from 2001 to 2012, and today 14.6 million people are self-employed in the U.S. That’s 10% of the national workforce. And fortunately for those who eschew the traditional 9 to 5, there’s never been a better time to be self-employed.
The idea of working for yourself certainly isn’t a new one, so why is the moment particularly ripe to make the move into self-employment?
In the age of self-made YouTube stars, Kickstarter campaigns, and food bloggers, it’s no surprise our newest job seekers are pursuing passion over a steady income, established companies, and climbing the corporate ladder. This is leading to a proliferation of freelancers, artisan businesses, and innovative startups. Rather than the exception, it has become the perceived rule: Do what you love, and the rest will follow.
Is Passion Enough?
The reality is, however, there are many reasons why turning your passions into a career can actually backfire. Following your passions is important, but it’s simply not enough to develop an idea into something real, and profitable.
The No. 1 reason startups fail? Customers don’t want the products. Other pitfalls include an inadequate team and ineffective marketing. In turns out, there are millions of details— everything from user research to marketing your product to actually developing the idea and building it—that require tangible skills. While passion might provide the spark of an idea, there’s no guarantee it can carry you across the proverbial finish line.
Credit: Isis Wenger
Isis Wenger wasn’t looking to start a social movement. But when her face appeared on an advertisement for OneLogin, where she works as an engineer, Isis quite literally became the face of gender diversity in the tech industry. And rather than shirk the publicity, Isis embraced her newfound celebrity and launched a social media campaign aimed at highlighting the pervasive inequalities of the industry.
Isis’ specific ad (one of four her company created) immediately generated heated discussion and controversy, which in turn has highlighted the sexism that continues to characterize this industry. Reactions ranged to comments on her appearance to doubts she actually worked at the company. It boils down to one unfortunate point: People have a set idea of what an engineer should look like, and Isis doesn’t fit that mold.
Claire Hough, VP of Engineering at Udemy, recently dropped by General Assembly’s San Francisco campus to give our students some insight into the post-Web Development Immersive (WDI) job search. A veteran of the tech industry, Claire managed engineering at several startups before joining Udemy and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to career advice. Read on for her top 5 lessons for new developers trying to find that first job.