Unlock the secrets of how to double your salary in a year and elevate your IT career now by mastering the right negotiation skills.
Achieving the ambitious goal of doubling your salary in India, a country where 15 lakh engineers and 5 lakh software engineers graduate annually, is undoubtedly challenging.
However, it’s an attainable feat. In this article, we will explore key steps and situations that can lead to a substantial income boost.
From being in the right company to mastering negotiation skills, each step is crucial to the journey toward financial success. Let’s start!
Be in the right company
Doubling your salary is possible in startup companies, but the chances in government or service companies are next to none. To understand this, you need to comprehend the business. Service companies operate on margins, charging the client for your time. They keep a percentage, and the rest is your salary.
To double your salary, they need to convince the client that you deserve this hike or that the company must reduce its margins. Service companies often have many people on the bench who can replace you, making it challenging to secure a significant hike.
Hikes of 100% are only possible in startups. Life in a startup is tough, with low to almost no processes. Most of the time, you handle all responsibilities from development to production.
Startups don’t have a bench, so no one can immediately replace you and be efficient from day one.
If you’ve worked for the same startup for more than 2-3 years, demonstrated good performance, and added value, there’s a high chance you may be rewarded with such a hike.
Hiring and training someone is a difficult task in startups due to low processes, which may impact the company’s business. However, all of the above alone cannot guarantee such a hike; you need to check a few more boxes.
Be in the right skill
Skills are of prime importance in the IT industry. Startups usually work on the latest tech stack. You need to be in the right skill that is booming and should be the go-to person for anything related to that technology.
If there is a team where members are equally skilled in your technology, there is a low probability of getting such a hike. You should either be the lone wolf or the most senior member leading the team in that tech stack.
Additionally, you should be in direct contact with someone who can make decisions on your hike without going through lengthy approval processes.
Communicating and highlighting your work directly now and then is also a crucial skill that helps in creating a positive rapport over time, eventually aiding in getting hikes of 100%.
Find a gap
Once you are in a startup, you need to find a gap where you can pitch in and provide solutions with your expertise. In my case, I joined a startup as a .Net Engineer, but there was a whole team looking after .Net development, giving me a low chance of standing out.
There was Angular development work being done by a vendor company. That’s where I found the gap. Since I had a good experience with Angular, I insisted on moving into and leading Angular development, taking up that responsibility.
Later on, we set up an internal Angular team from scratch, letting go of the vendors. This not only created a positive impact on seniors but also gave me a chance to stand out among others.
You cannot get 100% hikes just by doing regular work; you will have to look for opportunities that could help you get some focus.
You can contribute anywhere you find an opportunity, be it streamlining processes, improving efficiency, or taking on a project that aligns with the company’s goals.
Finding a gap allows you to demonstrate your value.
Take responsibility and deliver
Getting a 100% hike is not everyone’s or anyone’s cup of tea; you need to be an extraordinary contributor. You can only make a mark on others when you take up a responsibility. It’s usually rare for an employee to come forward and take up more responsibility without any short-term expectations.
Service companies have fixed processes, procedures, and eligibility criteria for promotions, whereas, in startups, you can come forward and suggest where you can contribute better.
Do not ask for gains or promotions immediately in exchange; this way, you have a better chance of being handed over the opportunity because, in this scenario, the company has nothing to lose but might gain a good leader if you succeed.
Take responsibility, deliver the results, and when your contributions get mentioned and appreciated by your seniors, you can consider and start planning on how to let them know your expectations.
You need to make it look like things wouldn’t have been so smooth if you were not there to take up the task and that no one else can do better than you.
Wait for the right time to negotiate
Do not reveal your expectations anytime or anywhere. The right time and place for setting expectations are year-end appraisals.
If you ask for hikes or promotions at any other time of the year, the standard reply you might get is ‘Let’s discuss during appraisals.’ So it’s better to patiently wait for a time when you both are in the same mindset.
Use this time to plan and list all the challenges, learnings, positives, and what you plan for the future. Leaders like to talk about the future and long-term vision.
Explain what you think about the company or its products, how it can be improved, and what is your flow map for the next 2-3 years.
There is a high probability that if you have performed well, you will receive praise during the appraisal meeting.
This is the point when you need to open up about what you expect now. There is always a better chance of you succeeding in your negotiation when the person in front lists your achievements rather than when you have to highlight them yourself.
How to negotiate to double your salary?
Negotiating a salary is an art that can be learned. Usually, you negotiate salary when you are interviewing for a switch. In that case, you negotiate what you can bring to the table. Employers don’t know whether you can deliver what you are promising.
But in our case, where you are negotiating for a 100% hike, you have already delivered, showing you can grab opportunities and take on responsibilities.
So be confident that you have done your job; now, it’s up to the company to recognize and reward you.
Research on Salary
Before entering negotiations, research the industry for your role and experience level. Salary benchmarks for product companies and startups are usually higher than service companies.
Websites like Glassdoor and Payscale offer insights into average salaries. This information will increase your confidence to ask for a higher salary.
Never mention a fixed figure but give a range. The lower range should make a 100% hike, and the higher range should be plus 20-25%.
Keeping a lower range at a 100% hike will create an anchor in the mind of your manager that he cannot go below this.
You remember? I asked you to plan before going into negotiations; it is in this planning phase that you will list down all the challenges, all the responsibilities, and how you navigated through them.
Put down everything in detail, mentioning projects, situations, and your contributions to getting things to the finish line. Confidently demonstrate the impact you made; it will strengthen your position.
Be Open to Switch
In any situation, instead of putting in all the effort and proving yourself, if by any chance, you still did not get what you wanted, just be ready to leave.
Because if a company cannot reward an achiever, it’s not where you should be wasting your time.
Become silent and calmly start preparing for the next interviews and leave without much drama.
Alright, let’s break it down.
Doubling your salary in a year may sound like a Herculean task, especially in India’s cutthroat job market. But with a bit of strategy and a go-getter attitude, it’s doable.
The secret sauce? Getting to the right company, fine-tuning the skills everyone’s after, spotting opportunities like a pro, and delivering results that make people sit up and take notice. Each of these steps? Yup, they’re the stepping stones to financial success.
Whether you’re navigating the wild world of startups or weaving through the more structured lanes of service companies, some things are universal – add unique value, take on responsibilities, and bide your time for that perfect moment to negotiate.
And oh, about salary talks? It’s like an art form. Picture this – meticulous planning, some research, and an unshakeable belief in the awesomeness you bring to the table. While doubling your salary isn’t an everyday thing, it’s within reach with a dash of strategy, a dollop of determination, and a commitment to growing personally and professionally.
As you kickstart this journey, be open to change, grab opportunities by the horns, and get ready to flaunt what you’ve got. Whether you’re eyeing a fat raise in your current gig or dreaming of a career switch, think of these principles as your GPS to financial fulfillment and professional victories. In India’s vibrant job market, doubling your salary isn’t just a goal; it’s a story waiting to be written with grit, smarts, and a whole lot of excellence.
Cheers to the journey ahead!
Is it really possible to double your salary in a year in the IT industry?
While doubling your salary is a challenging goal, it’s not impossible in the IT industry, especially if you strategically navigate opportunities, showcase exceptional skills, and negotiate effectively.
How can being in the right company contribute to doubling my salary?
Startups often provide more flexibility for salary hikes as compared to larger service companies. In startups, your unique contributions may be more recognized, and the absence of a ready bench makes you more indispensable.
What role does having the right skill play in salary doubling?
Having the right and in-demand skills is crucial. Being a standout expert in a particular technology or skill set increases your value, making it more likely for employers to consider substantial salary increases.
How can I find gaps in my current job to contribute more and stand out?
Look for areas where your skills can make a significant impact, whether it’s streamlining processes, taking on additional responsibilities, or identifying projects aligned with the company’s goals. This can set you apart and demonstrate your value.
Is it necessary to wait for the year-end appraisal to negotiate a salary increase?
While year-end appraisals provide a structured platform for salary discussions, if a significant achievement or contribution occurs before that, it’s acceptable to initiate negotiations at other times, ensuring it aligns with company policies.
What are the key considerations for successful salary negotiation?
Successful negotiation involves meticulous planning, researching industry standards, and confidently presenting your achievements. Always be prepared with a realistic salary range and highlight how your contributions have positively impacted the company.
Is this strategy applicable only to those working in startups?
No, the principles outlined in the blog are applicable across the IT industry, including both startups and service companies. The key is to add unique value, take on responsibilities, and strategically negotiate, regardless of the company size.
Can the outlined principles be applied for career growth beyond just salary increases?
Absolutely. The principles of adding value, taking on responsibilities, and strategically navigating opportunities are not only about salary increase but also contribute significantly to overall career growth and professional development.
Is this approach suitable for someone with many years of experience or more suitable for a fresher in the IT industry?
The approach is adaptable for individuals at different career stages. While those with more experience can leverage their expertise, fresher individuals can focus on showcasing potential, learning quickly, and making a notable impact.
How can I gracefully consider a career switch while aiming for a significant salary increase?
While considering a career switch, emphasize your transferable skills, relevant experiences, and the value you bring to the new role. Highlight how your unique skill set positions you as an asset, and negotiate based on your market value in the new domain.