Here at TheJobNetwork, we like to think that we’re giving you all the tools you need to succeed in your job hunt and beyond. But for all the expertise, it can seem sometimes like advice is given in a bubble. It’s always great to get real-life feedback about how these concepts and recommendations fly in the real world. And Reddit is a great place to find real-world feedback on, well, anything (good, bad, and hilariously awful). Specifically, one Reddit user has detailed his quest to bump up his salary prospects here.
This commenter took an approach I hold dear to my heart: using the Internet to gather advice and apply it to his own job search. And although his 3-week success isn’t especially typical of the average job hunt, he offers a lot of useful information. So what can we take from his lead?
1. Dig, dig, dig for information.
If you want to know what you’re worth on a professional level, don’t just ballpark it or assume. Check sites like salary.com or glassdoor.com to see what other people in your industry, at your experience level, are making. Do this before you do anything else. Also be sure to bone up on your general negotiating skills—if things start to happen quickly in your job search, you want to be prepared.
2. Know yourself and your life well enough to figure out what you’ll accept.
A job offer is fantastic, but it’s not necessarily the end. What if the salary number comes in well below what you think you deserve, or what you’ll need to pay the bills? Before you go into a job hunt, know what your lower limit is. This doesn’t have to be hard and fast—if you land a dream position, you might be willing to go a little lower on the salary side. However, if your lifestyle calls for X dollars per year to maintain, a job that offers half that is not likely to work for you. Do some hard thinking about what you’re willing to accept. It can save you some aggravation and heartbreak later. This goes for less tangible factors as well.
3. Work the heck out of your network.
For all of the advantages that research and your own prep can get you, having a solid network might be the best job search helper of all. The Reddit user regrets not having bolstered his network beforehand—and if he had, there might have been even more offers and pieces of leverage on the table. Before you start applying, start whipping your network into shape.
4. Don’t be afraid to go for it.
This Redditor wrangled a 45% increase by making a decision (that he was going to commit to a major job search and change) and throwing all of his energies behind it. Again, these results aren’t necessarily typical—we don’t know what his industry, education, or experience level are—but they do show us that with time, commitment, and self-awareness, the goals are achievable.