TMIK… About Salary Negotiation & Self-Employment

What we learned in our brilliant first week of our financial campaign.

What a week. We loved spending time with financial expert Lisa Conway-Hughes, who came up with some brilliant tips and tricks for how to negotiate a salary and go self-employed. She was recommended to us by Molly at She’s On The Money, the women’s finance club that’s making waves when it comes to getting you proper pay.

Thank you for all your cracking question suggestions – in the TMIK office we ended up chatting about everything from WHEN you should ask for a salary raise to how to pluck up the courage to work for yourself. 

It’s been an illuminating week, but to top it all off we wanted to share with you a really helpful practical guide of what we’ve learned so far.

Top tips for negotiating a salary raise 

1. Think about why you’re worth it (you are!).  If you have ever found yourself under-selling yourself, asking for less than what you know you are worth, or doubting whether you even deserve this raise in the first place – you need to change the way you think before you enter the room. Try writing down the things you’ve achieved in the past six months at your job, the new projects you’ve taken on, and the responsibilities you’ve shouldered. If you can’t convince yourself you need that raise, then you’ll find it tougher to convince your boss. 

2. Research, research, research. Try finding out what the going rate is for people in your industry at a similar level, both in terms of salary and any benefits. Talk to colleagues if you can, or ask friends who do similar jobs – both male and female. If you gather info from a range of sources, you have a much better chance of convincing someone at the negotiation table.

3. Think about your timing. Has it been a tough year for the company? Have you just had a raise? If so, it might be worth sitting tight for a while. It’s better to wait for a couple of months and then negotiate a better raise than to walk into the room when the company may just not have the capacity to fund a salary increase at the moment. But do give yourself a time limit – if it’s important to you, then you might want to think about moving on if the company hasn’t recognised your work within a certain timeframe. 

4. Prepare your script. This sounds weird, but if you write down what you want to say and practice it then it’ll help when you’re sitting opposite your boss. Practicing can help you feel more comfortable articulating your strengths and successes – ideally you should do so in front of someone who you know will be encouraging but who will tell you if something could be clearer, like a partner or parent. Channel the vibes of someone you know who is powerful, and think about how they hold their body. Think about phrasing, posture, and how quickly you’re speaking – just as you would if you were giving a big speech in front of an audience. 

5. Back it up with facts. This sounds obvious, but it’s really helpful to articulate clearly met targets (such as a certain number of sales, or a number of projects you’ve worked on successfully). Bring proof if you can. It’s much harder to say no to data when it’s written down on the page.

6. BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU’VE ACHIEVED. Confidence is key. Women sometimes struggle more than men with voicing their professional value, as we know we might be seen as “assertive” or “bossy” (or any other sexist stereotype for ambitious women). But you know you deserve this – and your boss will too once you’ve followed the tips and tricks above!

10 questions to ask yourself to help successfully launch your self-employed career

It can be pretty daunting taking the plunge into self-employment, but it can also be a hugely valuable experience. Working for yourself can be tough, but it also has some amazing rewards: independence, flexibility, self-motivation, building your vision into a reality. But writing down answers to these questions can help you work out if you’re ready to get the show on the road…

1. What’s the problem my service solves in the market? 

2. Who am I selling to? How do they spend their time? What are they passionate about? What’s their age range, and where do they live? Which other brands do they spend money with? What do I offer them that those brands don’t? 

3. How can I tell my target audience I exist? Will it cost me money to do that? How long do I reckon it’ll take? 

4. What are my deadlines for this? When am I launching, and what do I need to do to get to that point? How long will it be before I can first sell something? 

5. Which activities am I going to outsource? What will this cost me, and do I know who will help me?

6. If I write down an estimate timetable for each week, do I realistically have enough hours in the day to build this? Do I have enough time to start building this without radically altering my current situation? 

7. My dream feedback for my product would be…

8. Some possible pitfalls I can see coming might be…

9. What can I do to try to limit the chance of those failures occurring?

10. What savings do I have that can give me a runway for this? 

How can I generate multiple income streams in a pandemic? 

2020’s been a pretty crap year, hasn’t it? Thanks to the pandemic, many people’s income streams have been totally disrupted. So if you’re thinking “what the hell do I do now?”, we’ve come up with five things you could look into. 

1. Rent your car out. More and more people are looking at travelling around the UK for the weekend, and want to borrow cars to be able to do so. This woman made a whopping £25k by doing just that through car driving platform Drive.

2. Teach your skills live. Let’s say you’re talented when it comes to styling your clothes, getting fit or interior design, but that’s not your full-time pursuit. You can still teach that skill one-on-one or in a group setting via Zoom. Try setting up a website, instagram page or blog, and reach out to your contacts. Host an online Hiit workout, or people through how to find the best vintage buys on the web.

3. Are you style savvy? Try looking through your old clothes and flogging them via your social media or in an old-school car boot sale. Spend time going through sites such as Ebay and find bargains that you can alter or just add to your site. 

4. Got a bike, or a motorbike? Try signing up to be a delivery driver for some of the time. Everyone loves a Deliveroo.

5. What do you enjoy doing? How can you make some sweet dollar from i? A friend of mine started baking sourdough BEFORE lockdown (ikr), and it was really, really good. So she started asking her neighbours if they’d like to buy a freshly baked loaf or two. No prizes for guessing what they answered. She slowly expanded, street by street, and now has a couple of people who help her deliver the freshly baked loaves every morning to the lucky residents of Kentish Town because the sales are so good. Proving (pun intended) that there might be magic where you least expect it.