It’s the start of a new year but it may not be for your company. Some companies have their fiscal year end the same as the calendar year end. Other companies may have their fiscal year end at the end of another quarter (March 31, June 30 or September 30).
If you don’t know when your company has their fiscal year end, find out.
Before fiscal year end, most companies will start conducting employee reviews. This information is necessary to document whether or not you qualify for a salary increase and/or promotion.
Managers with budget responsibilities are required to submit their projected budget for approval. They submit their projections several months before the beginning of the fiscal year. The approval process takes time depending on how many layers of management need to review it before approval.
In that budget, there is a line item for employee compensation – which includes your salary. If you want a salary increase, you need to have conversations with your manager before he/she submits their budget projections.
Before your conversation, prepare for it. If your company has a formal employee review process, review that information. If there is no formal review process, then prepare by doing these five things:
1- Write specific accomplishments you achieved during the fiscal year. Replace subjective accomplishments with actual numbers. Instead of writing “I completed a lot of projects” replace it with “I completed 6 projects which generated $600,000 for the company.”
2- Know your value in the marketplace. Use job search sites to research the average income for someone with your responsibilities. Pay attention to the job description and don’t rely on titles. A “manager” at one company may have significantly more responsibilities than a “manager” at another company. If your company is hiring more people in your role look at the job description they developed. In it you may find a salary range – are you at the top of the range or the bottom?
3- Research how profitable your company has been during the fiscal year. If your company is publicly traded, listen to analyst calls or read your company’s SEC 10Q filings. This information can be found on your company’s website. If your company is privately held, look for increases in sales and new hires. If your company has been profitable, there’s a better chance they will offer salary increases.
4- Define your target income using information from #2. Attaining your income goal may mean working in a different department or advancing to another management level. If that’s the case, then create new goals which will stretch your current capabilities.
5- Practice this conversation with one of your mentors or hire a career coach. Be sure to incorporate #4 while being mindful of #3.
It may be the start of a new year, but your company may already be well into their fiscal year. If you’re looking to increase your salary, now is the time to prepare for conversations with your manager.
If your company’s fiscal year is the same as the calendar year, then you have all year to document your accomplishments and prepare for the conversation with your manager.
Take control of your career and be proactive. It also helps to stay PEF (positive, enthused, focused).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA