Steer your earning potential in the right direction

Senior Ministers in the UK have been feeling the pinch in recent weeks in light of the Prime Minister’s recent Cabinet reshuffle. For example, ex Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke's step down to an advisory role will result in a reduction in annual salary from around £134,000 to just over £98,000. One would hope that those entrusted with the running of a country are not just in it for the money, but it cannot be denied that salary is an important factor to anyone changing roles or responsibility.

Career prospects and work-life balance rather than salary had been considered the most important aspect in considering a new role. Today results reflect a sign of the times, i.e. salary is now key for many career-seekers. In tough economic climates, where everything from house prices to the weekly shopping bill seems to be on an upwards trajectory, it is perhaps not surprising that people are increasingly concerned about the financial rewards of their work, and in the case of the MBA, a return on their investment.

MBA salary expectation amongst MBA applicants reaching record levels was one of the key findings of the QS Applicant Survey this year.  MBA applicants earning an average of US$45,000 pre-MBA expect record target earnings of $133,000 post MBA, up from US$111,000 in 2011.

So how can one ensure that you get what you need and deserve in terms of salary when looking for a new role? Here are some tips to ensure you maximise your salary potential in your job search:

Show employers how you can make them money on a bigger scale. Use your CV to provide clear, quantified evidence of profit increases or expenditure savings you have made in the past to prove just how valuable you could be to an organisation in the future.

Save salary negotiations for the right moment. Whenever possible, try to wait until a company is ready to make you an offer before discussing salary expectations. At that point, they already know they want you and your bargaining power will be at its strongest.

Keep your options open. By generating interest from more than one employer you can create competition for your candidacy. While it's important to reassure an employer that you are genuinely excited about a given opportunity, entering pay negotiations with other potential offers under your belt can work to raise your value.

It remains to be seen how effective the new Cabinet line-up will be in getting the economy back on track, but by knowing your value and perfecting your strategy, you can make sure that you steer your earning potential in the right direction.

Stay current by looking out for the QS Jobs and Salary Trends Report, (to be published in October) revealing upcoming MBA recruitment levels and salaries reported by MBA employers around the world. The report contains unparalleled data and expert analysis on industry pay, and hiring levels for MBA graduates and alumni in the coming years.

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