Earn More Girl, The Mobile App

screenshot ipad 3I am thrilled to announce a new tool for your salary research.  It’s the Earn More Girl mobile app for iPhone and iPad.  Some time ago I wrote a blog post about salary research and how the results set us up to aim too low.  How could that be you ask?  Well, we want salaries similar to men but the classic salary range results incorporate men and women’s salaries.  The resulting target salary you select such as the median will be lower than the median salary for men working in the job.

Target the Salary Men Earn

Here’s a little math word problem for you:  if the median salary for a project manager in Dallas, TX is $85,575 what would be the median salary for men working in Dallas, TX as project managers?  Earn More Girl will tell you!  Simply enter your target salary and select the job.  Earn More Girl uses the job categories that the US Dept. of Labor uses.  All jobs are categorized under five main groups:

  1. Management, Professional, and Related Occupations
  2. Service Occupations
  3. Sales and Office Occupations
  4. Natural Resources, Construction, and Maintenance Occupations
  5. Production, Transportation, & Material Moving Occupation

Using Earn More Girl Mobile App

Start by entering your target salary then select one of the five categories from above and drilldown to your specific job.  There are 135 jobs and job categories included in Earn More Girl.    To get the most accurate results select the closest category if you are unable to find your specific job or keep at the default if you are unsure of the best option.

The answer to the question above is $94,610.  So if you think you are average (which you are not) and you want to earn the median salary for the job instead of targeting $85,575 you should target $94,610.  That’s $9,000 more than you would have using just conventional salary research tools.  Aim higher and that gender salary gap will start to shrink.

How does Earn More Girl do it?  The gender pay gap continues to be stalled at 77% overall but it differs for various jobs according to Dept. of Labor stats.  Earn More Girl uses the gender pay gap for the occupation and the breakdown of men and women who work in that job to calculate your true target salary.

Personal Pay Gap

You can check out your personal pay gap as well.  Enter you current salary and select your job.  Earn More Girl will tell you what you probably would be making if you were a man based on the gender pay gap for your job.

Earn More Girl is free and will calculate your Personal Pay Gap.   Earn More Girl Pro will calculate your Personal Pay Gap and True Target Salary.  Earn More Girl Pro costs $1.99. Both versions are for jobs in the US and are currently available.

I look forward to getting your feedback on the app.

Union Doesn’t Automatically Mean There is No Room for Individual Negotiation

Now that I promote negotiating salaries to women, I get to hear the “war” stories of women who have negotiated higher salaries for themselves.    I also hear from women in unions that they don’t need to worry about this since the union takes care of it for them.  I took them at their word and left it at that.   That is until recently.

Recently, I talked with a woman who works for a public school system and is a member of a union.  Even though she belongs to a union she did not assume that the union had taken care of everything for her.  So, after six months of working in the school system she met with her boss and discussed salary and her total compensation plan.  Both she and her boss needed to stay within the guidelines negotiated by the union but there was room for a higher salary, which she got.

She opened my eyes and reinforced that we all need to spend some time researching our options.  The research can include contacting your union representative and reading the current union contract.    Just remember you may be missing out unless you have proof that you are making as much as you can for the job you are doing.

© Copyright 2011, Katie Donovan. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited

Happy Earning $75K?!

Back in the fall, Princeton University’s Center for Health and Wellbeing released research on the salary that optimizes individual’s daily happiness.   At $75,000 we have maximized our happiness. Oh there are other benefits to making more money but it will not impact your daily happy quotient.

This is anecdotal but I think women tend to ask themselves what salary will they be “happy with” instead of what salary the job is worth.  In this case,  “happy with” isn’t about our daily happiness but more about settling.  Kind of like settling for the last donut in the box even though it is squished; settling for the shoes that don’t quite fit but they look great with the outfit; or settling for the guy who doesn’t make the heart sing but he keeps showing up.

Think of it.  When you last looked for a new job or were getting your annual performance review, did you think “I would be happy making $X?”  Did you do the new math of adulthood?

 + car payment + student loan + credit card payments + food + day care + insurance + tax + gas + utilities + clothes + entertainment + 401K

= I can live on $X 

= I’d be happy making $X

Do you think these are the questions professional athletes ask themselves?  I doubt it. Tom Brady, the quarterback for The New England Patriots will make $18 million if they actually play football during 2011. Do you think he could have been happy with $1 million or $2 million or any one of the $17 millions that come before 18?  Probably.  Especially when you think he was a sixth round pick and a backup quarterback who may not have played had Drew Bledsoe not been injured in 2001.  Mr. Brady hasn’t looked back since he got the starting quarterback gig.  He’s negotiated better contracts and now he is considered the highest paid football player.

Salaries are a scorecard for athletes.  If I am a better player than Mr. Y than I better make more money then Mr. Y.  The beautiful thing about athletes is that it is all objective.  There are statistics galore.  Even better than the stats is the fact that both salaries and stats are public knowledge.  There is nothing hidden behind the curtain.  It only makes sense that Tom Brady becomes the highest paid player since he is considered one of the best players and best brands in football.

We working Janes may not have as much information as Tom Brady’s agent when negotiating our salaries but much information is attainable today. Glassdoor.com, Payscale.com, Salary.com and SalaryExpert.com are just some of the many web sites with data that you can use.   So, next time you are thinking about your salary ask yourself a new question.  “What salary is the job I do worth?”  Then start researching to find out.


@ Copyright 2011, Katie Donovan. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited

What Salary Can You Command?

How do you know where you should fit in the salary range for your job?  What makes you worthy of the top 90% salary?  Or do you truly bring the typical traits to the job and thus should receive the median salary? Understanding your own traits, skills, experiences, accomplishments, and uniqueness will guide you to the salary that you should command.

I propose a method to make this as objective as possible by using a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.  Think of this like a Glamour Quiz …or was it Cosmo Quiz?

As you have probably guessed from my magazine quiz reference, this is not scientific but it helps to give you an impartial perspective of your capabilities.  More often than not we are either our worst critics or starry-eyed fans of ourselves.  The goal here is remove those biases.

Rate Your Education:

Let’s start with your education.  Education does impact salary potential.  The following chart on median weekly earnings from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 300% premium for people with an advanced degree compared to people without a high school degree.

So, give yourself 1 point for each move down the chart

1 = Less than High School

2 = High School Graduate

3 = Some College or Associate Degree

4 = Bachelor’s Degree

5 = Advanced Degree

Rate Your Accomplishments:

Now on to your workplace accomplishments.  I’ve organized these into 5 groups. I like to think of it as NARRC.  This is similar to the expression of NARCing except you will need to Narc on yourself.  To realize a higher salary you will need to Narc on your accomplishments. Give yourself 1 point for each category you have contributed.

  • Network – The old saw of “It’s not what you know but whom you know that matters” does have merit.  Think about who you know that would be considered high profile “gets” for your employer.  This could be a new client, a new partner, an investor, or an advisor.   Another network is your social network.  Do you have a large group of business followers, friends, connections, or blog readers?
  • Alignment – Having experience that models the company’s goals is a great plus.  Have you worked for a start-up that has gone public? Have you worked for a public company that has gone private? Experience through transition times such as these is a huge benefit to a company.  Companies do not need to be going through a transition for you to earn a point in this category.   Have you worked in a similar setting and thrived?
  • Recognition – Internal awards such as employee of the month indicate your superb capabilities.  External awards indicate your superb abilities AND allows your company to promote it and thus themselves.
  • Revenue Generation – Sales people always have a direct link to this bullet but many other employees can tie their activities to revenue as well.  First, consider if you have referred any new customers to the company.  Second, perhaps you contributed a new product idea or suggested a new market to target representative. Third, remember if you have represented the company at any event such as a conference that generated PR.
  • Cost Savings – Things you have done to create a cost savings for your employer such as negotiated better vendor contracts, developed a streamlined production process, or initiated employee social media marketing

Now count up your points and multiply that number by 10.  Estimate that you should be at that percentage in the salary range.  For example a college graduate (4 points) who had received awards (1 point) and developed a cost savings customer support process (1 point) should be earning a salary that is at the 60% mark of the salary range.

As I stated earlier, this isn’t scientific and it is not exhaustive.  I’m sure there are other categories that could be considered. Are there any that you can recommend?  I look forward to learning some other ways to consider this.


@ Copyright 2011, Katie Donovan. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited