Category Archives: Salary

(MO)tivator or (N0)tivator: You Represent?

baby wolf by Jose Inesta
baby wolf by Jose Inesta

Too often we game ourselves into believing work performance and attitude tell the story of MOtivation… unfortunately, many are fooling themselves by representing NOtivation to all but themselves.

Several key words/terms in the above sentence need to be unpacked before the looking glass:

  • Tell the story: This refers to the message of your behavior as defined by your supervisor, co-workers, and customers being served. Truth is, don’t matter what you believe to be truth, others define every step you take, every move you make, and every breath you take (yes, they will be watching you).
  • Motivation: Do the actions and messages you perform represent enthusiasm? Wondering how enthusiasm is displayed? Here’s a quick tutorial: desiring to learn (and do) more than minimum job responsibilities and expressing a good attitude. Supervisors and co-workers notice those who are willing and wanting to grow with the company; willing and wanting to take on new challenges; willing and wanting to represent.
  • NOtivation: Does the mere thought of getting to work cause cramps or undue anxiety? Truth is, the vast majority of employees are not satisfied with their employment situation. Tall-tell signs of being a NOtivator include being late, performing the bare minimum (just enough to get by), rarely assisting others though you are caught up and able to do so, navigating the Internet or your personal phone during business hours, declining cross-training opportunities, holding a “not my job” attitude, and watching the clock with quivering anticipation. Naturally these are just a few of the obvious signs for the NOtivator as there are many more.

After reading the above, if your reaction was “who cares,” congratulations, you are swimming with the majority of folks out there and boxed yourself in as a NOtivator. How long do you tread?

Ever wonder why you keep getting ignored when it comes to job promotions or pay increases?

For the record: Promotions and pay increases are not a right, they are a privilege; a privilege rarely earned (or given) to the NOtivators in the world.

Take an objective look in the mirror. Reflect on what the person looking back sees… not just the surface, but the actions and attitudes behind and beyond the blind.

If you dare, imagine what the customers experience when you assist their needs. Imagine what your co-workers define and if respect has been earned. Imagine if you were your supervisor or owner of the company… would you give the person looking back a promotion or pay increase? If so, why? If not, why not?

Looking glass moment: through the eyes of the customer and company, what do your ACTIONS represent?

One of the most difficult (and bravest yet rewarding) things in life is self-examination. Truth is, until you see who that person looking back really is, you’ll reside behind a sheath of disillusion preventing progression and personal/professional happiness.

I won’t ask the question again… for now.

Seeking employment insight and career collateral, visit or if you are seeking material designed for those transitioning out of prison, check out and consider the most powerful book that will change your life: Walls, Bars, and Razor Wire… You Choose.”

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC 321-972-8919
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Show Me the Money, But WHEN!

DSC_0005Looking for employment can be intimidating and tedious.  The interview process can be nerve racking whether looking for a “dream job” or just looking for something to gain experience.  Whatever the reason for the search, there is always a common goal: money.

Let’s get real: Do you believe people dream about making just enough to get by?  Truth is, we all want to make enough to live comfortably and securely but most would feel better with a cushion.  With so much stress going on, how does one approach salary compensation during the interview process?

Postpone the Talk

Most career experts suggest you let the company approach the subject.  Don’t walk in to an interview and automatically say “I want this much,” especially during the initial meeting.  Try to leave negotiations for a second interview.  Bringing up pay rate too early in an interview can be a major turn off and may turn uncomfortable into disaster.  If the company brings it up, let them know you are interested in a mutually rewarding career and try to leave it at that until later in the interview process.

Know the Going Rate

When approaching any interview, research the industry, job posting, and the company.  Learn as much information possible in general as well as position duties and requirements.  Research what the average salary is for a person with the same title in the area and experience.  Use websites such as and can be a good salary staring point.  But remember these sites offer a general scale; the company you are interviewing for may be higher or lower.  Being prepared can better the negotiation process.

Know Your Worth

Use your skills and prior achievements to your advantage.  Sell the company on the skills that will be useful to them and advise them of how you plan on using your skills to better the company.  Let the employer know you are there to help the company succeed and back it up with the abilities you possess and how they will be useful to the company’s productivity.  You have to sell yourself to prove why you are worth more than the person waiting in the waiting room for the next interview.  If you sell yourself as an over achiever and one who can positively affect the bottom-line, the company will be more prone to pay top dollar.

Consider All Benefit Factors

Most companies have a specific salary range and rarely go beyond the maximum.  It is important to not just consider salary, but all benefits the company has to offer.  If the employer isn’t willing to pay the specific salary you were hoping for, you may be able to negotiate for items such as bonuses or extra sick time or added vacation days.  For many positions, you can even request the company to pick up your cell phone or Internet bill.


Before the interview process begins, research the company, position duties, and salary expectations. Remember to consider all benefit factors and don’t shortchange yourself or let being unemployed make you settle for less than what you are worth.

Until our next career chat, I am

Mari Brooks