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It’s no secret that in order to make double-digit salary increases, you usually have to switch companies.

In fact, in 2014 Forbes suggested that people who switch careers every few years make more 50% more than those who stay at companies longer than 2 years.

But how to do people leverage their experience to make 30–50% (or more) salary increases?

Tip One. Communicate your value unequivocally

The biggest mistake people make in their résumés, during interviews, and entering salary negotiations is providing vague information.

You always want to be clear and precise about your accomplishments.

Include this type of information:

  • Time. Provide specific examples of when…

Perhaps you’re stuck in retail? Serving tables? Or doing shift work and want weekends off like the other “adults” in your life?

Landing your first professional 9-to-5 job can be tough when you don’t know what it is you want to do, or have a vague degree, or no degree at all. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face if you apply for full-time professional jobs is not having visibly-relevant experience and being screened out by junior-level HR folks.

Here’s one strategy to land your first permanent 9-to-5 job.

STEP ONE: Turn your focus towards temporary admin/office jobs.

After struggling…

A common question I get from clients is “How does my name affect my career search?”

Numerous studies (see below) prove that your name plays a big part in getting a callback or interview from a potential employer.

Like-for-like, Jane Smith or John Smith’s résumé will always be chosen over José Ramirez or Maggie Zhu’s, in the Western world.

It’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s just the way it is.


If you think your name is affecting your search negatively, choose an anglicised professional name for your résumé and online presence. This is particularly important…

Getting low-balled or even offered just a little less than what you hoped for — or discussed at the outset — can be pretty deflating.

There are going to be some scenarios where a company you want to work for just can’t (or won’t) give you the salary you’re looking for to begin with — and sometimes that’s okay. Yes, you can ask for other things like extra vacation, expenses, professional development courses, flex days but at the end of the day, money is money.

From the employer’s perspective, if you haven’t worked for them before or haven’t been referred…

Let’s face it.

These are tough questions to answer.

Pricing yourself out of the market or underselling yourself before you’ve even had the chance to interview, or learn more about a position, doesn’t make any sense.

I’m also a firm believer that your current compensation shouldn’t determine your future compensation; the only things that should determine your compensation are:

  • The deliverables of the role.
  • How much you can meet or exceed those deliverables.

Conventional advice on how to tackle these questions tell you to deflect and hold your ground. This is fine but it often leaves the other party (the…

Let’s get real for a moment.

The average person who is tenacious, and willing to learn (or can use Google), is probably capable of excelling in multiple career paths far beyond what their résumé or degree might say.

But why is it so darn hard to transition industries or roles?

Changing career paths is one of the most common things people ask me for help with. On a weekly basis I hear:

“I’m want anything outside of my industry”

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I’d like to try something new”

“I’ve applied to the [insert industry] multiple times…

Julia Roberts portraying Erin Brockovich in the film “Erin Brockovich” (2000)

You know what?

The current process of applying for jobs is completely fu — — messed up.

On top of this, 99% of job adverts out there seem to be complete nonsense or, at best, fictional people descriptions.

Sorry friends in HR and fellow recruiters but most of ya’ll can’t write an interesting job description worth a d**n. Disney characters seem more realistic to recruit than the people you describe in your “requirements” section.

  • “Must have…
  • A Bachelor’s degree in…
  • 7+ years’ management experience…
  • A minimum 10+ years’ experience in…
  • MBA preferred (even though you probably don’t have one)”


This topic’s not new but it is fresh on my mind.

My closest friend called me the other day a little upset after having just found out that her nickname at work was “Elsa”.

Why? Because she was considered as The Snow Queen and was regularly referred to as a “cold bitch”.

I was upset for her… at first.

Here’s the thing:

  • Throughout university she worked two jobs, looked after her mother who was sick at the time and still managed to earn a First-Class Honours degree (equiv. 3.7–4.0).
  • In the past year she’s been promoted twice at her company…

Sam Struan

How-to stuff about finding meaningful work and negotiating salaries from a pro recruiter —

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