This question was submitted by LaTonya, a US Military Veteran. LaTonya’s question is:
I trained in the US military as a Maintenance Systems Data Analyst, but only worked in my position for about 4 months before being honorably discharged.
In my current position, I have transitioned from being a full-time payroll clerk to handling most of the same duties that I did as a data analyst.
How can I extend that transition into my pay grade / title without having a degree?
The Answer To LaTonya’s Question Is …
First, Believe In Yourself
Nothing great was ever accomplished by anyone who first did not believe in him / herself.
What this means is that you should give yourself a lot of credit for the service you offered to the military and for being honorably discharged from one of the finest military institutions in the world!
I think that you should definitely aim to be a data analyst and you should approach salary negotiation from the perspective of being a quality person who can or is an asset to any employer.
Itemize Your Results / Achievements
Start by developing a performance oriented mindset. First, document all the results you have been achieving for your employer.
Document not just the data analysis tasks, but how your tasks helped your employer achieve their goals.
It may be that you will realize that your tasks haven’t helped the employer as much as you thought or it may be that you have actually contributed to your employer’s success much more than you realize.
Either way, this exercise will help you to start focusing on how you can align your daily tasks or job with your employer’s goals and so, put yourself in a stronger position for a significant pay raise.
Do Work That Really Matters On A Daily Basis
Having a performance mindset means daily focusing on not just doing your job, but, also making sure that you do the kind of work that really matters.
It is not enough to just come to work every day and crunch numbers. You have to, also ask yourself daily, some or all of these questions:
- How does the work I do really help my boss?
- Why does my boss / employer need this done?
- What can I do to get this work done faster, better or even automate it?
- Is their anything else that I can bring to the table to help my employer succeed?
Questions like this and other performance-minded questions will help you do the best possible work on a daily basis!
Start Tweeting Your Own Horn
It is not enough to do a good job. You must cultivate or get into the habit of letting your boss or employer know how you are making a difference.
Let your direct manager or supervisor know in conversations, the extra effort you put into your work, on a weekly or monthly basis.
Tweting your horn changes how you are perceived by your team, co-workers or managers from that of “an employee who shows up at work” to that of a top-performer, who gets the job done!
Ask For The Pay You Want
Don’t believe for a second that your salary / pay depends solely on your college degree because it doesn’t.
Your salary depends much more on your functional data analysis skills, i.e., your ability to perform in the real-world as a data analyst and on your ability to negotiate.
The ability to negotiate is a skill that just like any other skill can be learned and / or mastered. How good you are at negotiation depends again on how much you believe in yourself.
But, if you have taken the actions suggested in my previous points then you have positioned yourself for a salary raise and you should believe / expect to get it!.
LaTonya, become a top-performer, start sharing your results with others and ask for the pay you want! Here are a few articles that will help you gain more knowledge or learn more …
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