How To Dramatically Increase Your Salary

Do you know what your personal number is? Want to be a better, more empowered negotiator in your next job search. We show you how.
Straw That Broke The Camel's Back

Are you suffering from years of making too little money?  Are you working more than ever but falling farther behind?  Are you looking to increase your salary? If you fear that you’ll never be able to pay off your student loan, buy a house or have a family, then this article is for you.

I am going to provide you with a tool you can use to fix your money problems. 

And you need to realize there is a cost, a huge, lifetime long cost, of not dealing with this issue.

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Are you suffering from years of making too little money?  Are you working more than ever but falling farther behind?  Are you looking to increase your salary? If you fear that you’ll never be able to pay off your student loan, buy a house or have a family, then this article is for you.

I am going to provide you with a tool you can use to fix your money problems.

And you need to realize there is a cost, a huge, lifetime long cost, of not dealing with this issue.

If you ignore this problem, it just gets worse the longer you wait to try to fix it.

What most people do when they make too little money is they try to work more hours, work a second job or they just try to change jobs.  But for most people, none of these approaches really works.

And what happens if you just do nothing?  If you just keep doing what you’ve been doing?  When you find out the ‘true cost’ of doing nothing, each day that you work in a job or on a project that doesn’t pay you enough means you’re going backwards financially.  You may keep going deeper into debt.  You may never get out of your parent’s basement or you may have to move into your parent’s basement.  You career may stall because you don’t make enough to do the training and skills development you need to do to move on up.

How I Started Making What I Want and Need

I’ve got an answer that works.  Here’s what works.  First, I want to tell you that when I first was shown this tool, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t already know it, as I have an MBA and we are supposed to be ‘Masters of the Universe’.   What I am going to give you shortly is access to a tool I built that is based on established, proven, common accounting concepts.  It’s called a Personal Break-Even Calculator.

For the uninitiated, Break-Even is how much of something you have to sell before you recover your fixed and variable cost.  Sounds very complicated, and in all honestly, when I’ve worked, in my role as a Senior Business Consultant for Global Multi-National Corporations, normally running large, greenfield SAP implementations, getting this number right has proven to be exceptionally complicated to do. 

Even with millions of lines of code, and thousands of man-hours of work being expended on projects, getting the ‘Break-Even’ number for any single product or service is a challenge for every company.  Here’s a secret – a lot of what appears to be very advanced companies ‘wag it’ rather than go through the trouble of setting up the systems and processes and procedures to compute and know these numbers.  Just because something is hard to do doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t do it yourself.

So what, you say?

How will this help me increase my wages?

Let me tell you a story that spans many years.  It’s my story, the story of a Globe-Trotting, Senior SAP Project Manager, who, despite accumulating ever more experience and successful Project Go-Live after successful Project Go-Live, kept getting offered lower wages to run every larger, riskier projects.  Let me tell you, running a successful SAP Implementation Project doesn’t get any easier with time. 

Clients continue to be extraordinarily demanding as to the qualifications they want you to have, yet they want to pay less and less.  Meanwhile, SAP, like just about every software company, and indeed, almost any company in any industry that releases product upgrades, continuously causes clients to want a consultant with the latest ‘product’ i.e., SAP HANA, on their resume.

Let me be honest, I am highly networked, and on any given day may get over a hundred calls and emails about SAP Project Manager roles.  I accept virtually none of them.  Many might say I am too picky.  But let me let you in on a secret – when ‘recruiters’ call, they lead off with only one question – what’s your rate.  That’s right, they have no interest in your background or qualifications, only your asking rate.  I call it the ‘what’s your rate’ conundrum.

For many years, I struggled to answer that question.  After all, when I started in the SAP market, the rate was pretty standard, and no one really questioned it.  They paid expenses as well, including Business Class flights.  But then, the SAP Consulting Market, like all IT markets, began to change, and instead of focusing on getting the right people on the bus, the focus was to get the cheapest people on a cheap flight and in a cheap hotel. 

There was no question whatsoever of what value you were helping a client achieve.   This was because your client was actually not the end client.  Your client was the recruiter, who was trying to exploit you to the maximum extent possible.  End clients would tell you they were paying the same as always, and didn’t understand why they weren’t getting the ‘Top Gun‘ consultants they were paying for.

As an SAP Project Manager, of course, I was responsible for running the finances of a project.  That meant I would always know who was getting paid what, what compromises were made to win the deal and what was in the SOW (Statement of Work).  The straw that broke the camel’s back came when I had a recruiter flat out lie about the rate being paid for me.  I got an extra $20 bucks an hour shaved off my rate, because that is what the ‘SOW’ said. 

Of course, once I got a hold of the SOW and saw that he had lied during the negotiation, we had a ‘discussion’ about the issue and made adjustments to the rate.  Plus recovery.  You don’t typically know this information unless you’re the Project Manager.  But what you can know is your Break-Even Rate.  That’s what I now know, and what I use to answer the question, ‘what’s your rate’.

Though an accountant will tell you it’s a bit more complicated than what I am about to show you, you need a short-cut to use in the ‘heat of the battle. 

Here’s how our Break-Even rate calculator works:

  • Add Up Your Monthly Bills
  • Add Up Your Monthly Investments
  • Add in an Estimated Monthly Tax Bill
  • Total the Above Up/Divide by 160

That’s your Monthly Personal Break-Even Rate.  If you’re going to be taking a job away from home, where you will be incurring expenses in addition to your normal expenses, then add those in as well. If you’ve never taken a job away from home, you can count on spending between 4-6 k a month on expenses (more if you’re in an expensive location).

So let’s run a hypothetical situation

You’re young, perhaps it’s your first job position and you won’t be traveling.  You’ve bought a house and have a car.  How might that look:


Mortgage:                                    $2,300

Food:                                              $600

Utilities:                                        $250

Car:                                                 $450

Insurance                                    $200

Maintenance                             $100

Savings/Investment:            $100

Your Personal Break-Even:   $4,875/160=$30.46

None of these numbers are meant to be absolutely locked in concrete, and indeed, yours may vary drastically.  For instance, if you’re only saving $100 a month, you’re not going to be accumulating much cash very fast. Let me let you in on another little secret.  For most people, your bills are probably a lot higher than this.  That’s why I’ve built the Break-Even calculator to let you play with your numbers as much as you like.

These days, before I answer the ‘what’s your rate question’, I ask the recruiter to hop on a screen share with me and I walk him through my numbers.  NONE have ever disagreed with my numbers or my approach.  Many have had to go back to their clients and rework their deals and reset expectations.

It Worked For My Wife and It Will Work For You

Taking this approach has allowed me to filter my offers to only those that make financial sense – for me.  And it’s not just me.  It worked for my wife as well.  She was facing the same headwinds as everybody else: crazy hours, ever more demanding client requirements, way too much stress.  Until finally, she said, I have to do something different.  Today, she babysits dogs.  Why?  Well, it turns out that when you run the numbers, for her, it pays better and has better benefits (especially the fetchers).  She uses this approach of Personal Break-Even to set her prices and everybody is happy.  As they say, Happy Wife, Happy Life.

Finally, It’s Your Turn

When you use the Free Break-Even Calculator, you will get the key to:

  • Knowing what rate you must make
  • Having specific information you can use to strengthen your negotiation position
  • Be on your way to finally making enough money to cover your bills

But once you know your Break-Even rate, what do you do with that information?  That’s where Mapertunity comes in.  We’ve designed this system with one simple vision in mind – that every job is visible to every candidate and every candidate is visible to every hiring manager.  Our philosophy is simple, when people can find the best job for themselves, both parties win.  Master negotiators know their minimal acceptable outcome before they go into any negotiation.  Your personal break-even is what you should consider your minimal acceptable outcome.  Remember, you’re free to ask for more, much more.   Mapertunity, the visual job search engine, makes that possible.

And your 100% safe to try this out.  For candidates, it is free to post your profile, while for employers, their first job posting is free.

It’s Decision Time

You have a choice to make:  Do what you’ve been doing (or worse, do nothing at all).  You know where that will lead. Is that really where you want to go?

  • Keep Living In Your Parents Basement
  • Be Forced To Move Into Your Parents Basement
  • Never Make Enough To Salt Anything Away

Or you can take a new action and get a new result. Finally get the salary you need because you know how much that actually is.

Which result do you want for yourself?  If you’re a candidate, here’s what you do now.  First, run the Break-Even Rate Calculator and set your price.   Then create your profile here on mapertunity.  If you’re a hiring manager, HR expert, or otherwise in charge of hiring, you can use the calculator to estimate what you’ll have to pay someone.  Then you can begin to purchase job postings on and post jobs using our visual job engine.

Picture of Lonnie Ayers

Lonnie Ayers

On a mission to help every job seeker find a job. Co-inventor of mapertunity, the most advanced graphical job search tool in existence. A 21st century tool for jobs and businesses.

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Welcome to Mapertunity, a new way of posting jobs and finding jobs. We are on a mission to help every single person and every single business find each other, and then put them to work.

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