“You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.”
That’s what personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi preaches.
It helped Torabi double her salary — from $45,000 to $90,000 — at age 26 back in 2006. More recently, it helped 28-year-old Claudia Telles score a $30,000 raise at a Chicago-based hospital.
What’s more, Telles — who went from making $41,000 on the business-operations team to $72,000 as a quality specialist — plans to double her new compensation in the next two years, she tells Business Insider.
It’s more than possible, she says, thanks to a critical mindset shift.
“I noticed my perception of a good salary and self-worth, career-wise, changed once I started surrounding myself with top performers,” she says.
“Before meeting ambitious professionals, increasing my salary by $5,000 would have made me beyond happy. Afterwards, asking for a $30,000 salary increase didn’t even seem ridiculous. I have friends and acquaintances that have been able to double or triple their salary, and to me, it’s the ‘new normal.'”
Moral of the story: “Be careful who you surround yourself with because they influence your standards and definition of what ‘normal’ is,” Telles says. “My standards keep doubling because of who I surround myself with.”
She isn’t the only one to suggest a correlation between success and who you choose to hang out with. As self-made millionaire Steve Siebold writes, “Exposure to people who are more successful than you are has the potential to expand your thinking and catapult your income. We become like the people we associate with, and that’s why winners are attracted to winners.”
The thought of negotiating another big leap isn’t intimidating to the 28-year-old — nor is it impractical, granted she continues performing at a high level and bringing value to her company.
“To me, it’s just the reasonable and right thing to do,” she says.
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