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Yaneek Page The keys to being paid your worth

QUESTION: I just read your article ‘Going Where you are Valued Pays’, and it was definitely for me. I am 32 years old and have been working for years as partner of business development but am shamefully paid and undervalued. I am at the stage where I am very depressed because I need to be paid what I am worth so that I can enjoy my life. Your article gave a glimmer of hope, and I was wondering if you could share a few more details about how she actually got the job:

Was she just lucky to find this job or was it links?

Also, do you know if she paid for a professional r?sum? company?

Did she use a website?

Is the company she works for hiring?

Can the name of the company she works for be shared privately with me?

I have been thinking about paying someone to redo my r?sum?, but I want to be sure it will be worth it.

— Social media user

BUSINESSWISE: I am happy that you have asked such great questions, prompting this important follow-up to my last column.

For those who may have missed it, recently, I shared the success story of a young Jamaican professional – identified as Sara to protect her privacy – who is reaping incredible rewards, including an over 300 per cent increase in annual earnings and disposable income that skyrocketed from approximately US$300 monthly to almost US$4,000 monthly after deciding to go where she is valued. Most importantly, she is happy, works fewer hours, and is enjoying a positive work environment and far improved work-life balance.

Your first question may strike a nerve with many readers because in Jamaica it is, unfortunately, the norm that special connections and privileged access, commonly referred to as ‘links’, are the most effective conduits to lucrative contracts and employment opportunities.

The good news is that every success story I have written about so far, including Sara’s, has been an example of meritocracy in action and not the result of nepotism or preferential treatment of any kind. Sara does not ascribe her success to luck, but rather hard work, tenacity, and fearlessness. One of the key actions in this case was to be brave, abandon her comfort zone, and take a chance to broaden her horizons. That fearlessness paid off.

To answer your second question, she did not use any r?sum?-writing service to prepare her r?sum? or professional profile. Her approach was to utilise free Internet resources as a guide to creating a standard r?sum?, which she would tweak on occasion to align as closely as possible with various opportunities and positions she found online.

An important point to note is that it was her standard r?sum? that landed her interview for the position she currently holds. Her recommendation, therefore, based on her own experience, is that if you don’t have the resources to pay a r?sum?-writing service, it is fine to make use of free online templates and resources. The key is to just do it, and to ensure that you capture the specific examples of how your skills added value in your previous roles. Understanding and being able to articulate your value is a major key to being paid your worth.

Arguably the best tip Sara shared is to find the right agencies to support your search for the ideal opportunity. Recruitment agencies are the medium between employers and prospective employees, and most work on behalf of, and are paid by, the companies for which they recruit talent.

In fact, you will likely find several opportunities in a recruiter’s database that may not be widely available to the public. Good agencies will send you several opportunities that are consistent with your wish list, unique skills, and technical abilities in addition to helping you prepare for the application process and also the interviews in the event you are shortlisted.

Sara did not use a job site. The agency she used was Apex Global Recruiting. However, you should do your own research and focus especially on the firms that specialise in foreign workers. I went ahead and did some preliminary research for you to identify several agencies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and several other countries in Europe that appear to have positive reviews from immigrants and foreign workers.

Here is a very brief, curated list of recruitment agencies: Adecco, Hays, Strategy Recruitment Group, Goldbeck Recruiting, Global Hire Immigration Placement and Services, Canadian International Recruitment Services, Canadian Staffing Consultants, Global Consulting Group, Work Global Canada, Green Tech Resources, MCK Recruitment, Manpower, Reed Specialist Recruitment, Air Swift, Alliance Recruitment Agency, Skill Provision International, and Pearl Recruitment.

A final point is that in many developed countries where foreign workers are actively recruited in large numbers, their government has published, by way of their departments of labour, either guidelines for recruiting agencies that protect foreign workers and immigrants, or lists of registered agencies, or ways to identify fraudulent schemes. I would strongly suggest that you conduct due diligence before engaging any agency and that you utilise these resources to avoid being scammed.

To answer your last two questions, in the interest of confidentiality and respect for Sara’s privacy, I cannot share the company she works for or disclose any information related to their vacancies. Notwithstanding, I hope the tips, recommendations, and resources shared in this article may provide considerable assistance in your quest to be paid your worth.

Good luck and one love!

Yaneek Page is the programme lead for Market Entry USA, a certified trainer in entrepreneurship, and creator and executive producer of The Innovators and Let’s Make Peace TV series.

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