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One simple equation to estimate your future salary

There are tons of resources, free and paid, you can find online to tell you how much compensation others are getting in certain industries and at certain levels, but none of them can predict how much you WILL get paid or deserve to get paid.


I have seen it countless times; candidates come to me looking for a certain salary because that’s what a piece of data told them they are worth. The thing is, personality and communication skills trump education and in some cases experience. Therefore what you are “worth” depends on not just what others are being paid but also how good of a candidate you are.


Imagine if you are hiring for an Accountant. You meet two candidates. Candidate One has had a ton of experience and multiple designations to bolster his resume. On paper Candidate One is perfect. You just don’t LIKE this candidate though, you didn’t jive in the interview, the candidate came across as arrogant, entitled, rude, meek, or disinterested. Basically, Candidate One is lacking emotional intelligence.


Candidate Two has relevant experience but nowhere near as much as Candidate One. In fact Candidate Two doesn’t have much formal education or training in Accounting. When you meet though, you know that this is the right person. Cool, calm, collected, humble, confident, charming. This person is emotionally intelligent. You know the team will love Candidate Two and any areas where skill is lacking seem to be easy to train.


Being emotionally intelligent is the most important thing you can do to improve your life and career. Statistics have shown that personality is 85% of why a candidate is chosen, only 15% on skills and education.


Continual self-development is the best investment you can make in your future. Which comes to the equation I promised you.


People who invest in developing themselves will look at their circle of friends. They know these relationships have a massive impact on their own success.



You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.



Here's why:

·          The Edelman Health Barometer 2011 global survey, conducted online and face-to-face interviews of 15,000 people living in 12 countries to discover statistics on what drives health behaviors. They found:

-          46 percent say friends and family impact their lifestyle as it relates to health

-          36 percent think friends and family are the biggest influence on their nutrition

·         Anne Kelly, President of Junonia says. “Research proves that having friends to exercise with really improves both persons’ health, even if that friend is just a walking canine companion.” Vice versa, if your friends aren’t physically active at all, it’s likely that exercise will become less of a priority for you.

·         A study published in 2011 in the Journal of Early Adolescence showed that friendships can make the difference between good and bad grades at school.

·         An experiment developed by Susan Mineka at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1980s has shown that a monkey raised in captivity that never feared snakes started to fear them when it saw a fear response of another monkey either over video or live. This means that watching someone who is feeling afraid, anxious or helpless could teach you how to be the same.

·         A 2013 study published in Psychological Science reports that when people are running low on self-control, they often seek out self-disciplined people to boost their willpower.

·         In a 20-year happiness study, Harvard psychologists found that your happiness is very much impacted by the happiness levels of the people in your social network.  If a friend saw an increase in happiness, you became 25% more likely to see an increase, too.


The equation:

Take the five people you spend the most time with and guestimate their salaries.

Add them all up and divide this number by five.

This number is probably going to be close to what you are earning currently.


If those five people stay at the same salary…so will you. If your five people are in dead end jobs with no prospects, what makes you push yourself to buck the trend? These people will influence you in so many ways. If you want to be a millionaire then hang out with billionaires. If your five people are immensely successful, then with time, you will catch up with them.

You shouldn’t only focus on the cold hard cash though. Did you know a salary of $75K is the magic number when it comes to happiness levels, earning more than that don’t have any significant positive impact on your happiness levels.

Look at your top five friends/influencers: Are they kind? Are they inspirational? Do you learn from them and do they make you want to be a better person? If you hang out with a bunch of losers with stinking bad attitudes….well, good luck and godspeed.


So, want to excel in your career, in your life? Be selective with who you invest your time in. It could turn out to be one of the smartest financial decisions you make.