Compensation experts seem to agree, 3% annual increases are here to stay. What does that mean during your job search? Since employers are only giving small annual raises, it’s important to do your research in advance to know what you are worth in the job market. Failure to do so means a loss of earnings over your tenure, but it can also mean lower earnings over a career if you significantly underestimate your worth. During your job search, be ready to negotiate a good salary: Know your worth.
What research do you need to do before your job interviews?
Know your worth. Research your industry, look into the average salary for the position for which you are applying. Once you understand the ballpark figure, look into how much your perspective employer pays for that position. There are online resources you can use for the first. If the employer is large enough, there may be online resources to tell you what they pay. Ask around in your network, too. There may be current or former employees who are willing to discuss compensation if you’re honest about why you need the information. Don’t forget to add in the value of your eMBA, those real-world skills and global experiences are hard to find, and are valuable to employers.
Know the organization. During your job search, do a little research into the potential employer. Are they on sound financial footing? What is the industry news about them? There are resources out there for most countries; downloadable guides and online tools abound. Knowledge of increased sales, or upcoming lawsuits can give you a good idea of why your hiring influencer is opening salary negotiations at a particular price point. It also tells you whether you can bargain hard, or if you won’t have much room for movement.
Know thyself. Be honest and do some soul-searching. Many coaches will tell you to choose your moment carefully, not to answer questions about desired compensation too early. Nonsense. If you know your top and bottom numbers, there’s no reason not to be honest about your needs: Identify the salary offer that would have you instantly say YES to the job, and identify the number below which you simply can’t afford to go. When asked, state a number you’d like to see, but be clear there is room to negotiate. If the interviewer says they cannot possibly meet that requirement, be clear that you are willing to take many factors into account and that number isn’t hard and fast. If they come back with a number below your minimum, thank them for their time and go. It’s far better to know up front that the company simply cannot afford you.