Are you making what you’re worth? Before you accept that raise or job offer, make sure you receive the salary you deserve. Here’s how.
Whether you’re up for a raise or considering a job offer, you may be wondering what you’re really worth. Are you making enough money for your age and experience level? Are you getting paid what you deserve?
It’s completely natural — and in fact advisable — to regularly reassess your worth to ensure your career is moving in the right direction. While salary is often considered a hush-hush topic, you you can still determine how much you should be making — and whether or not you should accept the offered salary.
1. Do your homework
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to get a general idea of what people in your position make. Granted, salaries vary greatly based on location and experience level, but sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale.com and Salary.com give you a good starting point.
It’s more powerful to have specific numbers ready during salary negotiations as opposed to saying you deserve a raise without backing it up.
2. Know what normal growth in a company is
If it’s a raise you’re hoping for, it helps to know what’s normal in terms of growth. According to a survey by Towers Watson Data Services, the average pay raise in 2014 was expected to be just below three percent. If you’re looking for significant growth in your salary, you may need to look for another job instead. (Click here to tweet this hard pill to swallow.)
3. Ask around
Talking about salaries within a company is often frowned upon and may even be prohibited by your employer. But there’s a growing movement toward salary transparency, which can ultimately benefit employees. If you don’t feel comfortable asking your coworkers what they’re making, talk to contacts in your industry to find out what’s typical in your field.
4. Take your company’s financial standing into account
You may know your company is going through a dry spell financially, or perhaps it’s going on its third year of record sales. Your salary will probably be affected by your company’s finances.
If business is slow, you may not get a raise for a few years, and you have to decide if you value the job enough to stick it out. If business is going well, but you’re still not getting a raise or you’re not being paid what you feel you deserve, it may be time to demand more — or move on.
5. Realistically calculate your fair-market value
Averages aside, what you’re worth is a personal thing. Employers take into account your educational background, your past experiences, your accomplishments (awards and recognitions) and additional training you’ve received.
Your salary will be commensurate with your skills and accomplishments, so be realistic about what those are. Someone in your position may be making $5,000 more, but the truth is, they may deserve more.
What to do when you deserve more
After doing your background research, you may have determined you’re not getting paid (or offered) as much as you deserve. Luckily, with the knowledge you’ve acquired during your research, you should be equipped to discuss salary negotiations with your current or potential employer. Here’s what to keep in mind when asking for more money:
- Know exactly what you want
- Ask politely — don’t make angry demands
- Back your request up with facts and statistics
- Prove that you deserve it through the quality of your work
Have you used any of these tactics during salary negotiations, or do you have additional ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Michelle Kruse has over 10 years of hiring and recruiting experience and a background in coaching and leadership development. At ResumeEdge, Michelle recruits and hires resume writers, provides training and ongoing support, manages strategic partnerships, and serves as a subject matter expert on the job search process.