Negotiating a salary when you are asking for a raise or applying for a new job can be difficult. It’s not exactly easy to determine your worth in the marketplace when there are all sorts of different variables that come into play. These variables for salary negotiation prior to any job offer include things like your experience, your education, your previous income, your skills, your qualifications, your location, and so on.
So, how exactly do you determine your worth before a job offer and salary negotiation? And how do you go from knowing what your worth is to receive it as a salary from your current or potential employer?
It’s not an easy world we live in today. With all the competition in the job market and the scarce jobs that are available, negotiating a salary may seem like the last thing you want to do when you finally find a job or are thinking about a raise. In all reality, though, negotiating a salary is just as important as finding a job itself. It’s a part of the industry and is something you have to accept if you are determined to get paid for what you are really worth.
So how do you figure out your worth, exactly? It takes a bit of research, self-reflection, and an honest understanding of the skills and experience you can bring to the table in terms of salary requirements.
The following tips will help you determine your worth and help you get the salary you deserve today during the negotiation process.
1. Research, Research, Research!
To really understand your worth, you have to know what people who are in the same positions and industry as you are making. Knowing what someone in your role is making can really help you make your case for negotiating a salary.
In addition to this, try using a salary calculator. These calculators allow you to enter your position, location, education, and experience to see how much you should really be making.
It is extremely important to see what the going rate is for your position in your industry and location. This way you can gauge roughly how much you should make and base your negotiations on that number. In the event that you negotiate a salary and get an offer that is less than what the industry average is, you have an argument as to why you should be earning more.
2. How Experienced Are You?
Your experience plays a huge role in how much you're worth. A person just finishing college and entering the job market will have a much different worth than someone entering a new job with ten years of experience, regardless of the position they are applying for. Your experience in one particular industry for an extended period of time is an asset to you and will be seen as a valuable by potential employers.
If you have experience in multiple industries, that can also be seen as an asset because it shows potential employers that you are versatile and are able to put your skills to many different areas of expertise.
Remember: experience doesn’t only have to be work experience. Volunteer work, educational classes, online certificates and more add to the skills and the experience that you have.
3. Where Are You Located?
Location, location, location! Your location will also play a big role in determining what your worth is. If you live in a major city with higher living costs, salaries will generally be higher. If you are living in a rural area with cheaper living costs, then average salaries for the industry in that area may be lower. Location has a lot to do with salary, which is why you should also research the average salary of your position based on where it is located.
Depending on the industry you work in and the job you are applying for, having an education can give you a huge advantage and leg up over other candidates or coworkers. Certain degrees are extremely valuable in some industries. They also present a tremendous amount of value to a person’s worth—depending on the industry, of course.
This doesn’t only include university or college degrees! This can include licenses, certifications, and any other form of certification or education. These are powerful tools you can use when negotiating a salary or a raise and are certainly helpful in determining your worth.
5. Negotiate the Right Way
A big part of determining your worth will be your negotiation skills. If you're not good at negotiation, it means that essentially, you are willing to accept a salary that is much less than your actual worth. If you are willing to bargain and are confident enough in your skills, knowledge, and experience, you should negotiate for a salary that reflects this understanding.
Never settle for anything less than you deserve. Negotiating the right way will help you set a clear understanding of what you are worth and the money you expect to receive. It will also help you better understand what employers are looking for in terms of salary and experience.
Don’t Underestimate Yourself!
If you are trying to determine your worth, the first thing you need to wrap your head around is that you are valuable. You have to have the confidence and knowledge in yourself that you bring a lot to the table—that, in fact, any employer would be lucky to have you on their team.
You worked hard to get to wherever you are—whether you're applying for an entry-level job or have years of experience—and you should be proud of that. If you underestimate yourself, you will not negotiate the right salary and you will not get the worth that you are entitled to.
Take into account your work experience, your life experience, your education, your past income, and so on. Take everything you have experienced in your personal and professional life and apply that to your worth.
Figuring out how much you're worth isn’t easy. It can be complicated and even very difficult to decipher by yourself. By using the right tools, knowing your skills, and understanding your place in the market, you can negotiate the right way and agree to a salary that is fair to you, your employer, or your potential employer.