In my previous post I started discussing how to know if you’re getting paid what you are worth. Today I will give you some tools to use in your research and some tips to help in your salary negotiations.
Find out what the position is currently paying for similar work in similar environments (including positions inside and outside the company) through —
* On-line job search engines (e.g. Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, TheLadders.com, etc.)
* Company websites (your company and others in the same industry)
* Business Journals
* Specialized Trade Publications
* Personal networking contacts
* Newspapers/Classified ads
* Published salary surveys
Below are five excellent reference websites that offer salary calculators and reference guides. You may be required to subscribe to the service in order to obtain accurate, high quality information:
http://www.salary.com (also look at link to Cost of Living comparisons if moving)
Once you have the salary data, the best indicator of the market place is to combine a number of different salary ranges set for the same job by at least a half-dozen employers rather than just relying on one company’s salary range. Ideally, the more salary ranges for the same job in the same geographical area that you can compare, the better.
Then, add all the minimums together and divide by the number of salaries you’re comparing. Do the same for the midpoints (the average of the minimum and maximum), and maximums. This will give you the range of the job’s the market value.
Now you can determine where in the range your current salary is. The norm is that the midpoint (the average dollars of the minimum and maximum of the range) is ideally where you should be after 5 or so years in that position. This is not an absolute but more of a goal to assess your value.
The second thing you need to understand (and this is more difficult) to determine whether you are at the high end or low end of the pay scale is that various companies may offer different salary ranges due to the company’s internal salary policies and practices. There may be hiring policies stating that no matter how much experience you have, the best starting salary offer would be no more than a small percentage above the minimum starting point.
Of course, this is to help avoid internal salary issues. Also, despite your position and responsibilities, if the company has not kept up with the market movement for its current employees then they are not very likely to pay more to a new hire than they do for current employees. So even though a company may recognize and value your experience and skill-set, the salary offer may be minimal to avoid any potential internal salary issues.
After you have done your research and are more educated about your worth in the marketplace, it may be a good time to schedule a meeting with your manager to inquire about a potential pay raise! Now, go forth and prosper… and know your worth in the marketplace.