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Salary Negotiations: How much do I ask for?

If you joined us for last week’s webinar, you already know the answer to “How much do I ask for?” It depends.

Everyone’s experience, needs, and goals are different, so each individual must decide their own numbers. Here’s how to find yours:

  1. Decide the least you can accept. Add up all of your sources of income and all of your expenses. Whatever you need to balance your household budget is the very least you can accept. (I don’t advise this as a negotiation target. You need a higher salary than this. However, you need to know this number.)
  2. What salary would make you happy? Use Salary.com to find out the range of salaries offered for your target position in the part of the country in which you want to work. Decide on an amount within that range that would be satisfactory.
  3. What salary would make you do cartwheels? Note the highest salary you can find for that position. If this amount would make you smile for a week and do cartwheels in the lobby, you have found the high end of your salary range.

Remember, this same procedure applies whether you are negotiating your salary for a new job or for a raise at your present employer. In either case, you need to be able to back up your salary target with some cold, hard facts. The best evidence is a precedent, that someone else in your area is receiving a certain amount for the same job you are performing.

If you have trouble finding a good number online, try contacting someone in HR at a competing business and asking about their salary ranges for similar positions. Professional associations sometimes have access to this information, as well.

If you didn’t catch my Salary Negotiations webinar live, you can still listen to the replay of the webcast here.  (If you need to enter the event ID, it’s 48486342. Click “Slides” to listen and view slide presentation | Handout attached below.) Please note that you will hear a 1-2 minute of silence or music during the “My Compensation Comparables slide.” You didn’t miss anything; it was just a technical glitch.)


Salary Negotiations: You don’t have to be an executive 

 Photo credit: Some rights reserved by Donkey Hotey


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