Get Paid What You're Worth


Now that you’ve got some real-world experience and marketable skills under your belt, it’s time to get paid what you’re worth. Here are six great tips from blogger Hannah Morgan to help you figure how to go about it.

One reason you want to change jobs is to land a big fat pay increase, right? Before you begin searching the job boards or apply for any jobs, you will want to understand some things about today's hiring process and pitfalls that may limit your earning potential.

1. Supply and demand influence your value. If the workforce is filled with people who do the same thing you do, then it's easy for an employer to find the talent they are looking for. This tends to drive salaries down. This is one reason personal branding has become important to people who are job searching. When you promote your unique set of skills and experiences, you look less like a cookie-cutter job seeker and more like a must-have resource to employers. When done well, your efforts could result in an increased perceived value and therefore, more money.

2. Know your value. How much should someone with your experience be earning? That's a great question and one you must find an answer to. No one has the exact same background as you, so there are many variables to consider. You can start by searching job boards and look at the jobs that you are suited for. Some posted jobs do list salary information. But you can't stop there. You will need to conduct research using several different sources. Using multiple resources will help corroborate the salary ranges.

3. Research how much others make. There are several ways you can find out the salaries of jobs you are interested in. No, you shouldn't ask someone how much money they make. But you can ask someone in a similar role what she thinks the average salary is for that type of job. Did you know that professional associations often conduct salary research and share that data as a benefit to its members? Now would be a good time to investigate membership. Don't forget to tap into the market knowledge third-party recruiters have. Companies often hire a third-party recruiter to fill an opening, which means these recruiters know salary information for the jobs they've filled. Pick up the phone and call a recruiting agency and ask to speak with the recruiter who places people in your desired occupation. Employer review sites like Glassdoor can also shed some light on how much a company pays. Last, but not least, online salary calculators can give you a broad salary range. This is a quick and easy way to start your research, but dig deeper to find more information.

4. Know your range. Based on your research and conversations, and taking your unique background into consideration, establish your salary range. The lowest number in your range is the amount you would accept if the right type of job was offered. The highest number is the amount you would love to earn. As a general rule, keep your range fairly tight – the difference between your two numbers shouldn't be much more than $10,000.

5. Know when it is time to talk money. You will be asked for your salary requirements during the online application process, so it is important to know your value at the beginning of your job search. Recruiters will also ask you during a phone screen what your salary expectations are. Instead of responding with your range, ask the recruiter what the company has budgeted for the position. It may feel uncomfortable to ask this question, but it's important to know. You don't want to under- or overprice yourself for the position. You may need to modify your range to ensure it falls within what the company is offering. If you carefully analyzed the job description and you've done your due diligence researching salaries, your range should be close. However, if your number is far off, you may need to ask the recruiter more questions about the job responsibilities to make sure it is what you are looking for.

6. Salary isn't the only thing that matters. Before you even start searching for a new job, make a wish list of all the job duties, benefits and perks that are important to you. Use this as a starting point for your search. Your challenge is to find a job with an employer that meets as many of your requirements as possible, and compensates you for the value you deliver.

(Source: Hannah Morgan, contributor to U.S. News & World Report Money)


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