“Do I make enough?” Any professional asks himself this question sooner or later. Often in companies, employees in the same positions receive different salaries, and switching to another industry can increase income from 20 to 50%.
Why Are Unrealistic Demands Dangerous?
Already in the first interview, the recruiter is usually interested in what kind of salary the applicant expects. The approximate amount is usually indicated in the CV. In this case, each applicant is faced with a question: what kind of salary should be negotiated to secure material comfort, and at the same time, not frighten the employer away with unrealistic demands?
It is worth saying that recruiters are scared away by salary requests that are both too low and too high: In the first case, they fear an insufficient level of work experience and lack of professionalism, while in the second, they are wary of excessive ambition and an unnaturally high self-esteem.
In other words, for successful employment, it is necessary to calculate in advance an adequate level of earnings suitable for you as a specialist with particular experience and skills. It will be easy if you use the recommendations.
Who Gets Paid More, and Where?
The starting point of the calculations is given by your specialty. It is well known that in the labor market, some professions are valued more than others – such as the general market law of supply and demand. So, if there are not enough competent IT specialists today, then their work will be better paid.
On the contrary, if there are more CVs for the position of journalist than vacancies, you cannot count on a high salary, especially if you are not experienced enough.
The second important factor for calculating an adequate salary is the city or town where you are looking for work. Everyone knows that in large cities they pay more than in small towns, but how do you calculate the acceptable salary level in your region? You can independently conduct a small market research: view vacancy announcements and CVs of colleagues and competitors of the specialty in your city.
Adjusted for Experience
So, the average level of remuneration in your specialty and your city has been determined. However, do not rush to write the resulting number in the CV – this is simply the average temperature in the hospital.
Correct the averaged value obtained taking into account your experience: lower the bar if you are a beginner, and, on the contrary, increase it if you have already become a pro.
There is no uniform method here – the calculation strongly depends on the specific specialty, therefore we recommend that you rely on common sense.
Experience in a particular industry or with specific issues is also important for calculating the level of salary. For example, a PR manager with deep experience in the construction industry will cost significantly more than a competitor who previously worked in show business.
Does Higher Education Affect Salary?
What else is important when calculating an adequate salary level for you?
Education influences your salary to a certain degree, such as studying in a prestigious university or obtaining an MBA degree for managers (especially in US companies). Although they are not decisive in finding employment, they are still able to add some points when calculating salaries.
However, it should be borne in mind that the employer is paying for the work, and not for diplomas. When working as an accountant, be prepared for the fact that a second degree in psychology will not affect your income. It is unlikely that an academic degree will raise your salary if you are not working in the field of science or higher education.
Paradoxically, a labor-intensive and expensive higher education on secondary fields may not have a much greater impact on your salary, but instead, short-term courses on the most pressing issues of your specialty will – such as those that are not yet in the program of universities.
For a marketing manager today, a certificate of participation in a seminar on the promotion of goods and services in social networks can be extremely useful (and significant in terms of payroll). For an engineer, it can be a certificate of design in modern automated systems. For a specialist in personnel office work, it can be a diploma of a participant in a seminar on labor law innovations.
Now it is time to find out how to compare your salary with the market average. There are several ways to understand how much the market offers for similar work.
Searching on Job Search Sites
Looking at job search sites one of the easiest and most obvious ways to search. The advantages of the method are that you see not only the proposed level, but also a list of requirements for potential candidates and work tasks. The disadvantages of the method are that companies often publish vacancies without specifying wages. Also, often the fee is indicated taking into account the bonus.
СVs of Professionals with Relevant Experience
This is a method to use if the first method failed to give a result or if you want to check the numbers for relevance. The advantages of the method are that you can compare the desired income with the skill level of the author of the CV and see the approximate level of income in different companies.
To do this, look not for vacancies, but the CV: you can type a job title in the search box and add a condition – search by company name. For example, search for the position of manager in the company “Birch.”
The disadvantages of the method are that candidates often publish their CVs without specifying wages. After the first analyst, take 20-30% of the income received. Most often, those who enter the labor market increase their income by just this percentage.
Recommendations of Recruiters and Recruitment Agencies
This is another potential source of current labor market information. You will respond to an interesting vacancy and, in the case of a successful interview, find out the level of expected income.
Advantages are that in addition to the level of wages, they will tell you in detail about the vacancy, features, and employment opportunities, and an experienced recruiter will give detailed feedback. The disadvantage is that even though agencies are well aware of the market, the depth of their knowledge is limited by their circle of clients. Therefore, hoping to only have to receive their help is not worthwhile.
You can ask a question about the expected income: “You know, I just started the search. Can you orient me to an approximate salary for this position?”
Find out how much your function costs, transferred to an external provider. This is especially true of services and back-office units.
Outsourcing deals with office work, personnel and military accounting, technical support, setting up advertising and buying traffic, writing articles, legal support, and many other areas and functions. Therefore, if you are doing standard work, urgently strengthen your expertise.
Every month, a variety of studies are published which include salary levels, compensation packages, and ratings of the highest-paid positions. It is unlikely that the study itself will help you in a particular career problem, but it may push you into an interesting solution.
Whatever the results you may receive for your small study, remember that fair wages do not exist. The higher the income, the more difficult tasks you will have to solve.
A good result of this homework will be ascertaining answers to the following questions: What value do you create? What are companies willing to pay more for? What amount will be adequate for your work? By improving your negotiating skills, you can negotiate the best conditions for yourself.
However, this alone is not enough – you need to confirm your level of professionalism every day. But if you are ready for this, then act!