Whether you are negotiating your salary offer for a new job, or for a job you currently hold, you need to be well informed about your worth, the job requirements, the company, and what others in similar positions are being paid. To determine your worth and find out what a suitable salary offer is for someone with your background and skills, you should use three venues: do research, determine your personal worth and network.
First, do a little research on typical salaries for your type of position at that kind of company. You can get a sense of this through online salary tools, including payscale.com, salary.com and Simply Hired’s own salary tool. You can also find typical salaries for your position by browsing job postings for roles with the same job title at similar companies, and noting the salaries listed. When doing your research, also take into consideration the current state of the company, including the industry, the size of the company, and even the location, because these can affect the salaries offered.
Next, reflect on your own personal background and skills to see if you bring something extra the company, especially if one of your skills can save company money. For example, if you are a web designer who also has experience with graphic design, you could save the company from hiring a different person or outsourcing to a contractor. If you have a broader range of skills that the company could use and can demonstrate your value, you could be able to earn yourself a better pay.
Finally, ask others in your field or industry what a typical salary is for someone in the same position. If you have a mentor in your field, this would be a great person to ask. You can get the best sense of the market in your industry, and for average salaries for positions by the people who work in them.
Do you have other methods for determining what you are worth? Have you successfully negotiated a higher salary? Share your input in the comments!