Tech jobs are plentiful, and so are the people filling them. To be competitive, many tech job seekers ask for a lower salary. But don’t sell yourself short. If you have the experience and knowledge, have the confidence to ask for your worth when salary negotiations come around.
Know Your Worth
Before applying for a job, going to an interview, or even before your annual review, know your worth. You can look up average salaries of your position on Indeed Salary Search. Do your homework and make sure you’re not overshooting the competition when you ask for the salary you want. Make sure you know the lowest, average, and highest salary for the position. Different companies will pay differently for the same position, so know the companies where you’re applying and understand that varying amounts may be offered. And, if the role is in a new city, use a cost-of-living calculator to know your worth based on location.
Know What You Want
After you’ve done your research on average salaries of the job you want, figure out an estimated salary you can ask for. Each position is budgeted for a certain amount, and that budget is flexible for the right candidate. Consider a target salary that is not a round number. For example, if your range is $80-90,000, instead of asking for $85,000, ask for $86,500. This gives the impression that you know exactly what you want and what you’re worth, and it gives you a great starting place for negotiations.
Don’t forget non-salary factors that include signing and quarterly/yearly bonuses, equity, and healthcare, as well as flexibility benefits, such as a company’s open vacation policy and/or work-from-home policy. If a company won’t budge on salary, chances are, for the right candidate, they’ll be eager to make up the difference through perks.
Know What To Accept
You’ve interviewed and received an offer. It’s within your range, but do you accept it? Hiring managers and recruiters usually low ball the initial offer, but they still keep it in your range. They do this because they’re expecting a counteroffer. Don’t be afraid to counteroffer with a higher number that’s still within the range you gave them. However, don’t drastically overshoot it and, more importantly, don’t counteroffer more than once. When you counteroffer, make sure that number is slightly over your bottom line, so if they come back with a counteroffer of their own, you’ll be okay with the price.
Keep in mind that whatever you accept will likely play a factor in your future salary. Pay raises and bonuses are typically a percentage of your annual salary. So, depending on how long you are with the company, you may very well be negotiating your salary for years to come.
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