This is always a loaded question when considering a job or career change. It is important when negotiating to know what you are worth and what the market will bear. While you may be earning a nice compensation at your current employer, it is important to understand whether it’s above or below the norm for that industry and your market.

Here are some things to think about:

  • If you are considering a job in a different market, it is essential to research the cost of living in that area. If you are in San Francisco or NYC where pay is very high, as is the cost of living, and you plan to move to a smaller market in Montana for a lifestyle change, don’t expect to earn the same amount. Your money will go farther in smaller markets so be sure not to price yourself out of the game by asking to keep your dollars the same.
  • If you are moving to a new industry where you have a high learning curve or few contacts, be prepared to consider either a small step back or to stay where you are. The proof of your power will be in meeting goals so you can increase your income. By all means, I am not suggesting you take a huge cut, but be realistic about why you are making the change and what the potential growth looks like.
  • Many states have passed laws where it is okay to discuss compensation more openly in the workplace.
  • Talk to others in your market who are in your industry to compare how they are paid to gauge your range. In this case be careful to compare apples to apples look at their price points, amount of inventory, sales cycle and opportunity to confirm similarities.
  • It’s also good to learn about your market cost of living and what companies outside of media pay for similar positions.
  • Be realistic when asking for a raise. If the country is in a recession or the company has a hiring freeze know that you more than likely will not be able to negotiate a higher deal. If anything, you may be asked to accept lower rates. Don’t take this personally, find out what the reason is and when and if they plan to go back up when certain things occur. In many cases, the company is trying to stay solvent in a tough time so that loyalty may pay off in the long run.

 

  • Be prepared when you ask your manager for an increase. Have facts about what you have done to help the bottom line, show how you have gone over and above to help the company.
  • In many cases, the answer to earning more is producing more. What can you do to increase billing? Look at your skills, expertise, and successes and think about how you can improve your bottom line. Perhaps ask for a goal incentive to show your worth.

Bottom line, when going for a new job or a raise, do your homework. Be prepared to justify your worth and go for it!