Getting the basic requirements for your job search in place can be overwhelming. Writing your resume, cover letters, working your network, creating your job search plan, company research. Need I go on? But having all of your resources in place with the best resume and the most amazing job experience will not help if you are not focused in your search. There are so many distractions – too many leads (most of which are useless), too much information – none of this is a good thing. Of course, you should start off with a job search plan (see Planning for Your Job Search – Lesson 1 and the following lessons to get started on your plan).
So how much are you worth? If you’re lucky, more that you are being paid now. Whatever that number is, you should have a reasonable idea of the job market and how much you can command for compensation (within a range). Please keep in mind that there are many factors that determine your “worth”.
- Education – This, of course, depends on your career. A teacher with a Masters degree has more salary potential than a teacher with just a Bachelor’s degree. The educational expectations/requirements in your field could impact your salary – keep this in mind.
- Experience -How long you’ve worked, who you’ve worked for and what you specifically did will all have an impact on your salary negotiations.
- Your Current Job Title -What you do is important, but so is your job title. If you are a sales associate, it will be difficult to make that jump to a VP of sales and the associated salary. However, if you are already a Sales Manager, it may not be as difficult. While everyone want so to move up the “ladder of success”, you should be realistic about your current title and you aspirations.
- Size of Your Current/Last Company – Yes, size does sometimes matter. If you are working with a large organization, then you may be earning more than the same position in a smaller organization. Likewise, you may be able to ask for more compensation if you work in a large organization.
- Location – Cost of living is a big factor in compensation. Those working in a major city will likely earn more because they are in a “more expense” part of the country.
- Certifications and Licenses – The more certifications and licenses you have, the better the chances that you will earn more. There is a delicate balance between “over qualified” and well qualified (don’t let your qualifications get too far ahead of your career path).
Some salary resources:
Book Corner – Negotiating Your Salary: How To Make $1000 a Minute
Last, but not least, how you negotiate will determine how successful you are (or aren’t) in getting your dream salary. That being said, keep in mind that there are other benefits that can be sometimes negotiated and could have a positive impact on your total “worth”. These include, but are not limited to: additional paid vacation, overtime rates, employer paid benefit plans, tuition reimbursement and work/life balance to name a few.
Career Tip of the Day: Worth Your Weight in Gold? Know Your Bottom Line
We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.
Good luck in your search,