Ever accepted a job offer and then immediately regretted doing so after realizing you were being underpaid? If so, join the club. According to a Gartner survey of roughly 3,500 workers, nearly 70% of surveyed workers do not believe they are paid fairly.
The key to getting paid fairly is to know your worth and be comfortable asking for what you deserve.
Here are some tips that can help you advocate on your behalf.
Know your market value. Check out websites like salary.com and payscale.com to see what people in your field (and location) are being paid. Call a few headhunters and ask them what the going rate is for someone with your experience. And don’t forget to ask friends, who are in similar roles, what their compensation package consists of.
Be confident. Know what your absolute bottom line is and stick to it. If you receive an offer for less, don’t feel pressured to say yes. See if you can negotiate a better deal. If you can’t, be prepared to move on. An employer paying you less than your worth will undervalue you in other ways.
Don’t share your current or past salary. Some companies will ask you what you’re currently making or ask for your salary history. You don’t have to answer this question. In fact, in some states, this question is illegal. If push comes to shove, turn the question around and ask what the company pays for the position you’re interviewing for. If pressed further, say, “I’m open to a reasonable offer.”
Get comfortable negotiating your pay. A company recruiter will try to pay you as little as possible while you’re going to try to get as much as possible. Be prepared to negotiate and, if need be, settle in the middle.
Be willing to walk away. It’s much easier to stand your ground when you’re willing to walk away from a deal that doesn’t work for you. Don’t be afraid to take yourself out of the running if it appears that a company doesn’t truly value the work that you do.
If you want to get paid what you’re worth, you will need to ask for what you want. Don’t be afraid to let a lowball offer slip through your hands. With more searching and networking, you are bound to find a job that meets or exceeds your salary goals.