How to Avoid Pricing Yourself Out of a Job

What’s your market rate?

Monopoly board modified with "Increase salary by $2000" //"Salary" flickr photo by jabberwocky381 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

It’s a simple question, but one you need to be able to sufficiently answer; Ideally, you’d have data to back up your claim and to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. But too often, job candidates enter a salary negotiation without this key piece of information, intent on pushing for what they feel they are worth. What you feel and what the market bears are two separate concepts. By walking into a salary discussion demanding $175,000 a year when comparable roles across the industry are hovering around the $130,000 annual range, you risk pricing yourself out of a job.

So what you can you do?

  1. Be Prepared – As noted, being cognizant of current industry rates can enable you to push for why you deserve at least the going rate. But you can also use this information to build a case for why you deserve a higher salary. If an employer is unable to move on salary, you may be able to negotiate on other benefits, including bonus or time off.
  2. Be Realistic – A realistic salary in Tulsa, Oklahoma would not compare to the wages you likely would be offered if you lived in New York or San Francisco.  Cost of living is just one factor to consider. Understanding your value helps ensure both sides of the table are working from a similar baseline.
  3. During the interview – If you’re working through a recruiter, be sure to ask them what salary range that the company is realistically willing to offer.  It is still taboo for a candidate to bring up salary questions with a prospective employer during the interview process. However, if a company representative starts discussing salary then that person is now giving you permission to discuss the topic.
  4. Be Careful – If a company starts asking about your salary expectations then you have to cautiously discuss your options.  First, always talk about an acceptable “salary range”, usually stating something like “I’m interested in a range of $90,000 to $100,000.”  Just know that the company may come back with an offer of $90K and they expect that you’ll accept that, since you already mentioned it. Offering to accept a specific base salary can also be counterproductive.  If you say you’re willing to accept $90,000 and the company was preparing to offer you $100,000, then you’ve lost $10,000. If they, instead, can only offer you $87,000 then they may chose to not even extend an offer because you said you had to have $90,000.

Is it time for you to negotiate your next role? Key Corporate Services can help you find that next golden opportunity, while ensuring you don’t price yourself out of the market. Contact us today to learn more.