Establish a salary range to prepare to negotiate. Learn how to establish your market value by using online resources and your network. Research the details of a new job to determine if it’s the right fit for you. Decide if the job has the right level of challenge and growth to make it a great career move. Understand if the culture and team environment will support your success.
- As if searching for a job wasn't stressful enough, knowing which role and potential offer will actually be right for you can be even more confusing. The right role sets you up for a journey of opportunity and growth. The wrong role can take you down a detour that leaves you disappointed. Even if the price seems right, the role can end up being wrong if you don't do your homework. So, how do you know if you're on the right track? A great starting place is to take a closer look at the actual job you're considering, and figure out what it is and what it isn't.
This means taking a deep dive into five aspects of a new role. Let's start with the most straightforward one, key responsibilities. Yes, you'll have a job description to consider, but at the pace companies are moving, I've found they can be out of date. To get the most accurate picture, can you envision what a day in the life of this job looks like? What percentage of your time would be working alone, or in meetings, creating new things? Also, consider what kinds of decisions you'll be making.
Does this align to the level of responsibility you're looking for, or are comfortable with? Next, consider the challenges that might come with this job. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager what challenges they expect someone in this role to encounter in their first 90 days. What about growth opportunities? Most professionals see their job as more than just a paycheck. We want careers that help us grow. So, ask yourself, will this role provide opportunities to work on the type of things that I find exciting? Will it allow me to make the type of impact that I want to make? Culture and team environment are other important factors.
Do you have a good understanding of the company values? What about the reputation of the person you'll be reporting to? Do you know what kind of team members you'll work with? Lastly, is location and travel. Although the location of the job should be clear from the onset, you should have a good understanding of what percentage of this role's time requires travel and to where. Once you feel you've got a good handle on what this job is and isn't, it's time to figure out how much it pays.
You may hear this referred to as market value for a position. I try to focus on three main aspects of determining a job's market value, their industry, job title, and location. Many people turn to online resources like Salary, PayScale, or Glassdoor.com. I've found these sites to offer some relevant information. Be careful though, sometimes the information you gather may be different than what the company has researched.
I remember a candidate once presenting a salary benchmark that seemed out of place, and when I asked them where they came up with that number they said the internet. With that said, I like to start with The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, or BLS, and then compare that to the newer sites. The BLS website allows you to search over 800 occupations. This means that you can explore major occupation groups, as well as subcategories to find similar positions.
All of these resources I've mentioned will give you some good data, but due to the unique and changing nature of many jobs and industries, especially in the tech space, this data doesn't always tell the full story, but should at least get you in the ballpark and avoid siting the internet as your benchmark source. Once you have this, you can also take it a step farther and try validating it with the people in your network. I've found it really valuable to tap into my LinkedIn network and find people with similar job titles.
I then asked them questions about the data that I found, not how much they make. I found people to be fairly open to telling me if they think my range is too high or too low. This will get you as close to establishing market value as possible. You know you've done a thorough job researching if you can clearly articulate what the role is and might not be. I found that by doing this research up front, you put yourself in a powerful position when it's time to negotiate later in the process.
- Analyze a position and salary range.
- Define what you want from a new position.
- Evaluate a job offer.
- Identify tactics and myths for negotiating salary.
- Prepare for negotiating in special situations.
- Assess the best way to give notice at your old job.