Where to start salary negotiations as a graphic designer?
June 13, 2010 4:29 AM Subscribe
Interviewing for a job as a graphic designer with a company in a relatively small regional marketplace (in Canada). Assuming things go as well as I hope and think they will in the interview, where should I begin salary negotiations? Other guidance welcome!
posted by hamandcheese to work & money (4 answers total)
I have an interview for a position I really, really want at a decent web and print design/branding firm in a small city in Canada. This company is the best in town at what they do, and pretty much the only one I'd care to work for. The marketplace is also kind of unique. There's a lot of money in this town, and most people are making decent coin. I would guess the billable rates for this position are in the $100+ per hour range.
They seem very interested based on my portfolio, and we have scheduled a first interview. Assuming things go well, we'll eventually get to discussions of compensation. What should I ask for?
I have found some good info in this slightly outdated report on Canadian creative salaries:
But there are major discrepancies in there between salaries at firms and freelance salaries. In my freelance work, I tend to charge $45 per hour and up, but Intermediate Designers in my geography seem to have salaries in the sub $45,000 per year range. That's like $20 an hour!
In my last job (in-house designer/editor) at a major corporation, I earned $57,000 per year (plus several thousand more in overtime pay). But that was a different market.
I hate, hate, hate, salary negotiations. I always feel like if I ask too little, I may get the job, but be paid far less than they would have been willing. If I ask to much, they'll reject me out of hand on the assumption that even if we agree on a salary I'll eventually be unhappy at not making what I think I deserve.
Frankly, I'd be willing to work this job for less than my previous salary, but I do want fair compensation. I bring a lot to the table outside of plain old graphic design skills, including things they mentioned in the job description are important to them: things like big-picture concept development, branding research and brand development, web development and UI experience, excellent client relations, and editing, photography skills.
How do I cut through the haze to basically find out what they're willing to pay? Any other tips on salary negotiations? What dollar figure should I start at? Or are there ways to avoid jumping in with dollar figures and get them to start with a number?
Bonus question: any general tips on how you killed your last interview? This company is pleasantly casual in many ways, but also seems to expect a high level of performance. It really does sound perfect to me...