What to ask for as salary?
August 1, 2011 6:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm in contention for a job as a social media marketing and advertising representative at a medium sized music hardware-related company. Basically, I haven't found a great idea of how much I should ask for as far as salary. Additionally, I don't know what else to ask for in this job as I've never held a salaried position in my life.

What do you guys think as far as a base salary in the Northeast (RI specificially) and possibly what is standard as far as benefit packages go? If you need additional information please feel free to comment as such and I will share as much as you know. Thanks!
posted by j0hn0b to Work & Money (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Without knowing what's expected of you in this position (part time, full time, managing others, education requirements, your level of experience?), it's very hard to say how much you should be paid. PayScale is a great website for coming up with your median salary expectations. When you're asked how much you'd like to make in the position, turn the question around and ask the interviewer how much they have budgeted for the job.
posted by litnerd at 6:52 PM on August 1, 2011

It's a fulltime position that requires a 4 year degree (preferably in business) as well as an extensive background in music. I'm an intern there now and they're looking to hire interns into a brand new social media marketing team. There should be a meeting tomorrow or this week but I just didn't want to go in blind
posted by j0hn0b at 6:54 PM on August 1, 2011

Basic negotiating rules: make them say the first number, then try to negotiate it up.
posted by bq at 7:01 PM on August 1, 2011

Yeah I just feel uneasy - I haven't negotiated for anything really as far as a job is concerned. I've worked weddings and other DJ'ing things where I drop from $600 for the night to like $500. Not $45,000 to $35,000
posted by j0hn0b at 7:08 PM on August 1, 2011

I have no idea what kind of salary you should ask for, but here are some other questions you should ask about benefits:

- Does this job have health insurance? If so, does the employer pay the full health insurance premium, or does the employee have to pay part? What kind of health insurance is it? Does it cover dental or vision? Is there short-term or long-term disability insurance available?

- Does this job have a 401(k) or other employee retirement plan? If so, does the employer contribute at all to that plan, or is it just from the employees salary? If there's an employer contribution or match, how much is it and what's the structure of it? Is there a vesting period?

- How much vacation/personal/sick leave do employees get? Are different kinds of time off separated (e.g., 5 sick days and 10 vacation days, and you can't use your extra sick leave to go on vacation), or is it one big pool (e.g., if you get really sick for three weeks, can you still take a vacation that year)? Does vacation time increase with seniority/length of tenure? How much, and on what schedule?

- Are there other employee perks? Free parking or public transit? Generous family leave? All the free candy you can eat?

All of these may change the amount you need to earn to live comfortably, not to mention your general quality of life. Don't be shy about asking for, say, more vacation time if they tell you that they can't raise the salary.
posted by decathecting at 7:12 PM on August 1, 2011

This is a hard skill to learn for anyone blessed/cursed with a desire to be polite. You just have to remember that, unless you overshoot by way, way more than you would ever likely do, asking high isn't going to hurt your prospects unless they weren't that into you anyway.

That in mind, I usually think of the salary that seems reasonable but would make me really happy... maybe a little above the average for the position. And then I ask for 10-20% more than that. Occasionally, that's been accepted outright, which is awesome. More likely, they'll counter-offer. Maybe to what you'd hoped for in the first place! That's the plan. It's one of the few areas left in our culture where haggling is expected, so you really, really want to start a little higher than your goal, or you'll wind up a little disappointed.

And remember, psychology does come into play. If you ask a little high, but not ridiculously high, they may well subconsciously value you higher in their own minds. It's a little game. A game with your future as its stakes, so yeah, it's nerve wracking. But you have to play anyway.
posted by gilrain at 7:17 PM on August 1, 2011

I am not qualified to answer your question....but...I freelance for a living and negotiate my wage 3 to 5 times a year. I always know what the lowest amount they can offer me is because these are union jobs (union scale). I never know what the maximum they can offer me is (over union scale). I always use the same tactic. "I need to make as much as you can possible pay me without getting in trouble with your boss. Without exception I have always been offered more than I though they would."
posted by snowjoe at 7:26 PM on August 1, 2011

Thanks for all the help guys - I'm a 23 year old and literally just graduated from college so I don't know much about negotiating salaries or anything like that. Not to mention I'm getting into social media advertising and marketing which is a really new field. Doesn't help things! But thanks so far!
posted by j0hn0b at 7:27 PM on August 1, 2011

You're just out of out college with no marketing experience? In the social media field? I'd expect somewhere between 30-35k.
posted by windbox at 7:48 PM on August 1, 2011

I have marketing experience as an intern for this same company as a social media marketing and advertising intern and I had run my own company for a while. Additionally, I actively had jobs with promotions and advertisement for bands and record labels
posted by j0hn0b at 7:52 PM on August 1, 2011

Between 35-45k I'd say. At least that's what you'd get paid (+ benefits) as an entry levelish marketing person at an agency in NY.
posted by jourman2 at 8:55 PM on August 1, 2011

...but remember to consider that RI is not NY.
posted by litnerd at 4:20 AM on August 2, 2011

I'd guess 35-40K for an entry level job in social media in the Northeast.
posted by COD at 5:28 AM on August 2, 2011

Check www.glassdoor.com for salaries of folks from other similar companies to give you a sense of what the range for those types of positions might be. See, e.g. here
posted by buddha9090 at 5:29 AM on August 2, 2011

Re: BQ's point. Due to the effects of Anchoring, *you* actually want the first number in the negotiation, and for it to be 30% above what their real celling is (big, but plausible). Here's an experiment:

1) Say a number
2) If you would be happy with 70% of it, then keep going up.

Also, consider what is really important to you :) What's negotiable? More vacation? Work conditions?

Best of luck!
posted by gregglind at 6:38 AM on August 2, 2011

I hate to be a downer, but if this company is looking to hire their interns as full-timers for a new department, I think they might be looking for cheaper labor than 35K/year, especially in this economy. Those aren't the entry-level salaries I've seen on, say, Mashable or Mediabistro job boards.
posted by pourtant at 7:21 PM on August 2, 2011

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