Salary Negotiation
January 11, 2008 8:30 PM   Subscribe

How do I determine what my salary should be and prepare for salary negotiation in a job interview?

I have an interview next week. The job was originally advertised with a relatively wide range (mid to high). The employer wants someone with a law degree, which I have; however, the person hired for the job will not be engaging in the daily practice of law in the traditional sense (i.e., going to court, drafting pleadings, etc.).
posted by gm2007 to Work & Money (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I averaged out my last two salaries and then added what I would need to actually live in my area, so added $10,000. Then I made a floor, saying I would not go below $5,000 of what I have placed as my own ideal salary. That worked for my last job. You might mull that over.
posted by parmanparman at 8:52 PM on January 11, 2008

Wait until you get offered the job to start negotiating your salary.
posted by salvia at 8:57 PM on January 11, 2008

If it's any consolation, I said mine was negotiable, but that I felt that it was fair. I figured the number it would take to move jobs, move connections, and the pain in the ass that it is to be uncomfortable in a new place for a second, as well as moving costs, etc. Figure things like gas, transport costs, etc., as most people don't think of that, til they realize they're buying more gas due to commuting, etc...
posted by vrdx at 9:25 PM on January 11, 2008

"Wait until you get offered the job to start negotiating your salary."

Why would you do that? In my experience you are always asked about your salary requirements before an offer is made, and the offer is for a specific dollar amount you negotiate in advance. It's a good idea to be prepared.

I've found salary surveys to be of little value. If you have contacts in the the industry or with the employer call them and pick their brain about it. I'm not sure about your industry, but a headhunter could be a source for information. You want to start with the highest figure that won't scare them away from negotiation.
posted by Manjusri at 10:19 PM on January 11, 2008

I agree, salary surveys almost always reward employers by scaling possible salaries (especially regionally) to the lower end of the Bell curve. I agree with Manjusri that if there are recruitment advisers for your industry, that you seek out independent advice. But, be sure to have them sign a confidentiality agreement.
posted by parmanparman at 10:24 PM on January 11, 2008

This really depends on where you live (COL), plus experience, plus the desirability of your skillset.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:25 AM on January 12, 2008

Don't be lured in by the ol' 5-10% increase at the end of the year, either.

A 5-10% increase barely covers the price of a good suit and should not be an incentive to put up with peanuts for a year.
posted by oxford blue at 2:46 AM on January 12, 2008

Check for your job type and area, and then add as much as you feel brave adding.
posted by the dief at 4:54 AM on January 12, 2008

Sorry, that should be this link.
posted by the dief at 5:06 AM on January 12, 2008

requires a law degree but no litigious work or (one assumes) advising clients on legal issues ... that makes you internal counsel (or at least in the same pay grade) ... check out salary surveys for internal counsel ... In Europe Lawrence Simmons produces one each year that is good, and downloadable from their website ... for the US I would start with the ACC website or a prominent legal recruiter.
posted by jannw at 9:30 AM on January 12, 2008

To determine that range, feel free to look at industry journals and factor in how much experience you have. Feel free to add $7k to $12k on top of that just to cover your basis, in case their benefits are disappointing.
Negotiate after you have an offer in front of you. In the interview, they might ask you what you are looking for. It is always safer to go with a range.
Remember that before you sign those papers, you have nothing to lose (you don't seem desperate for this jo. And it is always harder to ask for a raise from your boss, because of 'what they might think' than it is to negotiate it in the beginning since its expected.
posted by KB.Boston_implant.By way of NY at 9:38 AM on January 12, 2008

Check and the Occupational Outlook Handbook to get a rough idea. You can always respectfully decline a position if it is lower than your desired salary; if you let them know that, it may up the ante on the negotiations. No matter what, if you find yourself in this situation, run, don't walk, to your own lawyer's office.
posted by mynameismandab at 8:57 PM on January 12, 2008

"Wait until you get offered the job to start negotiating your salary."

Why would you do that?

"According to career consultant Jack Chapman, and author of the book, “Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute” timing is the name of the game when it comes to negotiating salary. The appropriate time to discuss salary is after the deal has been clinched and the interviewee is told that he is the eligible candidate for the job. Do not even touch on the topic of money until you know that they really want what you have to offer." [source]

“The time to talk about salary is when they say they want you for the job. Before that, it’s a moot point,’’ Chapman says....Waiting until the potential employer wants to hire you is a savvy strategic move, Chapman says. “You need to wait until they really want you. Once they’re hot about you, they’ll do what it takes to get you.”
posted by salvia at 12:14 AM on January 13, 2008

If you live in the UK, then this site is pretty good for determining the average salaries for an advertised job title in the IT market.
posted by mr_silver at 1:45 PM on January 13, 2008

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