How Much Are You Worth?

by Cameron on August 9, 2011

Most of us have probably been sitting across from a potential employer when they ask us how much we expect to earn. When you are young and just starting your professional career, you might give vague answers like “I’m not concerned with how much I can make. I’m just trying to get my foot in the door.” Some might let this question go. Others will call you on it by saying “great so you’ll work for $12,000 per year?” Then, you are back to square one. More experienced workers have the problem of how to approach asking for a raise or trying to get a fair salary so you can support your family. How do you determine how much you should earn?

Everyone comes in and says that they are a hard worker and loyal. The fact of the matter is, if you were lazy, you wouldn’t be hired you would be fired. You need something to separate yourself. Prove to the company that you are valuable. When looking for raises, show the company how much money you save them. If you feel that you are underpaid in comparison to co-workers with similar experience, you might consider asking to be brought to their salary level. Perhaps the company will be more willing to negotiate in benefits rather than salary. Negotiate a couple of extra paid vacation days or insurance.

Maybe you have gone through the interview process and are in the final stages. You must determine how much you will be earning before you start work. Research how much similar positions pay for someone with similar experience. There are several online websites that could provide this information. Call companies that have similar jobs, and ask them how much they would expect to pay someone in your situation. Many employers may not know what similar positions are paying. They may realize that your position is more valuable than they had previously realized. Similar to those asking for raises, if you are able to show something that you will implement that will save the company money, they may be inclined to up your salary. Overall, do not come into the interview with a random guess of how much you think you should make. Do some research to find out the value you should have to a company. Evidence is better than a guess.

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