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re: What should I be asking for salary? VIEW POST

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re: Hi Dian. I have a question regarding, don't be the first to name a number if at all possible What if an interviewee didn't give the number and ...
 

This is an uncertain science. There are a few things to consider:

  • is it simply on the low side of average, or is it insultingly low? This is where sites like Glassdoor etc come in handy: you know how much that title commands in the area (or near the employer/in Silicon Valley if remote) and can react accordingly.
  • how much leverage do you have? If it's a senior position or if you have a particularly specialized and relevant skillset, you have a lot more ability to write your own ticket. If you don't have experience or a portfolio to showcase, don't expect to move mountains.
  • are you excited enough about the role, the company, or the industry & your future career prospects in it to be willing to work at a below-market rate? If the initial offer is really low, negotiation could bring it up to par, but if you negotiate you need to accept that you may not be able to squeeze the entire difference out of them.

There have been entire books written about salary negotiation; more than that, there's a whole industry churning those same books out. What I've found works well is a combination of assertiveness and empathy (if the position's been open for any length of time, the people doing the interviewing are just as sick of the process as you are!). In my job hunt earlier this year, I went into compensation discussions knowing what my skills and experience are worth, and actually turned down my current employer's first offer -- with the understanding that it was strictly about the numbers in play, and that otherwise I'd be excited to work with them. Suffice to say, things have turned out alright :)

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