What’s Your Price Tag? Do a Quick Online Salary Comparison

Salary negotiation tips and salary comparison sites

“What am I worth” is easier to answer with these tips and resources.

Does the thought of negotiating your salary make you break out in a sweat?

What is the price on your head?

Are you too expensive? Too cheap?

What does that mean about you?

For many people, talking about salary is talking about self-worth and it can trigger common insecurities like “I’m not good enough” and “people try to take advantage of me.”

Even corporate CEOs with years of experience hammering out winning deals can get a little shaky when it comes to personal salary discussions and finding the win-win point of agreement.

Judging your salary price tag can be both confusing and confronting.

Here are some things to help you get a different perspective, plus a few online resources for finding salary comparisons:

Don’t take salary negotiations personally.

It makes it much easier if you think of salary negotiation as a simple business discussion. You are exchanging your experience and time for the company’s money and benefits. You only want what’s fair, right? So do they. (And even if they don’t, you’ll still do better if you just believe that they do, and if you really think they don’t… are you sure you want to work there?)

Think in terms of ranges.

Pay ranges depend on many factors: the location, industry, size of the company, corporate management style and, of course, your qualifications, experience and expectations. You are looking for ballpark numbers, not absolutes.

Do your research.

You can’t negotiate a good salary if you don’t know what a good salary is. Start with getting the inside scoop on what different jobs pay, and luckily, there are a lot of quick and easy websites where you can get real salary comparison information data about companies, how they hire and what they pay, often given anonymously by employees.

Check a number of sources.

Here are a few websites to begin with:

  • Glass.Door.com is a good first stop for larger companies. They have compensation surveys and also detailed reviews reporting about interview experiences and what it’s like to work there. GlassDoor also does employee satisfaction surveys and put together a great annual list of the best companies to work for.
  • PayScale.com has information from more than 35 million people in 12,000 job titles and 1,100 companies. Employers subscribe so they have up-to-date competitive salary information, and employees can answer an online questionnaire about their pay-related details and then have access to reports about what they’re worth in the marketplace.
  • Vault.com has a range of services and information, including ranking professions and companies. To get full access, you need a paid membership, which lets you find salaries, read company reviews and join discussion groups.
  • SalaryExpert.com is part of the Economic Research Institute and has a number of different calculators to look at salaries by location and even to predict what certain salaries will be in the future.
  • SimplyHired.com has a salary calculator to give you average salary ranges for jobs in your profession, locally and nationally.
  • Indeed.com is a job listing aggregator (which is why their listings are often not current), and they also have a handy salary search function that lets you enter a job location and location and get a chart showing similar job titles and salary trends.

Add your information to the databases.

These sites will generally ask you to register and anonymously share your own salary information for their databases. When you do that, it helps build a more accurate database, which makes the information more accurate, and in return you will get access to their information and reports.

Consider non-cash compensation separately.

Equity and stock options, health coverage, extra vacation time, signing bonuses and savings benefits can add to a compensation package. Factor these things in to your decision, and if there isn’t room to negotiate salary, then see if you can negotiate one of these.

Know your tradeoffs.

Some of us will work for less money if we’re able to freelance and work virtually. Others will take less in the paycheck in exchange for a flexible schedule or for the employee discount. Be honest with yourself and make a list of the benefits that you’d happily trade off for wages, so you’ll be prepared when it’s time for salary negotiations.




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