Let's talk about effective salary negotiation tips, tricks, and techniques to help you get the paycheck you deserve. All questions and concerns related to salary negotiation or asking for a raise are fair game, so bring it on. Also, please check out our free Salary Negotiation Guide for additional resources. PayScale's Vice President of Data Analytics and Lead Economist Katie Bardaro, Senior Director of Editorial and Marketing Lydia Frank, Senior Managing Editor Aubrey Bach, Modern Comp Evangelist Mykahh Herner, and Lead Data Analyst and Data Visualization Specialist Gina Bremer are here to answer all of your questions about salary negotiation. You can follow Katie, Lydia, Aubrey and Gina on Twitter, @Bardake, @lydia_west, @aubreybach, and @gb_graphgiraffe read our blog post promoting the AMA here: http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2016/01/payscales-latest-reddit-ama-will-answer-your-toughest-questions-about-salary-negotiation

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Comments: 124 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

hollidaychh9 karma

What advice would you give to people who are starting their very first job out of college? New graduates (at least IMO) have the frame of mind that 'you are lucky if you get a job offer', so it's intimidating to even think about negotiating.

payscale6 karma

You're absolutely right. The job market can be extremely tough for recent grads. It is important to remember that most employers expect you to negotiate. Remember that you are a recent graduate and it will take time to gain experience and skills that will help increase your pay. So you do not want to get greedy and ask for too much money. Do your research take the PayScale salary survey to determine what the position you are applying for typically pays in your location. There are also plenty of other perks/benefits you can negotiate for besides money. Check out these related articles on negotiation advice for recent college grads and additional perks or benefits you can negotiate: http://www.payscale.com/salary-negotiation-guide/the-art-of-negotiating-your-first-job-offer and http://www.payscale.com/salary-negotiation-guide/3-benefits-you-must-negotiate. Best of luck!

piestrider6 karma

If a job offer will require me to relocate, how and when do you bring up relocation fees in the negotiation?

MykkahH5 karma

Assuming you've done your homework, priced your new job in your new location, and figured out your actual relocation costs, bring it up at just the right time. Helpful, right? You want them to value you and be interested in you; you don't want them to pass on you because of the expense of relocation. Probably you'll have already talked with the hiring manager and you know you want the job, you've already convinced them that you'll excel at the job. So bring the facts. "it will cost me x." And then be willing to get creative. They may have more leverage to offer a signing bonus, a 1st quarter bonus, a performance bonus, or something else.

piestrider3 karma

Thanks for the quick replies! So if they agree to a bonus of some kind, how would I guarantee that they actually fulfill their obligation? Couldn't they play games with this once I start at the company? "Oh, your performance wasn't as expected so we're withdrawing our previous offer". I'm sorry if this sounds paranoid, but I've work at places that would absolutely do that.

payscale4 karma

Ask for the agreement in writing and signed by both parties!

payscale3 karma

First, do your research. Use our cost of living calculator to determine the percentage increase you will need. When they make you an offer ask them if it includes a cost of living adjustment. If not, say that you have done research that shows that cost of living is X% higher and you would like to negotiate an X% salary increase.

geo8455 karma

How much should I be earning at work in the Upper east side, NYC in order to live comfortably, while paying 1600/mo for rent?

payscale2 karma

It's hard to say and it depends on your level of comfort. A good place to start is to create a budget and determine your salary needs based on that budget. If you are moving from a different city to NYC you can use our cost of living calculator to determine the salary adjustment you will need in order to live the same in NYC: http://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator

Mad_Juju4 karma

How do I negotiate a salary for a position that heavily prefers a degree? I have the knowledge and experience, but the lack of a degree makes me a bit self conscious.

payscale5 karma

Great question! The key is to sell your experience. You need to be confident enough in your background, skills, and experience to be able to show the employer why you are qualified and the best candidate for the job. Depending on your industry and position, skills and experience are just as or more important than a degree. It can also be a good idea to find an 'in' at the company you are interested in working for and invite them out for coffee for an informational interview.

ag116002 karma

I have a chemistry and physics degree for a chemical manufacturing company, I started off in R&D but after two years was able to move into marketing/product management. I got a raise (albeit 4% maybe) but they cited the lack of business experience. I have now worked in this position for two years and feel I have learned and excelled greatly. When is a good time to negotiate a raise? I fully understand their reasoning for not giving me a larger raise, I came in with no formal business, economics, etc education or classes. But my skill set has allowed me to learn and excel.

prpeep2 karma

Many jobs have approved payscale categories. What would you suggest negotiating for if you are told that you are already at the top of the salary range for the job being offered?

payscale2 karma

Additional paid time off, telecommuting, tuition reimbursement, learning and development or conference budgets, etc. Here are some great articles on other things you can negotiate besides pay: http://www.payscale.com/salary-negotiation-guide/negotiate-your-benefits and http://www.payscale.com/salary-negotiation-guide/3-benefits-you-must-negotiate

noraise2 karma

How do I tell my employer that my last raise was nowhere near what I expected?

I haven't had a raise in nearly 10 years and I finally got the courage and facts to go demand one. I had my performance review just today and it was a really great review across the board. I ended up FINALLY getting a raise, which was about 3.5%. This would be sufficient had I been getting that type of raise every year or so, but I'm still about 21% in the hole if you are looking at inflation over the last 10 years.

What should I do?

prpeep3 karma

(Not at payscale) If I were you I would consider the health of the company overall (10 years spans the great recession where many were not receiving raises), check what others are making in your area, go in with a few major accomplishments and make a case for more. I doubt you will get the big bump you are looking for all at once without a promotion, but perhaps a smaller bump combined with other things (more vacation etc.) Alternatively, you could also ask to meet in another 6 months to re-examine things then and negotiate for a higher salary then. Just my two cents. Good luck!

noraise2 karma

After getting a report from PayScale, I'm in the 1st percentile for my area. So basically the bottom of the barrel.

payscale3 karma

I would recommend taking your salary report to your employer. Tell them that you have done some research and you have found that you are clearly paid well below the market rate for this position. Then ask them what can be done to pay you market rate. If your employer can't meet your expectations, then you should start looking for a different position elsewhere. Best of luck!

roastduckie2 karma

What advice do you have for recent grads in determining how much they can ask for? Assuming the grad has knowledge of the cost of living in that area.

payscale1 karma

Take the free PayScale Salary Survey to determine the salary range for the position you are applying for based on your skills, experience and location. Also, read this great article on how to negotiate your first salary: http://www.payscale.com/salary-negotiation-guide/the-art-of-negotiating-your-first-job-offer

Securus7771 karma

My company says I've reached the max salary for my position with them. There isn't any upward movement or any additional responsibility to take on. Best way to approach increasing their upper limit?

payscale1 karma

First, do some research to find out what the market salary range is for your position in your location. You can take our free salary survey to get an idea of the salary range for your job, and see where your current salary falls within that range. If you find out that you are indeed below the maximum salary range for your position compared to the market rate, then take your findings to your boss and show him/her that you are underpaid. If they can't meet your expectations, then you should start looking for a different position elsewhere.

Angoth1 karma

I'd appreciate your thoughts on the following scenario: A "friend" is working in contracting and the contract has expired for Company A and recently been announced as being awarded to Company B. Since my friend is/will be doing the exact same job but is currently being paid under market, what advice would you give him to approach this transition from Company A to Company B?

payscale1 karma

Contract negotiations can be tricky depending on the terms of the contract. We would suggest doing some research to find out what the market salary range is for your position in your location. You can take our free salary survey to get an idea of the salary range for your job, and see where your current salary falls within that range. If you find out that you are currently paid below the maximum salary range for your position compared to the market rate, then take your findings to your employer and show them that you are underpaid. If they can't meet your expectations, then you should start looking for a different position elsewhere.

reseph1 karma

Are there any plans on updating a lot of areas with cost of living? Your site gives me:

We don't have cost of living data for your city. Please select a different location.

payscale1 karma

What city are you looking for data on? We get all of our cost of living data from a third party. I'd be happy to look into this issue for you.

[deleted]1 karma


payscale2 karma

We get our cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Resarch(C2ER). For the state of New York C2ER provides data for the following cities: Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, NYC, Rochester, Rome, and Utica. I suggest using a city that is nearby such as Albany. Best of luck! http://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator

kbardaro1 karma

We source our cost of living data from The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). You can read more about their Cost-of-living index here: https://www.coli.org/

The locations they provide are based largely on metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions and New England Cities and Town Areas. You can see these definitions here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/bulletins/2013/b-13-01.pdf. If you can't find your specific location, try focusing on another city or town that is in the same metro (which largely align with county lines).

reseph1 karma

Ah, darn. How can I delete my account in that case? I don't see that option.

Looking in the PDF, Saratoga County is only listed under Albany and Albany is not a good pay scale comparison (state capital, generally higher pays in that area)

payscale1 karma

We're sorry to see you go. Please email [email protected] with your request to delete your account and they'll take care of you promptly.