Thursday, May 21, 2015

Negotiating for Pay

I learned a long time ago, at a relatively early age, that it was important to negotiate for pay when interviewing for a job. If you don't ask, you don't get, and more importantly, you need to ask for what is important to you. I'd also say that it's important to get paid for the job, and not based on what you used to make, but that's another battle.

Women have typically been paid less in the past than men. Some of this certainly has to do with their willingness to ask for more pay. Now, some companies have decided to eliminate negotiation.

I can see the positive and negative of this. Certainly the high performers can't negotiate a higher salary than others, but I think that can be handled easily. Get a different position if you're truly worth more than others.

In my business, let's say that a company publishes a salary of $80,000/yr. for a DBA. I like the job and company, but I want $100,000 and think I'm worth it. I can ask what they pay for a senior DBA, which might be closer to $100,000. If they don't have the position, they can create it if they want me.

The same thing goes for someone that's not quite up to snuff. They can be paid as a junior DBA, say around $40,000. Or they can set a scale of rates and levels. I used to work for a company that had DBA I, DBA II, DBAIII, with ranges of salary, but we certainly could have set specific amounts. I ever read about a company that set, and published, ranges.

To me, negative side of this is the company can pay under market rates, but if salaries were publicly set and known, there would be some level of competition between employees. We know government and military salaries, we know CEO salaries, what's wrong with publishing other ones?

This is less advice than reminiscing (or ranting), but it's something for you to think about as you move in your career. The important part was in the first sentence. Ask for what you think you deserve, and have reasons for your demand. You never know when someone will be happy to meet your condition of employment.

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