How to Ask for a Comparable Salary

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    • 1). Review your job description as well as job descriptions and expectations for the positions you believe are comparable to the one you currently have or the position you want. Compare both the requisite and preferred skills and qualifications to determine whether you have top-flight skills or if you're minimally qualified. The difference between meeting the requisite skills and having qualifications the employer deems preferred can have a significant impact on job duties, level of responsibility and, thus, compensation.

    • 2). Research similar jobs in your industry, jobs within the same geographic area or jobs with companies similar in size. Compensation figures vary widely depending on these variables. For example, the salary you earn at an accounting firm with a total of 25 employees or at a mid-size firm will be vastly different from the salaries at one of the Big Four accounting services firms. When you ask for a comparable salary, you'll need information about salaries from various resources to contrast the information you have about comparable jobs in your field.

    • 3). List the concessions you're willing to make should you be unsuccessful in your beginning negotiations for a comparable pay rate. Your concessions could include a lower salary for a better benefits package or more flexible work arrangements. Do not discount your salary, however. Never go below the market value of your skills and qualifications. If you are so inclined, arm yourself with literature about the benefits of receiving comparable pay as well as the drawbacks to not receiving comparable pay. Your research on the benefits and drawbacks could include legal cases pertaining to employers' liability for failing to pay comparable wages. Use this negotiation technique with extreme caution -- you don't want it to appear that you are threatening legal action if you don't get the pay you want.

    • 4). Prepare your script to lobby for a comparable salary based on extensive research comparisons, and what you offer in exchange for a comparable salary. Use projections -- in other words, forecast your career development and chronicle how your contributions to the company will only increase over time, making the investment in your skills and qualifications worthwhile. Consider inserting a negotiation clause that compounds your salary over time through regular salary increases, until you reach a comparable salary.

    • 5). Practice your script until you can comfortably present your position in an articulate and persuasive manner without the aid of your notes. Rehearse your presentation with a trusted friend or mentor who will give you candid feedback.

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