January Pub Letter Focus_feb news play 1/21/15 4:24 PM Page 114
NEW YEAR, BIGGER PAYCHECK? SALARY NEGOTIATION STRATEGIES FOR 2015 BY DIANE DOMEYER
The start of another year is a great time to reflect and reevaluate. As you make resolutions about personal improvements, don’t forget about your career. If your compensation has been flat for a while, 2015 could be the year for a salary negotiation and raise. But you can’t just march into your boss’s office and ask for more money – not without some prep work first. Here are some tips.
help. It features average starting salary ranges for more than 125 interactive, design and marketing positions. For example, here’s a sampling of projected compensation data for some in-demand roles: • GRAPHIC DESIGNER (3-5 years): $51,500 – $72,000 • MOBILE DESIGNER: $71,000 – $109,500 • MOBILE DEVELOPER: $89,000 – $130,000 • UX SPECIALIST: $82,500 – $124,250 • WEB DESIGNER (5+ years): $80,000 – $112,500
DEMONSTRATE YOUR VALUE If you say, “Show me the money,” your boss will reply, “Show
Use our Salary Calculator to adjust these and other salaries for
me why.” Before a salary negotiation, you need to demonstrate
your city. If you’re on the lower range of the scale, make it a New
that you deserve a raise. Ask yourself these questions:
Year goal to get that bump in pay you deserve. Even if you’re near the high end, a raise is not out of the question, especially
• What new skills have I acquired in the past 12 months, and how have I applied them to my job? • When have I gone beyond my job description and/or done more than what was required?
if you’re doing more than what you were originally hired to do. Smart managers want to keep talented and productive employees happy and engaged – and providing competitive compensation is an important way to do that.
• Did I assume any new leadership responsibilities, such as spearheading a project or directing a team? • Have I made any proposals that were successfully implemented?
MAKE YOUR PITCH Once you’ve gathered information on your worth, schedule a meeting with your manager. When the time comes, let your boss
• What kudos have I received from clients and colleagues?
know how much you enjoy being part of the team, give him or
• Have I won any industry awards?
her a rundown of your recent accomplishments, and present
• Did I play a part in bringing in new business or retaining a
your desired salary. Make this anchor number slightly higher so
there’s room for negotiation. But don’t inflate it unrealistically, and don’t make it a round number. The more precise your initial offer,
Make a list of specific accomplishments. The more details, facts
the more your supervisor will believe you know your worth.
and hard numbers you can present during a salary negotiation, the more likely you are to succeed.
Salary negotiation is part science and part art. Your target number is based on hard data, yet you need to have a feel for “squishier”
As you reflect on the past year, perhaps you’ll realize that you
factors, like how the company is faring financially and how valu-
haven’t really gone above and beyond your job description. If that’s
able your skills are to your boss. But if you’re an accomplished
the case, resolve to make 2015 the year you step up your game.
worker who can make a strong case for a raise, the worst that
Churning out similar designs over and over again? Consciously
could happen is that you get turned down – for now. And the best
expose yourself to fresher perspectives. Worried about not keep-
case scenario? Recognition and a higher salary in the new year.
ing up with new software and technology? Get schooled at a design conference or seminar. As you add skills, achievements and responsibilities, write them down on your list and have them ready when you ask for a raise later in the year. KNOW YOUR WORTH You won’t know how much to ask for if you don’t know your own market value. The Creative Group 2015 Salary Guide can
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DIANE DOMEYER is Executive Director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms. For more information, visit creativegroup.com. See also: http://blog.creativegroup.com/managingcreative-people-and-projects
People to Watch in 2015 Students to Watch in 2015 Designer-Friendly Directory of Companies + Resources