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How much salary should you expect?

February 28, 2014

You’ve applied for the job, you’ve interviewed for the job and before you can say “I got the job” here comes the question no one knows how to answer….What are your salary expectations? This is a question with which most applicants struggle. You don’t want to aim too high but you don’t want to rip yourself off. So here are a few tips to help you find the middle ground.

Do research– Find out how much people in your city and in the position you’re applying for typically make. What’s the normal pay range for someone of your experience level?

Consider what factors make you more desirable and less desirable. For example do you hold any special certifications? Are you bi-lingual? Do these extra skills make you more valuable to a company? In that case you may feel comfortable asking for more than the standard. Do you have traits that may not make you the ideal candidate? Do you require a more flexible schedule perhaps? Would you need more training than the typical applicant? In these cases you may consider asking for less than the average candidate.

How much can you live on? Let’s be honest at the end of the day the ultimate purpose of employment is to provide for yourself and family. Figure out what salary amount you can survive on, think about EVERYTHING (housing, electricity bill, cable bill, phone bill, loan payments, food etc.) and increase that number by 10 percent. If itemizing everything seems over whelming a good rule to go by is 3 times your housing payment.

Remember compensation is about more than the amount on your paycheck. What benefits does the company offer? Does it include insurance coverage? Paid or unpaid vacation? Do you have a flexible schedule that may save you in childcare fees? Do you have the option to telecommute, saving you on transportation fees? Factoring how much these benefits may cost you is a great way to determine how much you’re really being offered.