How to set your compensation range for your next salary negotiation
We’ve all read a lot about the importance of negotiating a compensation package. We are taught to value ourselves and our work, and always negotiate up on an offer. But before we even get to negotiation, it’s important to really think about what compensation range would make us happy. It’s also great to be clear on our walkaway number. Here are a few ways you can gather the right information while you are determining your range. I’ve also created a compensation calculation worksheet that you can access by signing up for the Level Up resource library.
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Talk to at least three friends in the industry.
There’s really nothing like fresh information from people who are working in the same industry. They are up to date on the relevant trends that make a candidate more competitive. They are willing to share information to help their friends. And if you have a strong local network, comparing salaries will also take into account the cost of living in a particular area.
Have coffee with a recruiter.
Recruiters are always looking for great candidates to source, and it’s their job to know what employers are looking for and how much they are willing to pay. If you don’t have a recruiter in your network, hop on Linkedin! Recruiters tend to be friendly and communicative by nature, and quite a few of my clients have been able to connect with them.
Check at least three salary calculators
Online salary calculators are great, but each is only one data point. It’s useful to check at least three and take the relevant ranges into account when you are making your decision. There are several salary calculators online, but for the tech industry candidates tend to use Comparably.com, Glassdoor.com, and Salary.com. Angel.co has useful salary information with each job description on their startup jobs list, so that is also a useful source of salary data.
Set your walkaway number
It’s important to settle on the lowest compensation you will accept. This should take into account your cost of living, how much you intend to save, and any investments you want to make. Being confident in this number early on will give you a lot of clarity when you are in the middle of negotiating with a company.
Putting it altogether
Once you have all the information above, the next step is to put it together to come up with your compensation range. In the startup world, it’s also important to understand the equity/cash split, and how to value equity. And finally, benefits at a new company can make life a little bit easier and should be considered as part of your compensation. To make balancing all these factors simpler, I’ve put together a Compensation Calculation Worksheet. You can access it by signing up for the resource library below. Good luck negotiating!