I know I’ve been producing a lot of blogging specific content recently and that not all of my readers are bloggers, so today I thought I’d discuss some general business advice for all my corporate or career girls out there – discussing your salary!
I’ve been in my current full time role now for over six years and have a reputation for being the queen of yearly reviews. I have the date in my calendar, I keep track of my personal milestones and victories throughout the year, and I solicit feedback from my coworkers. I even complete the review for myself and pull it out during the discussion so I can follow along and add my thoughts as we go through each review topic. Basically, I come into a review fully prepared. It’s definitely worked out in my favor too as each year my specific salary, benefits, and compensation package asks have been granted.
It’s no secret that overall women report feeling uncomfortable negotiating their salary or asking for appropriate compensation. I’m a big believer in data based decision making so today I’m breaking down my favorite salary estimation & pay scale tools. With a little bit of research and proper planning, you’ll feel confident in your ask and equipped with the right data to help lead your decision makers into your preferred outcome.
PayScale is a great free tool where you complete their salary survey by answering questions about your role and job functions. You then receive a comprehensive report that shows how your current pay is related to market value and those in similar positions. PayScale uses the data of over 12 million completed survey salaries to produce their market analysis.
In order to use the LinkedIn Salary tool, you need a LinkedIn Premium subscription. I pay for mine as I find it great for networking, I love LinkedIn Learning, and I’m trying to build my personal brand on LinkedIn (say hi! if you’re on the platform) but if you don’t have a subscription, there are always a ton of free 30 day trials so you could always sign up before your meeting or review and then cancel afterwards.
LinkedIn’s Salary tool compares all jobs listed on its platform with employee submitted data to create its reports. While there isn’t a tool to complete a full evaluation on yourself, you can compare what other jobs are paying in your industry/for your position.
I pulled one of the reports I put together two years ago and thought it might be useful to share exactly how I used this data. I like to present the numbers, explain where I fall in the range, and justify any outliers or anticipate any questions or hesitations that those reviewing my salary may have. I’ve cut and pasted exactly what I included in my one of my reports a few years back:
“The first snapshot is for a Marketing Manager in San Diego, CA with 1 – 5 years experience (these would be considered entry level jobs). While I’m right at that 5 year mark with relevant restaurant experience, I personally believe my job responsibilities are more advanced than most entry level positions. Taking that into consideration, I went ahead and included the 6-14 year data as well for reference but know that this range is so broad it likely is skewed high since it probably includes Directors, Dept. Heads, and other executive marketing managers.”
GlassDoor also has a free Know Your Worth tool. The last time I put together a report, GlassDoor analyzed 663 self-reported salaries and my experience to calculate a market value for me. I included in my report that GlassDoor “has a higher industry range than the other tools; they include executive positions like Directors and Vice Presidents of Marketing within their Marketing Manager category.” Again, I try to think of obstacles or questions that will be brought up and then explain the numbers ahead of time so those reviewing my salary know that I’ve done my research and that the data is meaningful.
The last tool really isn’t a tool at all but instead, good old fashioned research. I like to look on Indeed, LinkedIn, etc. and pull a couple of comparable jobs as the last piece of my report.
I pull a list of open jobs and their salary ranges. I then actually include the full job posting in my personal report.
For the last report I put together, I included three jobs. The first was one where the salary range included my current pay. When going through the job functions, I realized I would be a top candidate for this position and felt very strongly that if I interviewed, I would either be offered the role or a finalist in the interview process and I told my bosses that. The industry was also related and the role was with a current company in town, so it made it easy for my bosses to compare apples to apples.
The second job’s salary range was slightly above what I was currently making but I knew I’d be a strong candidate for the position as well. The industry wasn’t related but I was able to go through the job functions and explain why I agreed with their presented salary range.
The third role was a job that was a little outside my comfort zone and core skill competencies but it highlighted something very important – additional learning opportunities. I was able to pitch to my team that if I could receive a budget for continuing education, I’d be able to strengthen my overall marketing skills and make the department stronger for the organization.
Like I said earlier, I love to come to a review feeling confident and prepared. These tools would also be great to use when looking for a new role or accepting a new job offer. I keep a record of each year’s report that I put together so I can go back, reference, and show growth over time. I honestly use these tools every year and even print out copies for those involved in my review process so I hope you found them as helpful as I do!
What other business topics or questions would you like to see covered on the blog? I’m all about providing my readers value so be sure to let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to my upcoming content calendar!