Negotiating your salary

Postby acm » August 27th, 2013, 11:23 am

User avatar

acm
step one
step one
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 24th, 2011, 11:57 am
Location: Illinois
I'm sure that this topic has come up before but the search function for the boards doesn't seem to be working, so I figured it would be alright to make a new topic. Sorry in advance if this topic is rote at this point.

I wanted to see if anyone has any tips on how to go about negotiating their salary, especially in regards to potentially starting at a new company. I have repeatedly heard/read that workers who don't bother with this consistently leave money on the table and miss out on potentially higher pay, but many of us aren't comfortable haggling or have little experience with it. I know a lot of younger designers like myself probably fear losing an opportunity for looking greedy, but it may often come at the price of undervaluing one's skills.

In my specific situation, I have interviewed twice with a couple of companies I think it would be great to work for. One of these companies in particular is in New York City (in SoHo). I would love to move there and work for them, but I want to make sure I value myself as much as I can if I am going to moving somewhere with a higher cost of living. I am in an area of the country that is severely economically depressed and has a cost of living that is well below the national average, so the difference between here and somewhere like NYC is very pronounced.

According to a number cost of living calculators, an equivalent salary to mine in NYC would put me into the six-figure range. I haven't discussed salary with this company yet, but if a young designer with only 3-4 years experience asked for a six figure salary I'm afraid they would baulk, assume I am insane, and move on to another candidate, and I would miss out on an opportunity that I am very excited about. On the other hand, I do have sources to suggest that that is what I am worth in that area, and I don't want to low ball myself.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to approach this? I don't want my humility to cost me money, but at the same time I don't want to ask for an amount that seems absurd. It is a large multinational company, if that makes any difference.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby rkuchinsky » August 27th, 2013, 11:51 am

User avatar

rkuchinsky
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5195
Joined: July 3rd, 2005, 9:20 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
six figures like $100,00+ ? 3-4 years experience. No way. Not in NYC, or on the moon.

R
Richard Kuchinsky / Directive Creator
http://www.rkuchinsky.com

The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby acm » August 27th, 2013, 12:03 pm

User avatar

acm
step one
step one
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 24th, 2011, 11:57 am
Location: Illinois
rkuchinsky wrote:six figures like $100,00+ ? 3-4 years experience. No way. Not in NYC, or on the moon.

R


That is kind of what I figured. I think these cost of living calculator's math might be a bit flawed. That does kind of leave me at a loss for what to ask for though.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby Sain » August 27th, 2013, 12:26 pm

User avatar

Sain
step four
step four
 
Posts: 583
Joined: July 27th, 2005, 9:06 pm
Location: Dallas
If its a large multinational company. There might t be a lot of data available for you to look into.

Check out https://www.glassdoor.com/ and see if anything pops up
emmanuel carrillo - emmanuelcarrillo.com

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby rkuchinsky » August 27th, 2013, 12:42 pm

User avatar

rkuchinsky
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5195
Joined: July 3rd, 2005, 9:20 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Have you tried checking the Core77 Salary survey?

http://www.coroflot.com/designsalarygui ... 77blogpost

NYC, looks like average around $60K, but I would think that would be with more experience.

I'm not sure what kind of cost of living calculator you are using, but maybe you also have too high a living expectations. Also, cost of living for NYC, Manhattan proper will be different than if you live in Brooklyn or NJ which many people who are junior and starting in NYC do.

R
Richard Kuchinsky / Directive Creator
http://www.rkuchinsky.com

The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby acm » August 27th, 2013, 12:43 pm

User avatar

acm
step one
step one
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 24th, 2011, 11:57 am
Location: Illinois
Sain wrote:If its a large multinational company. There might t be a lot of data available for you to look into.

Check out https://www.glassdoor.com/ and see if anything pops up


I've tried finding them on there but I can't find anything. They aren't originally an American company and they are just opening their first studio in the US (which is why they are hiring). Is it mostly American companies on Glass Door?

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby Sain » August 27th, 2013, 12:46 pm

User avatar

Sain
step four
step four
 
Posts: 583
Joined: July 27th, 2005, 9:06 pm
Location: Dallas
I believe its mainly focused on US companies/offices. But if not you can always look at companies that are similar in the area.
emmanuel carrillo - emmanuelcarrillo.com

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby acm » August 27th, 2013, 12:51 pm

User avatar

acm
step one
step one
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 24th, 2011, 11:57 am
Location: Illinois
rkuchinsky wrote:Have you tried checking the Core77 Salary survey?

http://www.coroflot.com/designsalarygui ... 77blogpost

NYC, looks like average around $60K, but I would think that would be with more experience.

I'm not sure what kind of cost of living calculator you are using, but maybe you also have too high a living expectations. Also, cost of living for NYC, Manhattan proper will be different than if you live in Brooklyn or NJ which many people who are junior and starting in NYC do.

R


That is a good point.

I think these COL calculators are factoring in a lot of things that aren't necessarily relevant to my personal situation. I'm young and unattached, I dont require very much space to live comfortably, I would probably ditch my car if I moved, and my expenses are generally pretty low. They seem to be factoring in the price of real estate (I won't be buying any property) and other things. I just entered my salary and location into them and they spit back a $100,000/yr + salary expectation. I was as shocked as anyone but I wanted to make sure I wasn't insane. I think the severe economic depression in my area combined with the very-high COL in NYC created that huge number jump that isn't indicative of reality.

I'm researching things like craigslist and NYC related message boars to try to come up with a more accurate and realistic budget for a 25 year old guy who just wants to live reasonably in Brooklyn or Queens and take the train to SoHo every day.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby Cyberdemon » August 27th, 2013, 1:47 pm

User avatar

Cyberdemon
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 2705
Joined: February 7th, 2006, 11:51 pm
Location: New York
Rent and food will be your biggest expenses, but like you mentioned if you ditch your car, take on roommates, and don't have a healthy thirst for $15 cocktails (PBR is easily found for $3 or less in Brooklyn) then you can get by and still have a good quality of living on $60k when you're 25.

You really need to look at your bills and see where you spend most of your money, how much you can save, and then Craigslist + COL calculators are good at figuring out what will cost more or less. Your cost of food per month could easily jump 40%+ but it depends on plenty of factors eg. are you shopping at a Korean Grocery store or Whole Foods ($7 for strawberries?!).

Quality of life is also an issue. Are you happy living where you are now? NYC is a great place to live if that's what you're into, so all the money in the world can't make it exciting to live somewhere deep in the rust belt.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby iab » August 27th, 2013, 1:58 pm


iab
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 1649
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:03 pm
This is business 101. Price is exclusive of cost. Price is determined by what the market will bear.

RK's link to salary survey, and any other salary survey you can find is the only thing that is relevant. That is "price". That is determined by the market. Your "cost" is irrelevant. Your employer doesn't give a crap, nor should they.

So when you negotiate, leave your cost calculator at home, it is not a legitimate negotiation tool.

The following numbers are used for illustrative purposes only:

Them - We would like to offer you $50K.
You - According to this survey, a person with my experience is earning $60K in this area. Can you start me at $60K?
Them - No. We have to start you at $50K.
You - I understand a new hire is a risk. And if my reviews go well, how quickly do think I can ramp up to the typical pay in the area?
Them - I can't say.

One of possibly countless scenarios, but either they are willing to negotiate, or they are not. Again, my advice is to think about your response before you make it.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby acm » August 27th, 2013, 2:16 pm

User avatar

acm
step one
step one
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 24th, 2011, 11:57 am
Location: Illinois
iab wrote:This is business 101. Price is exclusive of cost. Price is determined by what the market will bear.

RK's link to salary survey, and any other salary survey you can find is the only thing that is relevant. That is "price". That is determined by the market. Your "cost" is irrelevant. Your employer doesn't give a crap, nor should they.

So when you negotiate, leave your cost calculator at home, it is not a legitimate negotiation tool.

The following numbers are used for illustrative purposes only:

Them - We would like to offer you $50K.
You - According to this survey, a person with my experience is earning $60K in this area. Can you start me at $60K?
Them - No. We have to start you at $50K.
You - I understand a new hire is a risk. And if my reviews go well, how quickly do think I can ramp up to the typical pay in the area?
Them - I can't say.

One of possibly countless scenarios, but either they are willing to negotiate, or they are not. Again, my advice is to think about your response before you make it.


I think this is great input. I dont think these COL calculators should be seen as a guide to how much one ought to be getting paid in a particular place as much as a benchmark for things like the cost of utilities and rent. I also understand that my skills are valued highly where I am now, as I don't have many competitors, whereas in NYC employers have lots of options for people to fill the position.

This has all been very helpful and based on this conversation and the budgeting I've been doing, I think I am getting closer to a number I would be confident suggesting, and a minimum number I would know I had to walk away from.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby 51 » August 28th, 2013, 6:50 am

User avatar

51
step three
step three
 
Posts: 186
Joined: December 17th, 2004, 9:02 am
Location: East Coast, USA
Per Salary.com median annual for Industrial Designer II (2-4 yrs experience) in NY = $70,026
http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Industrial-Designer-II-Salary-Details-New-York-NY.aspx

Per indeed.com average salary = $89,000 with New York job postings @ 20% higher salary vs. average job postings nationwide.
http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=Industrial+Designer&l1=New+York

Don't forget to negotiate vacation time so you can enjoy NYC too.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby Generatewhatsnext » August 28th, 2013, 8:29 am

User avatar

Generatewhatsnext
step four
step four
 
Posts: 405
Joined: January 24th, 2011, 9:04 pm
Location: Maryland
Must remember though, 'cost of living' for any NY job calculation really means cost-of-living-in-a-closet-with-a-sink.

:)
Scott Snider
Partner, Product Development
Generator, inc.
http://www.generatewhatsnext.com
http://www.twitter.com/generatewhtsnxt
http://www.linkedin.com/company/1023934
skype: generatewhatsnext

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby Cyberdemon » August 28th, 2013, 8:56 am

User avatar

Cyberdemon
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 2705
Joined: February 7th, 2006, 11:51 pm
Location: New York
Generatewhatsnext wrote:Must remember though, 'cost of living' for any NY job calculation really means cost-of-living-in-a-closet-with-a-sink.

:)


It's true, but it's not all that bad. You start to appreciate the things you have and get rid of things you don't actually need. Unlike me who lives in the suburbs and has a garage that's stacked floor to ceiling with old printers, exercise equipment I've used twice, and suitcases that I don't use but for some reason haven't thrown away.

Re: Negotiating your salary

Postby hatts » August 28th, 2013, 9:37 am


hatts
step three
step three
 
Posts: 158
Joined: October 2nd, 2012, 10:52 am
Unless you're heading somewhere extremely flexible or very corporate, the possibility of negotiation for a jr. designer is slim to none. With so many jobless designers and a very competitive metro area, it's wise to take what you can get; you have zero leverage really.

The best guess I can hazard is that it's probably safe to expect an offer of $40 - 55k.
Matthew Spencer | Jeff Koons Studio

Go to the Next Page

Return to design employment

©2013 Core77, Inc. All rights reserved
about | contact us | advertise | mailing list