How Much Salary Should I Ask For?

How-To: Research the Salary You Deserve

It's a fact: women get paid less than men. Although the gender gap is narrowing, there are still leaps and bounds we need to take to even out this unfair discrepancy. We're obviously not going to be handed what we deserve so we need to start asking for it.

A grave mistake women make that hurts them later on is that they aren't negotiating their first salary. This will set them back in the long run, because if a woman starts off her career track earning less money than men, it will be harder to narrow the salary gap and catch.

What's the solution to this? Well, we need to start negotiating for the salary we deserve. The first few steps to earning our worth, includes researching the pay. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Go to your college career center: Take advantage of the resources your expensive tuition provides you, and ask the counselors at your school to give an estimate of what your fellow classmates are making in a particular field. Schools tend to regularly poll their students for salary statistics and the information they give you will give you a more accurate amount of what someone with your profile can expect to receive. They may also be able to share personal anecdotes of what other students in similar situations are making.
  • Check out online salary tools: There are a ton of helpful online salary tools that can give you a rough gauge of how much to negotiate for. Take a look at Indeed.com to see what figure their salary search comes up with. What I like about Indeed's salary tool is that it's very simple, so it's a good website to start with. If your company is big enough, you may be able to find out the pay of employees through anonymous salary quotes at Glassdoor.com.
  • Ask your employer for the range: When your employer asks how much salary you're expecting (remember don't ask them about pay if they don't talk about it in your interview!), respond in kind with, "What's a fair range that someone at my position is making?" Take in that information and tell them you'll get back to them after you sit on it for a while.
Source: Thinkstock
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