You’ve worked hard, you’ve made your case and now the job is yours — but how can you be sure that salary offer is fair?
The question was top of mind for “Charting Your Course at Any Stage,” the NYWICI panel held during Advertising Week, on Sept. 26, 2017, on the NewGen Stage.
Moderated by Meredith Long, senior vice president and general manager, news, luxury & style at Time Inc., the panel featured top media executives Karna Crawford, managing director, head of marketing strategy, media & digital development, JPMorgan Chase Consumer Bank Division; Lori Conkling, executive vice president, strategy and business development, NBCUniversal; Mia Tramz, managing editor of Life VR; and Karen Van Bergen, chief executive officer, Omnicom Public Relations Group.
Each shared their own take — and their own experiences — navigating what can often be one of the toughest conversations of your career.
Test Your Value
One way to see what the market will bear? Talk to a recruiter. Lori learned this lesson firsthand after having been asked what it would take for her to consider a new opportunity. When she threw out a salary figure, the recruiter replied, “Oh, that won’t be a problem,” Lori recalled with a laugh.
The recruiter’s quick response prompted her to start thinking about her future salary in bigger terms. But she also realized that any negotiation at her current employer would require her to make her own case for herself — and that was something she was prepared to do. “I could show the value I was bringing to the company — and I found that to work very well as well.”
Tap Your Network
For Karna, creating a surrounding trusted and especially informal network, featuring a human resource professional or two or an experienced hiring manager in your field, can be a way to get the scoop on what your next role should pay.
“Hearing an average or a range [for a potential title change], you can generally understand where you’re going to fall within that,” said Karna, pointing to factors such as your experience level.
But what do you do if you’re earning within your position’s typical salary range but at its lowest level at your company? Karna warned that riding the bottom of the salary range can haunt your salary progress as you move up the ladder and are stuck at its lowest pay rates.
Do Your Research
The first step in raising your salary is to find out what others are currently paid in that role. Are they making more than you? Then with your research in hand, it’s time to say what has to be said.
“I know that in this next job I’m worth $10,000 more or $20,000 more or whatever that number is. Have the courage to have the conversation," Karna advised, "or you’ll always ride the bottom of the line.”
Karen stressed the power of finding out everything you can about your position’s potential compensation prior to negotiating your salary, and she urged that women should not hesitate to call out inequities as they see them.
“There’s nothing wrong with challenging your employer to prove that you’re not paid less than men with the same responsibility,” Karen said. “There’s so much reticence among organizations across the board to really look into it. It’s something we need to do better.”
Photos: Jennifer Owens