July 6, 2017
Interviews sometimes result in job offers. After all, this is what you’re aiming for! And during this time, salary negotiation comes into play—a practice that strikes fear into the hearts of many. But armed with the knowledge of your worth as a candidate, you can make an undeniable case for yourself and what you’re worth to a company. But first, it’s important to understand the difference between worth and value.
Worth vs. value: what you need to know
Your value is what you will bring to the organization; all the ways you will contribute through your productivity and talent. Your worth as a candidate is the compensation you expect to be paid based on your education, skills, knowledge and work experience. Worth comes down to pay—it’s a conversation about what you expect to make.
Three ways to estimate your worth
When you prepare for salary negotiations, how can you know what you’re worth to a potential employer? Consider the following three steps:
1. Do your research
To get a feel for what you can expect to make, research average pay rates through Indeed, Glassdoor or Salary.com. This will give you a ballpark estimate.
2. Compare yourself to the position
A position’s value is how urgently they need it filled, and a position’s worth is the salary range the organization is willing to pay you for your work. Are you perfectly qualified or are you missing a few qualifications? How long has the position gone unfilled? What is the job market like in your region—are there a lot of professionals who do what you do, or are you one of the few? This, plus average salaries for your industry, can give you an idea of what you could possibly be worth to the organization.
3. Be realistic
Understand that before a job is advertised, an employer has predetermined the salary range it can realistically accept. The employer may be up front about this during an interview, or they may have a little wiggle room. It will come down to what you’re willing to accept based on your research for the first two steps and how badly you want the job.
Value is an important negotiation factor that can impact worth. When preparing for an interview, be ready to discuss your strengths and how you’ve helped past companies in your previous roles. Try to research possible pain points the company may be having and think about how your unique skill set can help.
It’s up to you
Armed with the knowledge of your value, worth and what you can say during a salary discussion, you will be ready to negotiate pay during a job interview. And whether or not you accept the job is up to you! Does the salary meet your expectations? Does the job allow for career advancement? And does it align with your career goals? If you can answer yes to two or more of these questions, the job might be a good choice for you.