The market in IT is changing quickly and compensation is rising higher as the demand for talent increases. With these changes people often struggle to understand their value when beginning their search for their next career opportunity.

With a lack of knowledge what often happens is that people will ask for too much in terms of compensation having themselves disqualified. The other side if asking for too little and then working to negotiate a higher compensation package once they receive an offer. On either side of the spectrum it sometimes leads to missed opportunities or uncomfortable conversations.

The negotiation process can be daunting, intimidating and often times frustrating to deal with. The best way to avoid this whole dance is research and preparation before you even start a process. The first step is really understanding what you want in terms of overall package. This means knowing what salary, bonuses, vacation and other perks you are looking for and how it all fits together. For example, you might be more flexible in salary for an extra week of vacation. In deciding ahead of time what that total package looks like, will help you in deciding what the right opportunity might be as well.

In terms of salary the best way to get an understanding of your value in the market is speaking with recruiters, peers and using tools like Glassdoor or Payscale to create a full picture. Compare all that with your current salary and know where your line lies in terms of what it will take you to make a move.

With all this research and knowledge in hand be as transparent as possible when applying for opportunities. It is key to make them aware of what you’re looking for in terms of the overall package from day one so that you’re both on the same page and there are no surprises. Changing or increasing your ask by a significant amount at the offer stage can lead to retracted offers and for the organization to have a bad taste in their mouth. It usually isn’t something that will help your brand in the market.

You might be asking well what if I’ve done all this and still get low balled on an offer? Well simple, just stand your ground and present them with the research that you had already done. This approach shows them that you came prepared, you did your research and that you were upfront, all qualities that organizations cherish. This increases the chance that they look to match your offer and feel great about doing it.

It may happen that your package doesn’t fall into what they can do. At which point you can decide if you can afford to make the move or not. Walking away is fine as long as you communicate the reasons to them as you never know what the future holds.

If you’re interested in exploring what your value might be on the market, take a few minutes to fill out our Career Matrix and someone from our team will reach out and help you build out your compensation package!

Jason Levy

Co-Founder @ Avansai