Job Journey: How to Talk about Compensation

At some point, in most interviews, you will be asked the “money” question.  You might be asked what you are looking for in terms of salary or what you are making now as your total compensation.

Sometimes people are nervous about providing these details for fear of pricing themselves out of the role or not wanting to give away details they can leverage later.

Compensation is a very important part of working and it’s one of the things you need to be very clear about as you start looking at new opportunities.  

It’s worth taking a few minutes to sit down and look what you are actually being paid today.  It’s surprising how many people really don’t know how much they are making.

Take a look at your pay stub.  What are you getting from your employer besides your actual wage?  Do you have overtime, bonuses, awards or perks?  How about benefits?  Are those premiums paid by you or your employer?  How about retirement?  Does your company match what you put in?

While you are looking at pay stubs, you might also want to think back at your earning history over the years as well.  It can helpful to see where your raises happened and when you had greater financial success.  Where you more successful because of  your manager at the time or what was happening in the company overall?  Was it the economy in general that bolstered your uptick in earnings?

Taking some time out to examine your compensation elements and history can provide strong insight into the types of roles you should be looking at next.  You will be totally ready the next time a recruiter calls!

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