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What salary should I be looking for?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Ampersand, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Ampersand

    Ampersand Junior Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm hoping you can give me a bit of advice. I've been working as a designer in an agency for almost 2 years and my annual review is coming up. I don't come from a design background – I did something unrelated at uni – and after freelancing for a year I did some work experience at this place, and they kept me on afterwards.

    As I was inexperienced when I joined, they started me on a fairly low wage, which I was happy to accept because it's a great place to work. I've learnt so much there and I'm so grateful, but I've also improved and I think I'm producing high quality work (they tell me as much on a regular basis) so I feel that I deserve a raise at my review.

    Cut a long story short... what sort of salary can I reasonably ask for, considering I don't have a design degree, but I do have almost 2 years experience? I don't want to upset my boss, but I also can't stay on a wage like this forever...

    Many thanks for any advice...

  2. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    Just remember how lucky you are to be in this position and don't take the piss when the question eventually does come up. All I would say is that your pay should reflect your experience and the heightened standard of your work and hope for the best.
  3. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Tough question to answer without knowing the details of your current salary and your skillset. As Jim says, a lot of designers have been/are being made redundant, so don't push your luck too much! There's always a queue of people waiting for any opportunity that might come up in a design based role (including many, many graduates).
  4. davewill

    davewill Senior Member

    Hi Ampersand, I was in a similar position a few years back. All I would say is do some research, see what other jobs are out there that you realistically think you could get and how much they would pay and then put forward your thoughts to the management.

    You should put together a logical argument why you think you deserve a better wage (i.e. 2 years experience, good quality work) and see what they say. It doesnt have to be an aggressive pitch, hopefully you can have an honest chat and see what happens.
  5. Becky

    Becky Member

    A few more details would help, but it's undetstandable that you either can't or don't wish l share more. Things like how your work has improved, the type of work/clients you deal with and if you have any idea what your colleagues get paid.

    Best of luck with the negotiations :) I hope you don't get laughed at like I did. :(
  6. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Have you been given extra responsibilites in the last 2 years? Have there been specific projects where you've gone above & beyond the call of duty? All good things to have in mind when presenting your case :)
  7. Ampersand

    Ampersand Junior Member

    Thanks for the advice everyone,

    I do realise how lucky I am to have a job (and a good one at that) in this climate, and I'm very aware that I don't want to push my luck, which is why I want to be very careful and only ask for what is reasonable.

    However, my work is of a good standard and I deal with clients on a regular basis. I'm not sure about extra responsibilities - it's quite a small agency so it's always been very much just 'muck in' so I've always been very involved.

    Sorry I can't give any specific details about my wage. I can say that I work in the Midlands, and I've only been able to find jobs in London that compare to mine - which are obviously on a whole other payscale.

    I did find out how much a colleague is earning (I didn't ask, he just told me) and it was a good amount more than me. He does have slightly different responsibilities, but about the same experience (although he does have a relevant degree). I'm reluctant to bring this up though as it might sound like I'm going behind their backs.

    They haven't set a date for my review yet, but I'll let you know how it goes...!

  8. berry

    berry Active Member

    If you're interested in salary, then this business is not for you. Get a job at B&Q.
    If your worth it then employers will value your efforts and reward.
    If you're not then...then there is always B&Q.
    What you want, and what you get are two different things.
    If any employee of mine started to ask for salary demands...They had better be **** hot and on the money or they all know where the door is.
    Good luck at B&Q
  9. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    Have we just had another for the BB (Berry's Bible), I've decided to rename it!
  10. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Not every employer is like you Berry, unfortunately :rolleyes:
  11. Becky

    Becky Member

    sad but true :(

    I asked for a raise a couple weeks ago, my employer laughed at me and said they'd rather I freelanced in my downtime (there's little downtime and I signed a contract to say I wouldn't do that) and that they'd have layout setters, who earn more than I do, create adverts to save paying me more (and sacrifice on quality).

    Still, fingers crossed Ampersand :)
  12. Ampersand

    Ampersand Junior Member

    Berry, I'm not in it for the money. I love my job. But money is always going to play a part in any job, and I want my career to progress. I was more than happy with the wage when I started because I had next to no experience, but now I do, and I'm working on projects independently and making clients happy.

    I know I might not get what I want, and I won't be going in demanding anything. I just want to be informed on what people in a similar position are earning so I can hopefully negotiate reasonably with him. It's called mutual respect.

    Thanks to all for the advice, much appreciated, and I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience Becky.
  13. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Good response & :) good luck with it, let us know how you get on.
  14. Becky

    Becky Member

    It happens, I'm kind of used to it now ><

    Nice reply though, as much as everyone can say we love what we do, which is of course important, one still has to pay the bills. I'm sure you'll do fine :)
  15. berry

    berry Active Member

    BB Book of Life - on Rooms
    1. Never open a door you aren't prepared to walk into
    2 Never open a door you can't close
    3. Never walk into a room without knowing where the Fire Escape is.
  16. Chris Lord

    Chris Lord Senior Member

    In other words, prepare for every outcome when you bring it up with your employer.

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