Want to Make More Money in 2013? Strong Negotiation Skills Can Help.

By Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group

The CreativeGroup just released our 2013 Salary Guide, which features average starting salaries for 127 interactive, design and marketing positions.  The figures can be customized to more than 135 U.S. cities, so you can find out what others in your area are making and see how your salary stacks up.

Reviewing the data often is a good wake-up call for in-house designers. They may realize A) Their pay is on par with others in the industry, B) Their base compensation is below average for those with similar expertise and skills in their city, or C) They need to acquire new in-demand skills to earn the salary they desire.

For those who fall into the “B” category, there is some hope for securing a raise – if you can make a good case. Strong negotiation skills are crucial. Here are some tips I shared via a recent HOW DesignCast:

  1. Crunch the numbers. Conduct background research by reviewing salary surveys and publications, and talking to colleagues and recruiters in your area. You also can quickly calculate average starting salaries for a specific position and location using our online Salary Calculator.
  2. Make your case. Before any salary negotiation, prepare a list of achievements and contributions, including any new responsibilities you’ve taken on or awards you’ve won. More importantly, highlight how you’ve helped the company save money, by enhancing internal efficiency or negotiating with vendors, for example.
  3. Time it right. The best time to ask for a raise is not necessarily when you need the money – it’s when you’re most likely to get your request approved. First, choose a positive time for your manager and company. This could be after the business lands a major deal or announces an upswing in quarterly revenue. Second, ask for a raise after you’ve just had a major success, like following the successful launch of a new initiative that you spearheaded. Once you’ve determined that the timing is right, schedule an appointment with your manager, letting him or her know what’s on your mind beforehand. That way, your boss will be prepared for the conversation.

Donna Farrugia is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design and marketing professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at creativegroup.com.