What are your Salary Expectations?

What are your Salary Expectations?

If you want to be satisfied with your salary, you need to be satisfied when you start the job, not with what you see as potential down the road. A lousy salary isn’t suddenly going to come up to your expectations once your employer gets a load of your spectacular, shining personality. If you want or expect a certain salary, it’s best to have that in place your first day on the job.  You can certainly move up from a starting salary, but you should not be working up TO the starting salary you were hoping for.


What is the job worth?

To start with you have to know what the job is worth. If the going rate for the position is $40K then no one is going to offer you $60K no matter how exceptional you are.


Your first job is to figure out what that job is worth. If you know people in the industry ask them. Best not to say, “Hey Jan, so how much do you make in that job of yours?” Better to try, “Jan, can you tell me about current market trends for a person in your position?” Use the Internet to research salaries in the industry – sometimes the Internet needs a break from showcasing cute cat pictures. As well as online salary calculators you can check out websites and directories of professional associations.


What are your expectations?

You are going to be giving a huge chunk of your time and commitment to this job. What is that worth to you? If that number isn’t in the same vicinity as the amount people are earning for the job you’re applying for, then either the job or your expectations are going to have to re-locate.


If you were buying a house you’d have a top number you couldn’t go beyond, a bottom most happy number and a number in the middle. For salary expectations it’s like buying a house, but the numbers are upside down. The lowest, bottom number is the one you could get by on, the top number the one where you would dance all the way to work everyday, and a middle Goldilocks number.


By having clear expectations going into the interview, when the time comes to start negotiations you’ve got a number to start with.


Time To Create A Budget

time to create a budget


Do you have trouble making your money last until the end of the month? Are things a little too tight for comfort? Perhaps its time for a little budgeting lesson.


Short term pain, long term gain

Some of these things may not sound fun, but they will lead to saving money which you can then spend on fun things. Let’s start by putting things into perspective. Start by writing down your monthly earnings. Now make a list of all your expenses. Rent, food, coffees, movies, clothes – every single thing you spend money on every month.



Now break down all those expenses into two columns things that you absolutely must pay every single month. Rent, hydro, phone bill etc. Everything else goes into the other column.

Add up everything in the must column and subtract that total from your monthly earnings. What ever is left is what you can divvy up for all those other expenses. If you’re running short every month then the wants column is where you have to cut back.


Less of the wants

That might mean cutting back on the morning coffees or movies. It might mean you’ll have to settle for last year’s wardrobe a little longer. Once you’ve laid out everything in an easy to understand chart it’s easy to see exactly where you can scale back.


Don’t think of it as cutting yourself off from things you love, think of it as finding alternatives. For example, you can still hang out at the bar if that’s what you like to do, but instead of just powering through several beers, have one and just participate in the trivia night.

You could go volunteer somewhere; that’s free and feels lovely. You could go for a bike ride or a hike or a nice walk. Just think outside the box. Or wallet.


Make room for saving

One more thing about budgeting. If possible you want to save a little every month as well so if anything unexpected comes up you don’t suddenly find yourself in an emergency situation. If at all possible, include 10% of your income in the must category. Let that build and take care of itself so if you ever need it, it can take care of you.


Raise Time?

Raise Time?


No one likes to talk about money. Conversations about money have a tendency to get awkward and can often lead to arguments. This is true in our daily life and our work life. But at some point, money needs to be talked about. At some point, you’re going to want to make more cash. Asking for a raise can be one of the more nerve wracking things you have to do at work. To give you the confidence you need to ask for a bump in pay, we’ve put together some helpful advice on when and how to ask for a raise.


When to Ask for a raise

One of the most common questions about asking for a raise is when to do it. If you’re new to a job, how long should you wait before bringing it up?


The most common benchmark is the one year mark. By then you’re firmly established in your position and your manager can assess how far you’ve come and how your contributions have affected the company.


This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but something to be mindful of. Think you deserve a pay increase before that one year mark has passed? You better have some good reasons why.

The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to when you should ask for a raise is how the company, and your position with company, are doing.


Is the company growing? Did it just land a huge client or post great earnings? This would be an ideal time to ask for a pay increase. Did a number of other employees just get let go? Is the company asking you to bring your own coffee to work to save on costs? Maybe wait a little while before you ask about getting more money.


How to Ask for a Raise

Knowing how to ask for a raise is as important as knowing when to ask for one. To start off with, have a sit down with your boss. Asking for a raise isn’t a conversation to have near the water-cooler.


Depending on the situation, you might be tempted to start with a complaint about how you haven’t had a raise recently or that you’re making less than others in comparable positions. Opening with a complaint, or complaining in general is going to do one thing; kill your manager’s interest in the conversation.


Focus on the work you’ve done for the company, the growth you’ve helped achieve and the ways in which your role with the company has developed. A raise, like any business, is all about the numbers. If you can show that you’ve helped those numbers grow you have a much better chance at getting the raise.


An Offer Too Good to Refuse

The best thing you can do to ensure you get the outcome you want is research. Research what others in your position are making. Getraised.com, Salary.com and Glassdoor.com are all great places to look. Knowing what others are making gives you an idea of how much you can ask for.


Also be sure to make an “I’m Awesome” folder. Keep track of your accolades and present them in your meeting. As Matt Wilson writes in The Globe and Mail “If you can go to your boss and say that you are responsible for huge numbers and possess knowledge that is irreplaceable to the operations of the business then your boss will be forced to pay you to keep you happy!”


Getting the Raise
Asking for a raise starts long before you sit down to talk about it with your boss. It starts with research into other positions like yours. It continues as you build up a case for yourself stockpiling your accomplishments and abilities. Getting the outcome you want is helped by asking at the right time. Getting a raise is all but guaranteed when you are able to make an offer too good to refuse.

Navigation Tools For Negotiations


If you’re applying to a minimum wage job then how much you’re paid isn’t really an issue, but if it’s a salaried job then there’s an opportunity for negotiation.

When to negotiate

You need to have salary expectations in mind going into the interview but the time to negotiate isn’t around: Hi my name is Jim and I’m expecting to make $50K does that work for you?


The first interview probably isn’t the time for salary negotiations to start. They should wait until it’s clear that you are a choice candidate. If the company likes you and has chosen to make you an offer then they are likely prepared to negotiate. That negotiation is actually part of the hiring process.


Know your number

Salary negotiation isn’t something you start thinking about when you’re in the interview or discussing the job offer. It’s something you’ve prepared for well in advance. You’ve already done your homework and have a salary range in mind before you came into the interview. http://thejobwindow.com/?p=1519


That doesn’t necessarily mean a specific number, I expect to be making $52,342 a year. Better to have a range, I’m expecting to make in the $50 – $55K range.


If you don’t have an answer for the salary question, then that can actually drop you in the ranks if not discount you from the race altogether. It indicates to potential employers that you either don’t value yourself, know your worth, or have done your research. If you couldn’t even prepare yourself for an inevitable job-related question what kind of drive and motivation do you have?


Don’t forget about the benefits – they’re part of the negotiation. Holidays, insurance, pension are all topics that need to be addressed. Job perks can make a significant contribution to your salary. So, like you did your homework on salary expectations, you should know what you’re looking for in terms of medical, dental etc. The other thing you should remember to ask about is the company’s policy on future raises.


Don’t act like a thirsty wanderer in the desert

If you go in with the attitude of a thirsty wanderer in the desert of the job market willing to take whatever drops are offered you, you will probably end up with only a few drops. A confident attitude, surety in yourself and an ability to stand up for yourself speaks volumes about what you will bring to the job.


Don’t be greedy

If however you’ve been offered what you were expecting or more, then that’s not the time to start asking for more. Asking for more than you’re worth simply demonstrates a lack of judgment.



Do back up your expectations

Have reasons for your expectations. Why are you worth what you say you’re worth? Be prepared with examples from your resume and your personal experiences. Just because experiences didn’t come out of a job environment, doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the package you are presenting.


Thanks but no thanks

Be willing to walk away. If the job isn’t right for you don’t just take it out of desperation. You’ll end up looking again sooner rather than later. Better to get the right job with the right salary in the first place.


Take time to be sure

Don’t feel like you have to make your decision on the spot. It’s perfectly okay to take a day to consider your options.


Negotiations can be hard. The employer is going to try and get the best deal for the company while you’re trying to get the best deal for yourself. That doesn’t mean negotiations are negative. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase your value. How you handle yourself during negotiations is indicative of how you handle yourself in general.

Does Money Equal Happiness?


Hey. Guess what. Science finally snooped around and tried to figure out if money actually equals happiness. And guess what – it doesn’t. Mostly. Sort of. Let me break it down for you. 

  1. There Is A Money VS Happiness Drop Off

So, just straight up having money can make you happier – but only to a certain point. According to Time Magazine, the happiness to money ratio drops off at a yearly income of $50,000. After you hit the $50,000 mark, it doesn’t matter how much higher your income goes, your happiness based on money won’t rise with it.


  1. Things Don’t Increase Your Base-Level Happiness

Everybody is born with a certain disposition. To put it in terms of Winnie the Pooh because I am an utter child, some people are Tigger and some are Eeyore. That changes slightly over your life – things like quality of relationships, income (up to the $50,000 mark,) work satisfaction and a plethora of other factors.

But the fact remains that you have a base happiness level, and whatever good or bad events confront you throughout life, Tiggers will always be Tiggers and Eeyores will always be Eeyores.

Often people assume they can change their base happiness level with money – by buying a pool or a car or an entire zoo. But things cannot increase your base happiness level. Your new car is great, until a couple months later when it’s just your car.  Your pool is the best thing that has ever happened to you, until you’re stuck cleaning it all the time and don’t even use it that often.

A beautiful new house won’t make you any happier than the one you just left, because sooner or later it’s not a shiny new house anymore. It’s just your house.

However, you can use money to increase your base level happiness if you know how…


  1. Having A Lot of Experiences Raises Your Base Happiness

If you have excess money and you need to spend it somewhere, hold off on that car and go on an adventure with someone you love. Or on your own. Or go out with friends, or go to a concert.

Experiences will increase how happy you are at any given time. That’s a little counter-intuitive, I know, because if you buy that new car you’ll have it for years but your vacation would be over in a couple weeks or that concert will end in an hour.

But that’s not how our brains process things. When you buy a car, after a while it loses it’s luster and just becomes your car. The thrill of a car only lasts a few months. A vacation or a great concert, or time spent with friends – those last your whole life. By that I mean, you can keep those memories forever. Memories get better over time – your brain edits out the bad parts and keeps the bits that made you happy. And you can tell stories, which brings more happiness by contributing to social situations. Each time you replay the memory of things you did, they become more embellished and amazing, whereas everytime you look at your car, it’s less and less exciting.

As cheesey as it sounds, you’re overall life satisfaction will increase due to time spent with people, doing things that you can look back on, rather than buying that sweet lava lamp  you’ve been eyeing.


  1. Give Your Money Away

I am dead serious. You worked really, really hard to get the salary you have, and now I’m asking you to give it away? That’s right. First of all, as we’ve established, anything above $50,000 isn’t much use to you anyway, and secondly, altruism is one of the fastest and easiest way to boost up your level of happiness. Some people have even argued that the dopamine (pleasure chemical) spike in our brain when we perform a selfless act is comparable to that of a hit of cocaine.

Again, if you donate to charity instead of getting that cool new car, you’ll feel better about yourself and your worth as a person. Giving money away to help others is truly the best way you can possibly spend it if you have some extra.