Setting your salary and showing the value of an in-house team

This episode answers listener questions about how to figure out what the salary if you should ask for on your next job interview and how to show your company the value of an in-house creative team. If you have questions you want answered ‘like’ The Crazy One podcast on Facebook, post them there and I will answer them in an upcoming show.

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Show Notes:


The first question is from Jacquelyn Barnes. “Hello! I really enjoy this podcast. I have question that I’d love to hear you address in more depth. Back in your episode about interviews, you mentioned the importance of negotiation and understanding the business side of things. How would you suggest one go about discovering his or her value to a prospective employer and figuring out how much money to ask for? As a current student, I hope to walk into the job market with a solid understanding of this. I am entering a relatively small market in Spokane, Washington, and from what I can tell the salaries vary quite a bit from agency to agency, making it even harder for me to consider what a fair salary would be.”


– Every position has a salary band. Makes sense and creates equality on the team
– These bands usually pretty wide salary range to allow for a lot of different experience levels but you want to understand where you sit in the band and how many bands there are in your team.
– HR or recruiters will usually place you between the bottom of the band and the 75% line and you actually want to be placed in this part of the band for a very important reason. If you are at the top of the band your salary will be stuck there until you are promoted.
– But you also want to understand how many bands there are on your team. Too few bands and it will be hard to get promoted. Too many bands and responsibilities will blur together.
– Be sure you start by understanding those two things to get your bearings to the position and the organization


– Size of the market you want to work in will cause the salary and job requirements to vary wildly
– Big company / agency vs. small company / agency
– This gets a little backwards but small agencies may actually pay you more.


– With all of these variables where do you start to find out what your salary should be?
– is the best resource I know of to start this process. Go to Salaries and then enter your job title and city.
– This will give you a starting point.


– There is one REALLY common problem I see when creatives go from freelancing to full-time and try to figure out what their salary should be.
– Your full-time salary is not the hourly rate the company is paying X 40 hours X 52 weeks
– Full-time salaries includes benefits, insurance, 401K, etc. Freelance rates do not


– Once you know what you think your value is then you have go about actually getting it when you negotiate your future salary
– You will try to get the most money while the company wants to get you for the least amount of money
– It is a negotiation – so negotiate. You can counter their offers to get more of what you want
– A word of warning – don’t fall in love with the first offer you get. This is a negotiation.
– But don’t be a diva. Be realistic because just like every phase of a job interview how you act says something to your potential future employer
– I think this is a really critical stage especially if you are going to be going into leadership. You can get a lot done and get things setup for success before you even start the job.


– Don’t underestimate the importance of this last critical stage of the process
– If I see someone with all kinds of crazy demands I will probably retract the negotiation because I don’t want those traits in someone on my team
– But also if you aren’t being treated fairly by your future employer, if they are playing games, etc. then walk away
– I think the way a company treats people during the interview process says A LOT about how they will be as an employer


The next question is from Phil Swickard. “Hi Stephen. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge. I am a digital design/development leader in a large corporate environment, and my recent discovery of your podcast has been a spectacular find for me. Ep. 30 in particular was so inspiring that I listened to it twice. In that episode, you mention monetizing the value of your team in tangible ways to show their value to an organization. I am planning on comparing the cost of outsourcing creative work compared to keeping it in-house to my boss and leadership peers soon, and I was wondering if you had advice on the best way to do that. Any guidance you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!”


Show the value in dollars, ideas and teaching creativity.

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