Extraordinary Events Podcast

Ep 68: Negotiating Salary

April 13, 2021 Extraordinary Events
Extraordinary Events Podcast
Ep 68: Negotiating Salary
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Extraordinary Events Podcast
Ep 68: Negotiating Salary
Apr 13, 2021
Extraordinary Events

Do you want best practices on how to negotiate your salary with a future employer? In this podcast episode, I give my best tips + tricks on salary negotiation, how to effectively market yourself and your abilities to a company, as well as how to find the average salary of your position not only in your city, but at the company you are negotiating with. 

Show Notes Transcript

Do you want best practices on how to negotiate your salary with a future employer? In this podcast episode, I give my best tips + tricks on salary negotiation, how to effectively market yourself and your abilities to a company, as well as how to find the average salary of your position not only in your city, but at the company you are negotiating with. 

Hello, Hello, my friends, happy day, it's such a great day to have a great day. I'm just imagining all of you out there who might be bingeing on the podcast right now listening to one after another after another. And you always hear the same greeting, because it's always such a happy day. And I'm just so excited to be talking to you all, to my friends to the amazing podcast listeners out there to our little community, I just absolutely love it love, you love the opportunity to be able to do this. 

So today's topic is driven from demand. It's not necessarily super specific to meeting and events in terms of an industry. But it is relevant to anyone who's trying to search for job. Since we do have a large percentage of our podcast listeners who are current or former students who are looking for their first career job their second or are further along in their career. There are some tips and tricks that I like to give for salary negotiation. Now a little bit of backstory on salary negotiation. So in my previous industry life, I used to do a lot with contract negotiation, I also was quite successful in being able to ask for and negotiate my own salary. At my previous University, it was kind of a joke that all of the other faculty and staff when students would come to them about salary, they would say, go to Dr. K, just go to Dr. K. 

And I had formally taught a class that was about sales and marketing, hospitality, sales and promotion. And I split that particular class into three elements. The first third of the class was really about selling yourself. And when I say that, I mean selling yourself as a personal brand, as an employee, as an individual in whatever venture you are going for. The second part of that class was how to sell a venue. And the third part was how to sell a cause or an event or service in some ways. So it's all sales, if you think about it, it's all sales, but they take different strategies and different tactics. And we really kind of dive deep into that. And so I've developed a little bit of a funny reputation of coming to me to figure out how best to negotiate your salary. The one thing that I would say, has been most successful and how I've been able to resonate with so many people about salary negotiation, is just doing the psychology research behind this, and especially on demographic lines of females and males, and how females don't necessarily negotiate for the higher salaries, or they're more humble, or they undersell themselves. And then males typically don't have that problem. 

Now, of course, those are generalizations, it doesn't mean that every female doesn't do that. And every male does do that. But it is important to acknowledge that this exists in our society, and then figure out ways to get around it so you can get the salary that you want, in a comfortable way when you're negotiating. So it's not just a power play, I would say the first step for anybody who is looking at a potential salary, whether you're having to fill it out on your application, or mentioning it in your interview, is you have to do your research. Now, thank goodness for search engines like Google and just the internet in general, that there's so much information out there, that was not available to us 30 40 50 years ago. Now, I think oftentimes, people will research one or the other of what I'm about to say, but very rarely do they research both. So the first one is to research that particular position. This is where most people actually go and they do research and they say, Okay, how much does an event planner in Chicago get paid? How much does an event designer, an event strategist? How much did these particular positions or people with these particular titles, how much do they get paid in this area? And that gives you a good ballpark figure. 

So that's something that you can think about and take into consider When you're doing your salary negotiations, this second one in terms of research that's very frequently overlooked, is doing your research for that particular company. Now, with websites such as Glassdoor and other similar websites, you can actually search for a company and see all of the different pay ranges for all the different job titles, this becomes super, super important because even though the average salary for an event planner, event designer might be 40 to 50,000, US dollars, if you're looking at a specific company, and you realize that all of the positions within that company are a minimum of 50, or $60,000, you would actually be underselling yourself for that particular company. 

So you really have to do both. In terms of research, you have to research your market for that position. And then you have to research the actual company. And again, I feel like a lot of people do one or the other, but they don't necessarily do both. And both are super important. The second thing that I would definitely say is figuring out your own budget, what do you need to live? Now, this is a pro and a con, because it's kind of depressing, you have to put all your stuff down on paper, you have to acknowledge exactly how many student loans you're going to have. You have to acknowledge what your living expenses are. And it's really kind of a quote, unquote, grown up thing, how much do you need to make every single month to live the life that you want to live? Now, of course, there's the bare minimum, and then there's the ideal, and then there's the Hey, I can put money in savings amount. And I think it's really important to identify all three of those. Once you've done this, though, this actually becomes the base for your negotiation. And this is where I feel a lot of my former students have had a lot of success is that it's hard sometimes to sell your own skills and abilities. But it's not hard to blame expenses. So I often tell my students, I say, don't try to sell yourself like, well, I'm worth it. So you should give me 40,000 instead of 35,000, that can sometimes be a hard sell, especially if you're low on your own personal self confidence or self worth, it's really easy to blame expenses. 

So you can say I've done my budget, I've done my expenses. And I know that I need $40,000 a year to be able to live and pay my bills and make sure that all my taxes are taken care of, etc, etc. And that you have food to eat on your table. It's super easy to blame these expenses. Now, for those people that maybe you're like me, I don't really want to talk about my expenses, I don't really want to acknowledge that I have on the student loan debt. I always love to tell people to take the adjectives off of their resume. When maybe on your first draft of your resume, you had a section that said like skills, and then you had five or 10 bullet points that said, like hard worker, and financially responsible or self motivated. All these things that it's like you're taking up valuable space in your resume that you don't need to take up space. And then the old adage was, well, you would just put those things in your cover letter? Well, yeah, you would put that in your cover letter. 

But you don't want to list them like that. You want to be able to tell the stories of yourself and your life, and who you are as a person. You want to show it that you exhibit those qualities through stories. And I tell students all the time, I say if you're negotiating your salary, you don't actually have a signed contract yet. And if you're talking about, hey, I've sat down, I've done my budget, I know where I'm at, I know where I need to be, I know that I want to dedicate 100% of my time to this job, I don't want to have to get a second job at night waiting tables or working at the bar, I want to get myself to 100%. And that means that I need this level of income so I can pay my bills. That's actually telling a story. That one, you're super self aware of your own situation. 

And two, that you're okay with money, or at least you know where your money is and where your money is going. Or at least three you can talk the talk right that you know where your money is. But that's actually a good example of being fiscally responsible just through storytelling. And it actually makes the company feel a little bit more comfortable with giving you that amount of money because they know they're giving you quote unquote, a livable wage. Also they are getting like that extra info confidence that they're making the right decision. in investing in you, you might be sitting there and saying, well, that's cool. Dr. k loves that idea. I love that concept. But I don't have student loans. I was on a full scholarship, I don't have all of these extra expenses. 

Well, I'm not saying that you should lie, because you should not lie. But there are other things that you should be taking into account that you should be paying for. Did you have credit card debt? Did you have extra expenses. And if you don't have any of those, you actually have a little bit more wiggle room in terms of salary, I actually took a lower starting salary in my first job, and then increased my professional development budget, I knew that I wanted to be part of associations, and those memberships cost a lot of money. I knew that I wanted to travel to go to those conferences, I knew that I wanted to have the time dedicated to do that. And so I think so often in our negotiations, we're only thinking about that salary number, that bottom line number. But there's so many other things that you can negotiate in terms of your financial package, it's more than just your salary. You can negotiate in memberships, you can negotiate in, extra days off in order to travel and attend conferences, so you're not taking vacation time, you can negotiate in additional equipment. 

So instead of having your base laptop, you can have your super fancy gaming system with three monitors and all the fancy mouse and keyboards that light up and all of the things that you can need. But of course, you want to be realistic about what you actually do need versus what's a want. There's so many additional things that you can build into this financial package, which also shows that you are just a good person in terms of thinking about negotiation, maybe a company really can't afford or doesn't want to offer you a higher salary. But they are so willing to invest in your professional development, because your development helps them as a company. So maybe they're like, well, I won't give you an extra $1,000. But I'll pay for these two memberships, which is 1500. Or I'll pay for you to get your certified meeting professional CMP designation, which is 1500. 

So there's all different ways that you can work around this. So I would also say to anybody listening on this call, don't get hung up just in the salary, there are so many additional things you can negotiate in, or talk around, and figuring all of those things out. And that's why it's a negotiation, because you have to look at what's important to you. And the company has to look at what's important to them. And then you have to figure out this sweet spot right in the middle. I hope that this was useful for you in some ways I can go on and on and on. I could talk about negotiation, contract negotiation, salary negotiation, for such a long time. I'm a huge advocate for making sure that you have a livable wage, that you're getting adequately compensated for the things that you're doing. And, of course, the whole point of this podcast and the reason why I'm on this earth is to elevate events, and to elevate have an education and having a livable wage at a viable career job is a huge part of that. 

After COVID, it was really disheartening to see that a lot of your job positions, maybe those companies got rid of their more established experienced people that were getting paid a lot of money, and then reposting those same jobs for lesser experienced people at about 15 to 20% pay cut from what that was originally posted. So a director position that was $80,000 is maybe still a director position, but only $65,000. And that's really not doing our industry a huge service as we're talking about moving along and incorporating event excellence. Now, of course, this is really good for anyone who's entering into this field. But just keeping in mind, we have to keep negotiating our salaries up so we can keep moving our industry forward. 

With that I will step off my soapbox, and I will wish you the best of luck in negotiating your salaries in your future jobs or if you're on the job market right now in your job market process. And I hope you find the perfect position for you at the perfect wage that you are looking for. I hope that you all have a fantastic week. Thank you so much for logging in and listening to the podcast. Make sure to share rate and subscribe. And as always, thank you so much for taking the time to make the time. I'll talk with you soon.