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Salary negotiations for techies

Source: Author: Jacques Mattheij READ FULL ARTICLE AT

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Technology people are without a doubt the most inept group when it comes to negotiating for compensation. There are two major problems that dog them. The first is that they usually actually *like* their jobs. As long as they get to work with the cool tech and the neat toys, they'll sleep under their desks if they have to.

The second is that they are spectacularly bad at estimating their own market value. Not knowing how to negotiate compounds these problems and it is not rare to see the 'lynchpin' tech guys in a company make about half of what the salespeople make.

Typically, sales people justify their salaries by looking at their value for the company, rather than the lowest amount of money they can get by on. Your average programmer approaches salary negotiations like this:

(1) I need 'x' to survive.

(2) It would be nice to save a bit.

(3) I need to pay my taxes.

Work out a gross salary based on those components and use that as the basis for the negotiations. It is *not* about what you need. It is about what you are worth.

The company you work for is more than willing to pay you based on the value you bring to the table, not on your costs. It's an easy mistake to make, and very understandable, but your costs do not figure into it at all.

Typically, in a mature company the salaries of the dev team are a rounding error on the total operation. A good starting point is to take the scarcity of your knowledge (how long does it take to train a replacement?), the size of the team, and the corporate financial position. Another big factor is how active the market is. If there is a lot of unemployment in your area and sector, then you'll...

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Feb 5 2012 submitted by Sydney Austin

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