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How to Know Your Worth When Searching for a Job

According to a 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, the global rate at which employers struggle to fill open roles is at an all-time high of 38 percent.

This means two things for you and other job seekers: 1) that the job market is more competitive than ever, and full of individuals who are unwilling to "settle," and 2) that you have the upper hand in the hiring process. However, despite the fact that job seekers have the advantage, many fail to realize that and just accept the first salary they're offered without negotiating a better one. If you do this, you may be unwittingly undermining your earning potential. That said, if you're like most people, you have no idea what your earning potential actually is. If that's the case, use this guide to determine your true worth so that you can use it as a guide during the job hunt.

Begin With Assessing Your Inner Worth

Too many people enter the job search with the mindset that there is someone out there who is better and more qualified than them. This attitude is apparent to hiring managers and employers, and it could hurt you in the long run. While you don't want to be overly cocky, you do want to be confident. U.S. News suggests taking a moment to remind yourself that you are worth market value and that you are entitled to get paid for the experiences and skills you bring to the table on a daily basis. Once you build that confidence, you will not only feel it intrinsically, but you will also exude it outwardly and thereby encourage others to see you the way you see yourself.

Do Your Research

Of course, you can feel like a million bucks all you want but the truth is that there are few positions that offer a million-dollar salary. To better know your potential worth, research the position for which you want to apply. Make sure to narrow your search based on your skills, years of experience, and market demand. Your search should reveal the average salary pay for the job title, as well as the incomes for the bottom and top earners in the field. This range should give you a fair idea of what to expect in terms of salary.

Bear in mind that salary ranges vary from place to place and industry to industry. For instance, in New York, the average salary for a marketing copywriter is $58,585, while the national average for the same position is $48,951. It is important to know the industry standard so that if an employer does lowball you, you are prepared to negotiate and present evidence to back your stance.

Be Transparent

Be upfront and honest with hiring managers about your career and salary goals. If an employer wants to hire you badly enough, they will take your aspirations into consideration. If they don't, it's likely not a good fit for you. That said, you will only hurt yourself if you accept a salary that is far below your value in the hopes that you can ask for a raise in the future. If an employer tries to attract talent with a lower-than-industry-average starting salary, it is unlikely that that same employer will raise your pay much in the future. You can avoid wasting your own and the employer's time by being transparent in the beginning.

In today's job market, you have the upper hand over hiring managers. Because of this, do not be afraid to ask for more, because chances are, you deserve more.

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