Salary negotiation is understandably intimidating for most people, especially those who are just starting out in their respective careers. Job seekers often forgo the idea of negotiating a salary before accepting a job offer in fear that they might be turned down from the job. However, a little bit of research and an understanding of your own skill level is the first step towards achieving financial freedom in your chosen career.
This is particularly true in the field of web design. This line of work requires a certain set of knowledge and skills in order to become successful in a highly competitive industry. Standing your ground in terms of the salary that you accept is vital in locking in your future earnings potential. If you can set the right price, you will be able to pursue a career that you are passionate about and earn reasonable income as well.
A Web Designer’s Job Description
A web designer is highly in demand in today’s industry wherein a great deal of people rely on the internet to obtain information, communicate, or sell goods or merchandise. The website is the most important tool to be able to make all of that happen. It is the web designer’s job to design and construct a website or web pages that contain these information.
Once the website is live, their work is not done though. They are also responsible for maintaining the design and basic functions of the website to ensure that it is accessed by web users on a 24/7 basis and that the website suffers no downtime. They also customize the design, add banners, and do other tricks to make the pages more compelling for users to browse into.
Web designers typically have a bachelor’s degree and one must have at least 2 years experience before they can successfully practice in this field. After all, it requires certain knowledge on various web designing techniques, practices, and other concepts in order to create a functional website. A little creativity also gives you an edge in this field.
Why Is It Important To Negotiate?
Given the duties and responsibilities of the web designer as stated above, you should know have a fair idea as to how much you would like to be paid for a job. However, it is not as easy as that. There are several other factors involved in salary negotiation that you need to know more of. At this point, realizing the need to do a negotiation is vital. A lot of prospective web designers dodge this process and simply accept the salary offer given to them along with the job. But experts suggest that you actively participate in the process of deciding how much you are going to be paid for the job you are about to do.
Research has shown that those who negotiated their salary before accepting a job offer earned 7.4% more than those who did not negotiate. There is also a 72% chance of getting a raise on your salary offer, as supported by research. If you’re intimidated or afraid that employers will look elsewhere when you attempt to negotiate, don’t. Most employers anticipate a negotiation and they come up with a counter-offer, in case a negotiation does happen. But here’s something to boost your confidence – if they reached the point of giving you a job offer, they’d be willing to hear you out in terms of salary negotiation. It means they were impressed enough by you to contemplate hiring you! In addition, negotiating also indicates confidence in your own abilities and skills!
Risks Of Refusing To Negotiate
The initial intimidation or fear associated with negotiating on your salary is natural. The initial thought is that it is a huge risk or bringing up the topic can be uncomfortable. But you could end up losing a lot if you refuse to negotiate. Presenting your preferred salary, as noted above, exhibits your prowess in the field and your confidence in it to a point that you are willing to set a price. You can end up gaining the respect of your employer because of your steadfastness in your beliefs and abilities to a point that you won’t settle for anything less. It is a good way to create a good first impression (provided that you know how to do it right, which you will know more of later on).
The risks of settling for a web designer salary can have consequential impact in the long run. For example, you are setting yourself up to a salary standard that is much lower than the average in the field, or your own salary potential. It will also impact the percentage that you can enjoy when getting a salary raise, pensions, and your retirement plan. By starting out higher on your salary cap, you can potentially earn more in the same amount of time you would had you not taken into negotiating a deal.
Guidelines Before Negotiating Begins
There are several factors that come into play when negotiating a salary for web designers. Even though your experience or skill level might differ, you can follow a general guideline so you have an idea as to how to proceed with the negotiation process. Here are some of those to look into:
Baseline Salary: This is the most important factor to consider when trying to strike a deal for a web designer job offer. If you are new to this, you can ask a few of your web designer friends or online (via web design forums) about the baseline salary for this particular position. There are also websites that provide detailed information on base salary or salary potential for web designers so do your research beforehand.
Employer Background/Status: Aside from researching the baseline salary you expect to get for the web design job, it also pays to do some research on the company that intends to hire you. Is there a growth potential with this company? Are they simply trying to fill out a vacant position? Is the company in a current forward movement or does it offer more stability in the long run? You need to feel it out in order to determine what kind of approach to use on them and how much farther you can go as far as negotiating is concerned. Indeed, there is no one-size-fits-all kind of approach when it comes to negotiating with employers in this field.
Company’s Preference Towards You: Most recruitment personnel are trained to take on an objective approach to hiring employees. However, you should be able to decipher if they are really keen on hiring you or they are excited to have you be a part of their team. If you feel that they are personally and emotionally invested in giving you the job, this might be the opportunity to gain extra income or achieve your desired salary potential.
What To Do
A proper mindset is the most important factor when negotiating your web designer salary. This will allow you to gain confidence about what you can offer and justify the reasons for them to agree to the negotiated deal. At this point, your goal is to highlight what a valuable employee you are to their company. Think about how you can showcase yourself as a worthy addition that is going to pay off dividends in the long run. Ideally, you should have a counter-offer to their initial salary offer that is higher by 10 to 15%. You should be able to have finesse to stand your ground without being too hard on your counter that the hiring manager would have to walk away from the negotiation.
When negotiating though, do not single in on the salary. Think about what other offers the company is presenting in front of you. Some web designers might receive average salaries but they get huge benefits such as sign-on bonuses, flexible working schedule, bi-annual raise, leave credits, and the like. Do the benefits make up for any refusal to take your salary counter-offers? Do they promise to revisit your offer? You need to assess if you should abandon your strong position if you are getting something else, too.
What Not To Do
Identifying the important guidelines for negotiating your web designer salary is not enough. You need to know the common mistakes that a lot of web designers had done in the past, which caused their chances of getting the desired income slip away. You need to know how to negotiate correctly, which means doing none of the following:
- When you get a new job offer from a company, do not view it as though you are starting from scratch. Instead, start where you left off – after all, the years of experience you had working with other companies had molded you into a skilled web designer. They can also benefit from the knowledge, techniques, and other skills you’ve acquired throughout the years and they should be willing to pay for that as you prepare to step onto the next rung in your career.
- Do not share details about your past salary. You want to keep your employers guessing – don’t give anything away. Once you inform them of your past salary, they will stick to that range. You would not want to lose that freedom to decide how pricing works. After all, you are the one going to deliver the job.
- Suggesting a starting salary. You want to avoid this mistake during negotiation on your web designer salary because employers will naturally want to keep salary negotiation within their best and lowest offer. This is in line with the pointer above wherein you can put yourself at risk of getting an offer that is too low, or you can turn them away if they feel that your rate is too high for them to afford. Instead of focusing on the amount, pitch yourself as the best person for the job and they can get the best price for it through you.
A web designer’s job isn’t easy. In most cases, only they can do the job they’ve been hired to do. This is why major companies are investing on them to ensure that a functional, creative, and innovative website is in place. If you are a web designer, you need to consider the above tips for negotiating a salary that you feel is reasonable for your skills and experience, as well as your projected income over the course of few years. Even if you might not strike a deal with the salary that you want, open up the possibility of revisiting your salary offer in the next few months or over an agreed period of time.
A web designer’s salary is one of the more competitive ones in today’s times. If you are confident at what you can offer your employer, they will be willing to listen. If not, there are potentially several other companies willing to work with you at the price that you want.