An important aspect of the employment process is negotiating your salary. Many employers will advertise their roles with a minimum and maximum salary and will have an idea of what they want to offer you. Obviously, you will want to get as much as you can, but you have to be realistic about what you expect to be paid.
As part of your research prior to interview you should look into the salaries paid for similar roles. Try and narrow your research to roles advertised in the same area and by the same type of company. There is no point comparing a job in Devon with a 10 man company to that of a FTSE 100 based in London! You could also try and talk to colleagues or people in similar positions.
Once you armed with that knowledge you can start to compare it with your current situation and see what extra costs you may incur with the new role. For example, there may be additional travel costs or your change of circumstance may lead to more need for child care. Take these extra costs into account.
Decide on a minimum salary
Armed with all that knowledge you now need to decide on a minimum salary you will accept if you are offered the role.
You should also consider other aspects of why you may deserve more money. You may have unique skills or experiences that are of value to the employer for example.
As you enter negotiations with the employer you need to highlight your reasons for the salary you expect. Often you will be asked what you want, rather than the employer saying what they will give you. If this happens, aim high and leave room for negotiation. Alternatively, you could ask what they want to offer you and negotiate from there.
Throughout this process you should also consider other ways to be recompensed for your work. An employer may offer all kinds of benefits in lieu of payment: pension schemes, healthcare, insurances, bonus, hours, child care costs, company cars etc. Factor in the financial savings and improved quality of life you may receive from these benefits.
Overall, try to get the best deal you can. Negotiate fairly and sensibly and ensure you do not offend your potential new employer with unreasonable requests or over confidence.
As a bonus, good negotiation skills at this stage may further support your claim for the role and a higher salary as you are demonstrating good negotiation skills that you will take into your new role!