How much do you make? How much do you want to make?
These questions are often avoided and even dreaded — but they’re super important! And as one year draws to a close and another draws near, they’re likely more top-of-mind than usual.
For perspective, the latest data from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator finds that a single adult would have to make $22,935 a year (before taxes) in order to “live comfortably” in Wisconsin. In Minnesota, the yearly figure is $23,973.
Of course, this is just MIT’s estimate. The actual amount will vary widely based on individual circumstances. Do you go to school? Have kids? And what’s the definition of “living comfortably”? Everyone will have a different answer. For a customizable tool to calculate your personalized living wage, check out DEED’s Cost of Living Calculator.
Want to make more? Negotiation can get you there. Check out these five guidelines for a successful negotiation process from the Society for Human Resource Management:
- 1. Know what you want to make. “You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want,” points out Deborah Kolb, co-author of Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains.
- 2. Ask for what you actually want — or more. Definitely nothing less. In the process of negotiation, generally both negotiators start at higher and lower points than they actually want, then meet somewhere in the middle. That’s why it’s called negotiation!
- 3. Know your leverage. What have you got working on your side? Why does your employer need you? What can you provide that no one else can? These are a few factors that can give you an advantage.
- 4. Appreciate the other party’s perspective. Look at it from the employer’s point of view. Why should they pay you more? How is it going to pay off for them? Anticipate how the employer will react to your ask, and craft your argument accordingly.
- 5. Remember that negotiation isn’t a simple yes or no. In a way, this can be quite comforting. Even if you don’t get what you’re asking for, you will probably cause something to change just by starting the conversation. And of course, there’s the chance you might even get more than you expect!
For more on wage negotiation, check out this full article from SHRM: How to Negotiate Your Way to a Better Career.
If you know what you want to make, update your Desired Minimum Wage on your NORTHFORCE profile to let employers know!