“I won’t tell you what I am earning now. I want to be paid according to what I’m worth. You get me an offer and I’ll tell you if it is high enough.”
I always reply, “No, I don’t work that way. I have to know what you last earned. I never make an exception for anyone.”
Most people think that there is a chart in the hiring manager’s office he uses to determine the pay rate of a new hire. The skill level is carefully matched to years of service and a scientifically determined salary is offered.
That would be nice, but it is totally wrong. What you will be paid at a new job depends mostly on two factors: what you were earning before, and how well you interview. Your last pay rate is critical because it shows what someone who worked with you daily thought you should be paid. If you convince your hiring manager that you are underpaid, you will earn more. If he’s convinced you are overpaid, you’ll earn less. There is no magic, just gut feeling and guesses.
Your job interview is critical. In sales and managerial jobs you must show your ability to deal with people. In more technical positions you might be paid well even if you can barely speak, but still get the point across that you can do the job.
Your resume gets you an interview. Your interview and previous pay determine your pay rate.
Something To Do Today
In a separate page in your job journal keep a list of what you earn each year. Track your raises. Bonus points if you compare them to inflation.