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How to Estimate Your Salary Expectations

Just like you look for the right job, your employer looks for the right talent. Employment is a deal; and for it to be profitable in the long run, both parties have to win. As a job seeker, you should never sell yourself short for the fear of rejection – even more so now, because around 84 percent of the UK employers are now concerned about the growing talent shortage in the country, according to PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey. However, that doesn’t mean you can expect a salary that’s too high and doesn’t commensurate with your skills, experience, and education. Knowing what you are really worth is difficult but important. Thankfully, it is possible to estimate your salary expectation, with a little research and planning. Here are some useful tips.

1. Research online

A quick online research will help you find out a salary range for the job you want. You can check out sites like, or consider using an online salary calculator tool. Also, the Job Profiles section of the National Careers Service website provides ample information about the salary range of different job positions. The salary range from the above sites gives you a rough idea of the going rate, which you can use as a benchmark figure when setting your salary expectations. This can be a good starting point, but determining what you’re really worth is still not easy. Most of the sites provide you a salary range that’s too wide. So deciding where exactly you fall in that range can still be a difficult task.

2. Use your professional network

Consider sourcing fresh information from your professional network. If some people in your close circle work in the same industry or job position, ask for the going rates. If not, consider attending trade shows and meetings to build a strong network with people from the same industry. However, never ask directly. Instead, you can ask them to suggest what would be a handsome salary for the job you want. Another good idea would be to join online forums and ask direct questions, such as, “Is £40,000 a good annual salary for a nurse working at a private hospital in London?” Chances are you’ll get some good answers that would help you narrow down the salary range for your desired job.

3. Consider whether you deserve more than the average

Most job postings specify a salary range, and employers will usually offer you a figure towards the middle of that range. But you need to consider whether you deserve more. Average pay is for the average worker. If you think you can add more value to the company than the average worker does, don’t be afraid to ask for a higher salary. Remember, compromising on salary gives a wrong impression about your self-confidence.

4. Consider your skills and experience

Your salary depends a lot on your relevant skills and experience. When you are entering into a new profession, don’t expect a high salary. After some years of experience, you may be worth a higher pay. Similarly, applicants with job-specific skills or transferable skills get paid more than the laypersons.

5. Factor in your location

In general, jobs in a big city offer a higher salary than the same jobs in a rural area. However, the cost of living also varies a lot. One good idea would be to check out the average pay in your location before setting your salary expectations.

6. Consider your education

Depending on your profession, job position and the industry, your professional qualification can play a major role in your salary. Some jobs may require a special degree or a certification. Consider earning relevant degrees or taking vocational trainings to get paid higher. During an interview, don’t forget to mention your special qualifications to impress your employers and improve your chance of getting a higher salary package.

Being flexible or open to change is another quality that can increase your salary potential. For instance, some employers look for candidates who are ready to relocate to a new city for work, if necessary. Consider all the above factors to estimate a realistic salary expectation for yourself.

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