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Salary Requirements

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator_Hawks, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Gator_Hawks

    Gator_Hawks Member

    I'm applying for a job that insists on sending salary requirements.

    (Insert joke here about how little sports reporters make... I know).

    But, any real advice would be appreciated. This is a job for a publishing company that has a few weeklies in a major metro market on the east coast.

    Thanks.
     
  2. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    I take it you haven't had a similar position in the past? If so, just tack on whatever you think is a fair raise from that position. Not knowing the details of the cost of living etc., it's hard to say. Maybe poke around online or ask around and see if you can find a ballpark figure for such a position. Oh, I guess that's what you are doing here. But do you know anyone in a similar job now?
     
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    If you really can't say it's negotiable and leave it at that, then you need to figure out what you make now/last made, adjust for cost of living and adjust for whatever increase in time commitment or responsibility this job entails.

    For instance, if you're a sports editor at one weekly paper right now in a small town (for the purposes of this exercise, we'll say Covington, Ga., which has an opening on the Jobs board), you might make $26,000. If you're going to manage sports coverage at four or five weekly newspapers in Atlanta, you obviously need a raise. This cost of living calculator says $26,000 in Covington should be increased to $30,152 in Atlanta. But you also are taking on more responsibility and potentially more hours, so you probably want to ask for a minimum of $33,000. I have a hard time imagining them turning you down just because you asked for a little too much, so long as you're in the ballpark.

    If you're unemployed right now, that's obviously a game-changer. Then you may want to go with whatever you think is the minimum acceptable amount for you in the new place. Maybe that's $30,000 in the fake move from Covington to Atlanta.
     
  4. Hoos3725

    Hoos3725 Member

    Here's another idea. You say the company insists on sending salary requirements. I assume you mean you're filling out an online form, and it won't let you leave the salary requirement section blank, and it won't let you put in anything but numbers. So just put in all zeros. Then in any sort of comment section, just put "salary negotiable."

    I'm not promising this is a good idea. It's just an idea. If you're uncomfortable with this, then I agree with what everyone else said. Ask around, use cost of living calculators, and weigh all the factors.
     
  5. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Hate this requirement on applications, but this is probably the best approach.
     
  6. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Not meaning to threadjack, but this is something I've always kind of wondered: How much do newspapers factor in where they're located to the employee salaries? For instance, would the same position at the Denver Post (just using this because I know Denver is a cheap place to live), which pays $40K, be $53,442 at the LA Times (using Los Angeles with the calculator Versatile posted)? I know we could get into a discussion about certain parent companies and what some may or may not do, but just looking at it in a basic model.
     
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Yes and no. One of the things to remember is that most bigger newspapers are in bigger cities, and most bigger cities will have higher cost of living than smaller cities. Pay increases as you move up the ladder in terms of the size and quality of the newspaper, which generally corresponds to cost of living to some degree. But the most impoverished of us are those at small weeklies in or around major metros, in many cases.
     
  8. I always hate that question as well. The way I get around it, without playing too much of my hand, is to tell them, "I currently make in the xxxxx's, and with a change in job and location, experience, whatever, I would expect an increase in that. Sure, you are showing some of your cards, but you are leaving it open as to how much you are expecting. And if you are currently making 29,000, I would round up to the 30's. If you are making 21,000, you are in a really good spot.
     
  9. In addition to this, one thing that I find a bit unnerving is when someone offers to fly you out, after a few phone interviews, and salary demand is never discussed. I certainly don't want to waste anyone's time or money, and I'm sure they don't want it wasted, but I'll be damned if I'm the one to bring it up. I'm in that boat right now.
     
  10. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Been in that boat before...I took the step to bring it up...ended up it would have been a wasted trip in my case. Actually had that happen twice, now that I think of it. Both times would have resulted in me saying no based on being offered less than I was making now. Seems the paper would want that out in the open before popping for your plane ticket. But alas newspapers don't employ the smartest business sense most times.
     
  11. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I might give you credit for creativity, but also be pissed because you skirted the question.

    I hate having to give a figure. But they asked. Don't sell yourself short. Figure out if possible what they've offered, what you believe is fair and then add a little extra on top.

    That extra isn't your ego, or shouldn't be. It's negotiating money. If they want to pay $35,000 and you ask for $40,000 but believe $37,500 would be great, there's room to talk.

    Don't be afraid to ask. Don't undercut your value. The best they can do is accept, or negotiate. The worst is they say no. But if they want you then chances are good they'll negotiate.
     
  12. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    yes, always add the little extra...some stops will surprise you with what they can and are willing to pay. Nothing worse than leaving money on the table before you've even interviewed...thus why I hate this question on an app.
     
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