If you’re applying to new jobs in the food and beverage sector, you’re likely focused on advancing your career and increasing your earning potential. As if the job search isn’t stressful enough, calculating your intended future salary can add an entirely new layer of confusion and angst. In addition to understanding the type of data companies use to determine salaries, it’s best to educate yourself about the many factors that can affect your future salary outcome. This process will give you the confidence to approach a future salary negotiation in the best way possible, as well as give you a competitive edge in finding employment opportunities that are best suited for your qualifications.
If you find yourself struggling to define your worth and desired salary, here are five steps you can take to effectively articulate your value to potential employers:
1) Research salary trends in your industry.
Before you can make any determinations, you must research current compensation trends and average salary ranges for your target job. For example, according to research by Kinsa Group, the median salary for a Director of R&D is $140,000. Knowing the median salaries for the type of position you’re seeking is the first step to calculating a realistic figure. As you do your research, sites like PayScale and Glassdoor also offer free salary calculators where you can receive a salary report generated by the information you provide about yourself, including your education, skills, location and experience. Doing your due diligence is key to having a successful negotiation and getting the salary you deserve.
2) Evaluate your level of relevant experience.
In any career, experience level can be one of the biggest factors in determining pay – and in many cases, even more important than education. However, it’s relevant experience that truly sets top earners apart. As a job seeker, you must become the CEO of your career and take stock of all your professional experience. If you’ve been working in the food and beverage industry for 10-15 years in a capacity related to the job you’re seeking, it’s fair to assume you can expect a salary on the higher end of the spectrum. Taking an honest look at your experience (as it relates to your intended job) will help you define a salary that makes the most sense for where you are in your career.
3) Take an inventory of your most marketable skills.
Being aware of the marketable skills you bring to the table – and how competitive they make you as a candidate – can significantly influence your future pay. For instance, top skills for purchasing managers are typically strong communication; relationship building; negotiation; multitasking abilities; and problem solving. Knowing the value of your core competencies will help you determine a salary range that’s most aligned with your level of expertise.
4) Consider non-monetary benefits.
When thinking about pay, it’s easy to dismiss other benefits that come with a job. If more money at a certain company is not feasible, consider non-monetary benefits that may be offered. For example, does the employer provide professional development opportunities? Is there a flexible scheduling policy? Is there ample paid time off? Depending on the company’s culture, you may find that non-monetary benefits like improved work-life balance are just as important to you as salary.
5) Keep external factors in mind.
In addition to the job and company, there are always external factors that affect salary, including area pay rates, location, labor market conditions and cost of living, among others. As you assess different job opportunities across the country, understanding how external factors come into play will help you set realistic expectations regarding pay and compensation benefits.
While there’s no magic formula to predict your future salary, following the steps above will brace you with the knowledge and tools to intelligently approach salary negotiations throughout the hiring process.
Ready to calculate your future salary?
Check out Kinsa Group’s 2019 Food and Beverage Salary Guide to get started.