4 Ways to Revolutionize Your Salary Research

What should you be paid?

Adam Ross Nelson
10 min readFeb 22, 2022

Whether you are seeking a new job, entering the workforce after an absence, or simply want a competitive advantage when it comes to negotiating your next raise, one piece of information is critical: This article will help job candidates answer that important question related to establishing a salary expectation.

I’ll talk about why many people skip over salary research and show the returns on investment associated with salary research. Then, I’ll show you 4 strategies specifically for mid- and late-career professionals that will improve your ability to discern a meaningful and rewarding salary expectation.

Why you need to do salary research

While job candidates regularly research company history, social media profiles of prospective bosses (or coworkers), plus job qualifications and expectations, salary research remains a black hole.

For example, how many hours have you spent studying for a technical interview? How many blogs or books have you read on the topic of technical interviews? Compare for a moment the time you’ve spent on other job search activity but not on researching salary.

According to one recent survey, better than a full third, 35 percent, of job candidates, admit to conducting no salary research at all. One in three job candidates rarely research and compare salaries, and less than one in 10 job candidates “always” research salary comparisons.

These findings regarding salary research are as startling as they are shocking. Salary plays an important role in any job-related decision. When evaluating a job offer or deciding to remain with a company — salary is at least as important as job expectations, perks, office relationships.

Figuring out how to negotiate salary is hard. Everything about this topic is hard. For example, merely knowing where to start that salary negotiation is a major obstacle for many professionals. These difficulties are an important reason why more people are not researching salaries. There is another important reason too:

Most people just don’t have the confidence to research salary on their own.In the same survey mentioned above, and as shown in the figure below, nearly two-thirds of those who responded said they had no, slight, or only moderate confidence in their ability to find useful salary comparisons. A…

Adam Ross Nelson

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