On Our Minds
Working with so many organizations across multiple issue areas gives us a unique view into what’s happening in the social sector. This is where we share our insights and ruminations.
The Compensation Conversation
Every January, we get the calls: New Year = New Job. People reach out, friends make introductions, and appointments are scheduled. Job seekers arrive well-prepared, able to talk about their successes and their goals. And then, the dreaded topic: compensation. We always ask the question the same way “Where are you currently and what are you looking for in your next role?” Money isn’t always a comfortable topic, especially for mission-driven professionals. Making matters worse, people worry about either overshooting the mark or starting with too low a requirement, and then being ruled out of a process or underpaid. Here are several ways to approach the question, to increase the chances of getting what you want, out of both the conversation and your next offer. Know Your Numbers Before any interview, you need to have a firm grasp of three figures:
- Current Cash Compensation – What did you earn in each of the last two years? There’s really only one way to look at this number.
- Target Cash Compensation – Where are you currently compared to other people in similar roles? This should be based on external research, an understanding of what friends and colleagues with similar roles (in similar geographies) earn.
- Required Cash Compensation – What do you need to make in order to be comfortable? This should be based on your unique situation – your financial commitments and lifestyle preferences. This number could be exactly the same as one of the two numbers above, or more or less. It’s personal; only you know the answer to this question.