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Get the Art Director to Pay You a Fair Salary

Get the Art Director to Pay You a Fair Salary

Michelle Everett

Pay Me Already!

We all want to get paid a fair salary. Not only a fair wage but also one that is a true reflection of what our skills are worth in the market. You may feel like asking for a raise is like asking for a first born child or the Battle at the Bay of Pigs. You may fear it will be a fight. This is mainly because companies are doing what companies do best which is to watch out for the bottom line. So hopefully, this is where your fairy godmother walks in to act on your behalf making sure that all your hopes and dreams come true…

Ah, No…wrong dream. It doesn’t work that way. Your supervisor or the art director you work under are never going to walk up to you and say, “You work too hard. I think you deserve a $10,000 raise.” They are too busy worrying about the next deadline or even the project profits. You have to watch out for numero uno.

If you’re working as a graphic designer at at a large creative firm, salary negotiation can come up during or after a yearly review. In some ways this makes bringing up the topic seem more natural. But you need to be very analytical about your performance; describe your biggest accomplishments of the past year, your goals for the coming year, what you brought to the company (fiscally and organizationally). Also know the industry standard of what other designers are getting paid with similar experience in your city. This all gives you leverage to be able to stick it to the man! They will appreciate that you’ve seriously thought about your performance and position within the company.

Even after all of this, you need to do what your gut tells you…bid high. Depending on what you want your final salary to be you may need to ask for at least 10% more as a bargaining tool. This gives you wiggle room as you hash out the final number. Don’t be gross about the figure or ask for the moon but pad your offer to allow for their counter offer.

Next: The Small Firm Scenario →


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