I would like to move to another company but I don't know how to calculate my salary expectation . Do i need to calculate 20% of annual salary? or 20% of annual salary plus bonus ?


2 Answers 2


Not sure what you mean by 20%, but sounds arbitrary. A couple options:

  1. If another company also means another city, consider using a cost of living calculator (lots available online) to get a sense of relative price levels, and use that as a weight in your salary calculation. This is assuming salaries in your line of work and market keep up with COL.

  2. Sites like Glassdoor can be useful resources for checking salaries. Just lookup your company and check the Salaries section, for a list of reported averages by job title. This assumes the company you are considering is on Glassdoor.

  3. Ask around. Use your professional network on LinkedIn, friends who may live/work in the city where the company operates, who might know someone who knows someone who works for your target company, or works in the same geographic location, and might provide an insight of the going rate. This is probably more risky because the advice might be biased, outdated, or based on incorrect assumptions. So I would exercise caution and triangulate (double check) estimates against other sources.

One caveat: As I mentioned here, think twice about communicating salary expectations to prospective employers. They are professionals at such negotiations whereas you might not be, so chances are they will be able to use whatever information you provide to their advantage, not yours. It's one thing to be doing research for your own private knowledge, and another thing to try to come up with a figure that you use to signal your own estimated self-worth. Good luck!

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    Depending upon the company, some are awful at calculating salary/wages; often withdrawing the position when they discover new hires want significantly more than the indentured employees. Businesses with work and money can always pay whatever and simply either increase the difficulty of one job or give you more hats. Otherwise, an answer that got a 👍 from me.
    – Rob
    Feb 10, 2018 at 18:19

Know your value - first and foremost. You need to understand the local market average salary range based on your experience. Specifically years doing this type of job - not total years doing other type of work. You must be confident in what they would pay someone with your same relevant experience.

There are several great resources for this: Salary.com and Glassdoor both have general salary calculators that focus on Job Title and Location. LinkedIn lets you add years of experience and also industries to better hone in on salary ranges (a premium subscription is required but if you are job searching this is money very well spent). There are also industry/role specific salary calculators like the one on our sister site Stack Overflow that include degree, years of experience, etc (all for free) specific to developer and IT roles. For a more in-depth salary calculator look at PayScale and be sure to use "evaluate a job offer" option - you want to be paid for the work you will be doing and not what you do now or in the past.

Once you know your worth here's a strategy for negotiating salary:

If the ranges you find are suitable to your needs, then you should use language like this:

"I am pursuing XYZ job titles in the range of $ABC to $QRS. Based on my experience and market averages for ABC titles in EFG location, this range is very consistent with market rates."

This establishes that you know what you are worth, you have done homework and it gives you a range of salaries that you would be comfortable making. It takes your personal situation off the table and makes the salary negotiation more fact-based. You are competing against others with similar backgrounds - not your past experience - if you can do a job they should not underpay you because you were underpaid at your previous jobs. If they ask you what you are making now - simply say that your

current job isn't really relevant to the kind of work you are seeking and I would prefer to use fair market rates. Assuming we mutually agree this is a good fit, I would imagine prevailing market salaries would be fair to both of us.

Caveat - if you get some incredible bonus or perks or if the job is not a standard industry job these ranges may not work. If you are looking for typical industry jobs these averages will give you confidence to seek what you are worth.

I personally used this approach and it was helpful not only in negotiating my current salary but also for eliminating positions that could not meet my salary range - being transparent saves everyone time and if the data is good (generally I found most of the ranges converged pretty tightly across sites) then it is a fair conversation.


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