Money isn’t everything, but it certainly makes a difference. If you’re like many people, the promise of a pay increase is probably one of the things that excites you most about getting a new job. Unfortunately, in most cases the sizeable salary bump you’re hoping for isn’t typically a reality.  I have the not-so-fun job of educating many people on that subject.

In a perfect world, you would be able to double your paycheck every time you move on to a new position – but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. When searching for a new job, you can expect to be asked to disclose your current salary at some point in the interview process. It might be tempting to inflate this number or simply refuse to comply, but the only place that will get you is out of the running.

What Size Raise Can You Expect?

As a high performer, it would be ideal if you were compensated based on the potential value you bring to a company, but unfortunately 99% of organizations don’t operate that way. Most use your current salary to prepare an offer that is approximately 5-12 percent more than what you are currently earning. While this is not enough to make you rich, the increase in pay is designed to entice you to make the transition while also staying within budget.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. If you’re being grotesquely underpaid at your current position, you shouldn’t accept another below-market salary. Use tools like and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to gauge what other professionals in your field, in your local area, are earning. If necessary, use this as leverage when negotiating your salary. If a company doesn’t want to pay you a fair market salary, it’s definitely not the right place for you anyway.

Learn How to Sell Yourself

If you’re set on receiving a sizable raise, you’re going to need to prove you’re worth it. Be prepared to discuss past accomplishments — quantifying them when possible — and what you plan to do to succeed in the position, if hired.

You can also request other benefits, such as additional vacation time or the ability to work from home, if you’re unable to negotiate the salary you really want. Sometimes companies don’t have the budget to give you more money, but if they really want you onboard, they’ll throw in enticing extras to get you to accept the job.

Don’t trust your career with just any recruiter. Contact Longview Search Alliance, a top recruiter in San Diego, if you’re one of the best in your given profession. Our team is here to help you find accounting, finance, sales and related opportunities with leading companies in Southern California and nationally.

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