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Discerning Your Market Value

How should I determine my expected salary range?

Dramatic market fluctuations can rapidly expand and contract salary offerings. The doubts of the pandemic constricted payrolls and org charts, followed by a period of high-velocity hiring and exploding (and unsustainable) salaries. As economic downturns are compelling more companies to layoff talent, they may struggle to decide what kind of salary they can expect.

Finding Comps

Explore sites like or to find a baseline for expected salary ranges. Avoid Glassdoor, as numbers are self-reported and numbers can be skewed by lack of clarity around including or excluding bonuses. These sites offer averages and bell curves, so their comps may lag a bit behind other sources, showing market changes a few months after the impact.

Job Listings with Pay Transparency

Some states and cities require pay ranges to be listed on job ads. Track down some of these listings and find commensurate city size and industry to come up with your own estimations of pay range based on your targeted areas.

Some of these listings offer too wide of a range to help job seekers, so don’t expect this to be the final authority when shaping your salary expectations.

Ask Your Network

If you can uncover a few people recently hired into a similar role, they will most likely provide the most accurate read of the industry’s current salary offerings. Attending industry events, searching relevant titles on LinkedIn to start conversations, and watching hiring announcements can help you find solid sources of current salary intel.

Recruiter Conversations

You are absolutely encouraged to ask recruiters questions. Ask recruiters for the salary range of the role. Offer up a desired range based on your research and ask if they think the range sounds fair based on your level of expertise. Recruiters are accustomed to lobbying for talent internally and knowing the deal breakers. They can be tremendously helpful in decerning if your ask just won’t fly.

Land Multiple Offers

The absolute best method of finding out your current market value is to navigate an ambitious job search and land multiple offers, negotiating them against each other to find the ceiling. This requires well-branded career collateral (resume, LinkedIn, bios, etc.), an active network, and a willingness to self-advocate.

Timing is also a crucial component of this strategy, as offers coming in around the same time can boost demand and increase your ability to leverage them for a more favorable compensation package.

Job seekers don’t want to leave money on the table, but they also don’t want to lose leads or set themselves up for more career disruption in the near future.

You can safeguard the connections and relationships you’ve worked so hard to build while securing an appealing compensation package.

Job Seekers Don't Want to Leave Money on the Table


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