What salary raise should I demand?

“I’m the first to admit this whole salary thing is getting out of control. In the final analysis, it’s still about the work. -Jim Carrey

salary growth in careerWhat is the salary raise that I should demand during salary negotiation? This is a question that every job seeker asks himself or herself at some point in life.  It is a very important question. Sometimes the biggest driver for change in job is salary (though very few people accepts it in front of the interviewer ). Regardless of what your drivers are for change in job, it is very important that you have clear idea of what you should be expecting in terms of salary.

Some people go for an interview with a vague number in mind; some people have a set number i.e. 30% growth from current salary, however very few people analyze this issue objectively. During the initial phase of your career it might not matter how you negotiate your salary or what kind of salary you demand. As you grow in career it becomes very important to understand your net worth, responsibilities and demands from your job and how it translate into compensation etc

I recently saw a survey on salary range for different profiles in IT companies. A developer with 3 years experience can get from 3 lakhs to 8 lakhs. That’s a huge gap, you may ask, why is there such a big difference?. Salary is not just a function of skills and experience. Industry demand and availability of required skills is a huge factor. For a long time PHP developers with 3 years experience were getting paid a lot less than Java developers with equal experience. PHP was not considered as enterprise technology and big software consultancy firms were not hiring PHP skills. Today, the equation has changed. There are many factors that determine what a company is willing to pay for a particular role. Some factors that do matter are education from premier institutes, past experience, skills etc..

Role of education – Companies lap up IITns. There are three aspects they don’t have to worry about a candidate from IIT i.e. Core intelligence, hard work and ability to adapt to new technology. These are very important factors, only thing that is left to evaluate after this is core values ( culture fit) and domain skills i.e. how much experience he / she has in a particular technology. People from premier academic background i.e. IIT, BITS Pilani, NITs will always be in higher end of the range. I think it is fair; people who make it to IITs were burning midnight oil when some of us were sleeping. After some time though this factor does not matter much, experience becomes more important.

Past experience – Regardless of education, where you have worked and what work you have done matters a lot. Lot of small companies put a premium on big name i.e. candidates from big company can end up demanding a higher than industry average salary. However, just having a BIG name like HCL, Infosys, Wipro on your resume is not enough… sometimes you end up doing a very mundane and routine job in large companies.

Moving from small company to big company – Candidates sometimes compromise on salary because they are moving into a large company.  However, you need to have confidence on your skills. Find out the payscale in the industry for your skill set and experience. Be true to yourself in terms of your expertise. If a particular technology or skills is in demand and you have been working on it for last 3 months, it doesn’t make you an expert in it. If you are knowledgeable about an technology that is in high demand and you are confident about your skills, don’t be afraid to demand even a bit more than industry average.

How to determine your worth in the job market?


During interview a candidate gets an idea that how much his current experience is relevant for the position that she is being interviewed for, amount of training that will be required for her. Research on job sites, speak to a recruiter (give us a call). They are the best source of information in terms of reality of job market.

One rule of thumb that is often used is ( number of experience * x ). X ranges from 1.5 lakhs to 2.5 lakhs based on the factors mentioned above.

Don’t be biased by what your friends are making. Understand your strengths, acknowledge the weakness in your experience and make an informed decision. Contact us if you think we can be of any help.

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