@canthugallcats: I’m an HR bee, I can help!
First, you need to adjust your mindset. Do you know one of the primary reasons that women get paid less than men? Because the exact mindset that you’ve laid out is typical among women. We are too worried about looking greedy or being seen as a pain. You need to focus on what you do right (increased responsibility, talent, etc) and advocate for yourself.
One thing to keep in mind: what’s the worst that can happen? They’ve already offered you the job, so it’s not like they are going to fire you if you express your desire for more money. Worse case scenario, they’ll keep you at your current rate but have it in mind that they need to take care of you soon/next raise cycle or risk losing you.
Here are a few ideas about figuring out your desired wage:
– Use websites like http://www.payscale.com/ to research the going rate for your job. Unfortuantely, these sites don’t necessarily have the most reliable data and if your employer buys salary surveys they’ll have better data than this available, but it’s worth looking at.
– Ask your employer what the wage range is for your job. They may or may not be willing to share this info, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
– Ask yourself what you need. A lot of factors play into compensation including what you’re willing to work for. Maybe you need to have a wage that’s at least half way between your current rate at job 1 and your current rate at job 2. That’s for you to figure out.
Here are a few idea about approaching the actual conversation:
– If you can, try to see if they have a new wage in mind before you state your desired wage. Try something like, “I’m really excited to the move to full-time. Can you tell me what you have in mind for changes to my compensation and benefits with this move?” It’s better for you if they show their hand first so that you don’t accidently ask for less than they planned to offer.
– Know your goal compensation (what you’d realisitcally like to be earning) and your minimum compensation (what you aren’t willing to go below) before you walk into the room. This will help you feel strong in the conversation, know what to ask for (your goal) and what to not accept less than (your minimum).
– If they make you an offer and you want more, say something like this, “I appreciate the offer that you’ve prepared. I have been doing some thinking and research and I think that I’m worth [Goal Wage] my increases in skills and responsibilities and what I understand about the going rate for the position. Is there any flexibility in the rate?”
– Ask to take the offer home and talk it over with your SO. It’s ok if you want to accept it as is, but it doesn’t hurt to take a night to sleep on it.
– Always be respectful and positive within the conversation. Keep it positive by pointing out the great assets you bring to the company. Steer out of negative territory by avoiding things like dissing your co-workers (“I’m so much better than Janet!”) or the company. Regardless of the offer they make, make sure to be appreciative of the opportunity to move to full-time.
– Be open to creative options. Compensation is more than just your base wage. Depending on the job, there could be variations in benefits, paid time off, bonus or commission compensation, overtime eligibilty, etc. Depending on the job, you could even talk to your boss about things like support for professional development activities. You’ll have to use your judgement to see if these items are appropriate for you/your job/your company.
– Work is about more than money and sometimes the wage/budget is not flexible. If this job is an early step in a career that your purusing with much higher long term earning potential, remember that what you earn today is a lot less important than your learning, protfolio building, and networking opportunities which will determine what you earn years down the road. Don’t get sucked into the trap of taking the job that earns the most today and shoot yourself at the expense of your long term goals. If they can’t get you what you want now, have a discussion about what you need to do and a realistic timeframe for getting there. Decide if it’s worth it.
As a caveat, I’ll also say that you don’t really want to be overpaid (it’s bad for your job security – hello easy layoff target – so it matters if it’s a job that you love), but it doesn’t sound like that’s a problem for you.