Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.55 - How To Negotiate Your Salary

I've written previously on How To Get A Pay Rise, which was about what you have to do to earn one. Today's advice is about how you actually negotiate it.

Most of this I've culled from the 2008 Global Planning Survey, in which they did a clever thing - they asked bosses for tips on what works.

Here are the best 10:

1. Consider the total package. Think about where the job is going. The holiday allowance. The other benefits.

2. Get everything in writing.

3. Don't come off as entitled and push too hard for big salaries when you are junior.

4. For your first job, take what you can get.

5. Sadly, you have to jump around to make more money.

6. Women need to be stronger and firmer, and ask for what they want even if it feels uncomfortable.

7. Never tell your current salary. You deserve what your skills and talent pull in that market, not what looks better next to your old salary.

8. Negotiate hard. There are big disparities between people at the same level, simply because some played hardball when they got hired and some did not.

9. Don't keep going back and forth. The boss's second offer is his best offer. After that he just gets pissed off.

10. Never put out the first number.

Let me know if this sounds right, from negotiations you've been involved with.

Previous Tips:

How To Use Social Media; How To Get The Best Out Of Directors; Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; How To Choose Where To Work; Working Outside London; What Would John Webster Do?; What Would Paul & Nigel Do?; The Hidden Flaw; How To Write Copy; Be Funny All The Way Through; How To Do Virals; How To Get A Pay Rise; Be Wary Of Punding; Challenge The Brief; Tell The Truth; Playing To Lose; How To Write Headlines; How To Do Direct; How To Do Radio; How To Do Press; How To Do TV; How To Do Digital; How To Do Posters; Look At Weird Shit; Presenting To The Client; Presenting To The Team; Presenting To The Creative Director; How To Deal With Rejection; Look Creative; Don't Be Afraid To Ask; Your Idea Has To Be 120%; Read Iain's Tips; Don't Behave; How To Discuss Ideas; Read Hugh's Tips; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job; How To Turn A Placement Into A Job (Ed Morris view); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ; Make Friends With Traffic; Get Reference; Don't Stop Too Soon; Be Very; Breaking Up; Working Well With Your Partner; Finding The Right Partner; How To Approach Agencies; Never-Seen-Before Footage; Dicketts' Finger; Two Blokes In The Pub; Play Family Fortunes; Should You Take A Bad Job?; Don't Overpolish


Anonymous said...

sounds good to me.

moving is the best i've found.

move after two years. then again after 18 months. then again after four years.

after that, i don't know. but it's worked for me so far.

Anonymous said...

How much would you offer a junior creative team scamp, lets say they get out a few press ads and fit in well during their placement and may not be amazing but show great potential

Scamp said...

Well, I'm not an ECD - I don't hire.

Your best bet to discover that information would be to ask a team that just got hired. Ask a team who were in the year above you at college, say.

For what it’s worth, The Talent Business do an annual UK salary survey (for all disciplines).

The methodology is based on the CVs that they see; it shows quite a spread of salaries (and incidentally it covers the full package of pension and salary).

The figures for 2006 for ATL were:

ECD £250 – 500k
Creative Director £85 – 250k
Group Head - £75 – 150k
Senior Creative - £60 – 125k
Midweight - £30 - 75k
Junior - £18 – 30k

Anonymous said...

Never mind all that.
Scamp - following on from an older post about digital CD Jon Williams becoming atl ecd at Grey, check out the Frijj ad on bestads.
Jon states that it isn't enough these days to 'just do an ad'. Let's hope the other stuff backing the campaign up is half decent (I'm guessing the on-line banners are shit hot).

Anonymous said...

Thanks Scamp.

Is the whole junior/middle weight/senior thing judged on time spent in advertising or the success you have say if I was a junior and won a grand prix and a few other awards would that make a midweight even though I have only been doing it for a year

Anonymous said...

For me it always comes down to a couple of simple questions...

Why do i want more money? because i need it or because i deserve it.

If you can answer honestly and you think you deserve it, then ask yourself how much extra you deserve (honestly) and then add another 30%.

Ask for that and if you do deserve it you'll probably get knocked down to somewhere near what you really wanted.

If you wait for them to say an amount they will almost certainly offer you less than you want, unless they have no clue about how much your already paid, then you might get lucky.

If they offer you less then your negotiating up which is a big hill... get yourself in a position where your negotiating down... the people paying then feel like they got a better deal.

Anonymous said...

anon 2.32
you miss the genuis. there's a website for user-generated content so it's really like Web 2.0 and now. can't you see the magic? you must be one of those atl dinosaurs.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand point 10.

how much should a team with two years experience be asking for as a rough guide?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:32
He's right an advert it's not enough and I think the campaign has an interesting format. You all would be wanking all over it if it was Fallon's.

The only think I find disturbing is the lyrics "the thicker it is, the slower it comes" sung by a little girl.

Scamp said...

this is us and anon 2.56 - the number of years you have been in the business is not the most important factor. Your salary will depend on what you've done, and what potential people see in you.

Point 10 (don't put out the first number) means that if they ask you "How much do you want?" you should reply "How much are you offering?"

Anonymous said...

Hi Scamp.

I've found that some CD's or HR people really get shitty if you don't tell them what you're on. Do you have any phrases to hand that can be tossed out there? I've tried, "I'd like to know what this (my) book is worth to you?" but it's bloody awkward.

Anonymous said...

How about the to-ing and fro-ing of playing a new offer against your current job?

You might not want to diddle the two bosses around, but what if you are genuinely torn? Anyone got any advice on that

Anonymous said...

Playing a big part in making money for the agency is a good way to get a raise. Win new business, awards, or create a campaign that raises sales. Then you have a reason to ask for a portion.

Anonymous said...

Two friends, both who are very good mid to senior creatives at great shops. One jumped and the other didn't. Salaries: 75k & 150k. Supposn' agencies want you to jump around.

Scamp said...

Good question.

Try stating in advance that you want to base it on what you're worth, not what your current agency is underpaying you.

However,if they do ask directly, I agree it's very hard to have the balls to withhold that information. And it's understandable that people might get shitty if they ask you a direct question, and you refuse to answer.

So a direct question does probably necessitate a direct answer. That's not to say it has to be an honest one.

Anonymous said...

Cheers scamp. A follow up...

So if you bullshit them and inflate your wage a bit, won't they just see your p45 when you arrive and hey presto you're rumbled?

Anonymous said...

Witholding salary on the grounds of your upbringing is probably the best way.

"I was always told never to divulge my vote or my wage, and with the greatest respect to you, I don't break that rule for anyone. I hope you understand."

Penny said...

Ooh. That's a good one. Hard to come back against that.

Anonymous said...

Being a planner this is the thing that usually causes problems. You're told you add value, and that your thinking is adding something unique and it's a great benefit to have you. Yet you get Account managers showing profit margins, creatives showing some mac visuals and walking out with pockets full of cash.

Personally I use negotiations abotu cash to do exactly that - talk about cash. That's what it's there for. It's good to be friends with management but when I'm talking money I'm talking money. Them being my friend doesn't pay my mortgage. Me getting a fair deal for me, and them saving money on advertising my job and training someone up is the balance.

The whole 'junior' 'midweight' and 'senior' thing is something I've always thought is different from person to person and place to place. Sure it's based on experience but it's also based on balls. I've been a planner a year but if anyone called me junior I'd plan them under the table because I've been at conferences and outplanned Planning Directors.

What would be a good discussion thought Scamp, is whether this whole model is applicable in the 21st Century anyway? It makes no sense to move if the work at current agency is challenging and good, so pay me what I'd get if I moved. This will save you time and effort replacing me. Speculate to accumulate?

Anonymous said...

also, those of you working for holding companies, pay no attention to those stupid performance reviews. they're meaningless excercises intended to excuse HQ-mandated pathetic pay raises.

i've found the only way up is to do something great and ask for a raise. and if it's not forthcoming, get the hell out. moving around is the only way to get substantial raises in this biz.

Scamp said...

anon 3.51 -

theoretically, yes

(although technically, your P45 just shows what you were paid in the last year, not your salary when you left... so it could have gone up dramatically in last couple of months).

in reality, no.

(you play the game, they know you're playing the game, you're both playing the game, it's just a game)

Anonymous said...

"...I'd plan them under the table because I've been at conferences and outplanned Planning Directors."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Mate, you could outcock a cockerel.

Anonymous said...

Are you a senior creative because you see yourself as one or as other people see you. If it's other people, do they tell you you are a senior creative or do you just guess?

Oh, my word verification is "seniorcreative" I'll take that as a sign that I am one.

Anonymous said...

I'd out-plan the minister of planning on national planning day...

Anonymous said...

What about when you're called a senior in every pitch to new clients, but a midweight when it comes to pay negotiations? :)

Anonymous said...

Never mind the fact that I've met Planning Directors who don't know what blogs are, what twitter is or what UGC is, it gets worse than that.

I've met Planning Directors who couldn't plan their way out of a paper bag.

Anonymous said...

i'd out-plan the Plantagenets

Anonymous said...

I could outplan a planet of plant planters

Anonymous said...

Well you're being silly. I'm going home and taking my TGI with me.

Anonymous said...

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

translation: if you want to be a senior creative just start thinking about yourself that way (and do some fucking good work).

As an ECD I'd say that I couldn't give a dribble of piss about the junior/senior middleweight bollocks. I just check out my budget and find the best I can for that price.

Then I get my secretary to give me a nice juicy blow-job.

(Memo to self: hire female secretary next time)

Anonymous said...

I could outplan the fucking king of planners even if he was in his most plannery mood, having just finished some planters peanuts, walked a plank and planned how to buy a plans chest.

(I am a steaming great cock).

Anonymous said...

If you get annual salary reviews, try aand get the money you're going to be worth in 12 months time. If you get what you're worth now, you'll be underpaid in a few months.

Anonymous said...

lol at the planning stuff.



fuck ali frazier...let's have a plan-off. i'd sacrifice my next two raises for that motherfucker.

Anonymous said...

float like a butterfly, sting like a planner

Anonymous said...

Float like a creative, sting like a planner.

Plan-ner, Bumaye!

Anonymous said...

I could out plan the plantagent planning director on planters peanuts planetary account, even though he had earned a degree in cunning from Ox...wait, wrong tv show.

Alan Wolk said...

Great advice overall.

Negotiating is the hardest thing to do on your own.

I know I relied on headhunters for the first half dozen jobs I had, and they did all the negotiating for me.

When I actually had to do it on my own, it felt like I was being rude asking for more money when these people were nice enough to offer me a better job than the one I currently had.

Got over that one in a hurry ;)

Only quibble I have is not divulging current salary in the face of a direct question.

As the guy on the other side of the table, I'd assume it was embarrassingly low and that was why you were reluctant to divulge it.

But the more creatives see a decent wage as a right rather than an indulgence, realize that their hard and good work is making a profit-- for someone else-- the better off we all are. (We, being the creative community, anyway.)

Anonymous said...

The old chestnut...CFO to agency CCO: "You see those people going down in the elevator right now? That's our entire business."

The creative work that an agency produces is it's lifeblood. It is the product. The creatives and everyone else can be see as the machines in the factory. Buy cheap machines, and they'll break and make shitty Yugos. Splurge on the expensive machines, and they'll churn out Ferraris.

Sure, it's a metaphor, but it puts the business in perspective. When you negotiate your salary, negotiate the product you are capable of making. They're either looking to splurge to produce the highest quality, or they're looking to just get by with shoddy product.

Anonymous said...

What if your were recently hired as a middleweight, but are introduced to clients as a senior copywriter?

Are the account guys/CD entitled to bullshit a little to make the client think they're getting the best service, or is this ammo to use in arguing for a raise?

Anonymous said...

"Are the account guys/CD entitled to bullshit?"

How long have you worked in advertising?

Anonymous said...

Has there been a 'How to get the best from headhunters' tip?

Scamp said...

No there hasn't. Great idea though - I'll get working on it.

Anonymous said...

I would love to know what the real salary ranges are for mid-to-top shops. I've been in this business 5 years and I still have no idea what CD or ECD typically earns. I've heard broad, base strokes and also wild numbers but I don't know who to believe.

Anonymous said...

i'd out plan captain planet.

* i can't believe nobody said that.

Anonymous said...

F**king hell. A CD from BBH thought I had a good idea. Normally leave that building crying.