Salary Negotiation Strategies for 2015

Guest Blog Post by
Diane Domeyer, Executive Director, The Creative Group

The start of another year is a great time to reflect and reevaluate. As you make resolutions about personal improvements, don’t forget about your career. If your compensation has been flat for a while, 2015 could be the year for a salary negotiation and raise. But you can’t just march into your boss’s office and ask for more money – not without some prep work first. Here are some tips.

If you say, “Show me the money,” your boss will reply, “Show me why.” Before a salary negotiation, you need to demonstrate that you deserve a raise.

Ask yourself these questions:

•  What new skills have I acquired in the past 12 months, and how have I applied them to my job?

•  When have I gone beyond my job description and/or done more than what was required?

•  Did I assume any new leadership responsibilities?

•  Have I made any proposals that were successfully implemented?

•  What kudos have I received from clients and colleagues?

•  Have I won any industry awards?

•  Did I play a part in bringing in new business or retaining a valuable client?

Make a list of specific accomplishments. The more details, facts and hard numbers you can present during a salary negotiation, the more likely you are to succeed. As you reflect on the past year, perhaps you’ll realize that you haven’t really gone above and beyond your job description. If that’s the case, resolve to make 2015 the year you step up your game. Churning out similar designs over and over again? Consciously expose yourself to fresher perspectives. Worried about not keeping up with new software and technology? Get schooled at a design conference or seminar. As you add skills, achievements and responsibilities, write them down on your list and have them ready when you ask for a raise later in the year.

You won’t know how much to ask for if you don’t know your own market value. The Creative Group 2015 Salary Guide can help. It features average starting salary ranges for more than 125 interactive, design and marketing positions.

For example, here’s a sampling of projected compensation data for some in-demand roles:

•  Graphic designer (3-5 years): $51,500 – $72,000
•  Mobile designer: $71,000 – $109,500
• Mobile developer: $89,000 – $130,000
• UX specialist: $82,500 – $124,250
• Web designer (5+ years): $80,000 – $112,500

Use our Salary Calculator to adjust these and other salaries for your city. If you’re on the lower range of the scale, make it a New Year goal to get that bump in pay you deserve. Even if you’re near the high end, a raise is not out of the question, especially if you’re doing more than what you were originally hired to do. Smart managers want to keep talented and productive employees happy and engaged – and providing competitive compensation is an important way to do that.


Once you’ve gathered information on your worth, schedule a meeting with your manager. When the time comes, let your boss know how much you enjoy being part of the team, give him or her a rundown of your recent accomplishments, and present your desired salary. Make this anchor number slightly higher so there’s room for negotiation. But don’t inflate it unrealistically, and don’t make it a round number. The more precise your initial offer, the more your supervisor will believe you know you’re worth.

Salary negotiation is part science and part art. Your target number is based on hard data, yet you need to have a feel for “squishier” factors, like how the company is faring financially and how valuable your skills are to your boss. But if you’re an accomplished worker who can make a strong case for a raise, the worst that could happen is that you get turned down – for now. And the best case scenario? Recognition and a higher salary in the new year.