by Robert Volker

All about the money

Are you earning equivalent to your potential?

All about the money
Are you earning equivalent to your potential?

It is always difficult to give your salary expectations to a potential employer. Ask for too much and you might not get the job; ask for too little and you may get the job, but you also could be waiting for a year for a chance to renegotiate. It is essential to know what a competitive salary is in your field and to know what a person with your qualification level could earn.


Going into salary negotiations without researching competitive salaries for your position, is like going into a battle without knowing what weapons the opposition has. It is not always possible to have a clear idea of what a competitive salary is because, more often than not, employees will come from different backgrounds with different work experience and qualifications. However, if the job specifications are clear, there are many online resources, such as PayScale or Salary Explorer, where you can find competitive salaries for your field and in your location.


Does your location influence your salary? Salary packages in Johannesburg are between 15–25% higher than those in Cape Town, in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations.

Large corporate companies in Cape Town offer comparable remuneration packages to those in Johannesburg. The disparity tends to be more visible in medium sized companies.

So be aware that if you are going into an interview in Cape Town, asking for what your friend earns in Johannesburg, you may leave disappointed.

What is your value?

When negotiating a salary, an employer may look at the potential employee’s qualifications. This will show, not only the employee’s subject knowledge, but also their dedication and perseverance.

It will always impress an employer if a candidate is motivated to expand their knowledge and abilities. There are many part-time online courses available, which will show any potential employer your determination to succeed and develop.

No matter what field of work you are in, whether it is marketing, copywriting or bookkeeping, there will always be areas for you to grow and develop your skills. An employee with an expansive skill-set has more opportunities to be valuable to a company and stands a better chance of getting a higher salary. Make an effort to increase your skill-set and make yourself more valuable.

With knowledge of your industry and relative salaries in your location, and armed with an impressive skill-set, be prepared with realistic expectations that will help you negotiate a great salary from your potential employer.


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This edition

Issue 58