UX Nights

Level Up Your UX Career

Promotions, managing up, and getting paid

Video Transcript


Steven: Welcome. New faces. Returning faces. Welcome to our UX nights. So excited to have you. Everyone can see the screen. Okay. Yes. Yeah. Awesome. We were not listening to our Spotify playlist, but we also have one which you can add songs to, including any favorite renditions of Kidz Bop music that you just enjoy.

And for today’s schedule, we’re going to go over promotion, pay responsibilities, how to up-level your UX career. It’s a lot of stuff condensed into one session and feel free to stop me at any time. So ask any questions? Yeah, super excited. And then we’ll do a little hang out together as a group.

And then if you are in your, our Facebook group and our LinkedIn group, you’ll get access to the recording to also subscribe to our YouTube channel and you’ll get notified right away and we have content.


Steven: Awesome. And so for those of you who are new to our organizations, QTBIPOC Design where we empower LGBTQ+ QTBOPIC designers and designers to be with accessible free education, mentorship and networking opportunities. And so we’re doing a lot of stuff this year. We have a lot of stuff in store. The thing that I’m really excited about is a launch of our free UX course this summer and with that, we’re also doing a lot of collaborations with really amazing organizations. And so stay tuned for what’s to come. And with that just before we start everything just want to get a little bit of space to just what’s happening in the world. And for those of you don’t know, there’s just a lot of anti Asian events happening then I won’t go into too much detail, but just know that.

I see you. I hear you. And if you ever need a space to just talk it reviews and says whatever it is, just feel free to message. This is a space for us all and I put my foot down as no violence. No racism. So with that, let’s see how many people, so are here. Pretty good number. So why don’t we do this?

We have a quick introduction circle for everyone. I’m going to say stop sharing.

The basics of promotions

Steven: So let’s first start off, right? What is a promotion? We typically say it’s when I get more responsibility, right?

It’s when I get maybe more influence, I have more power to say something and people will listen. Maybe it’s the title change. Maybe it’s also getting people to manage. And then that’s when all these, everything that or everything. Or something that is on everyone’s mind when we talk about promotion, Hey, at the end of the day, it promotion is really the culmination of all of these things.

And sometimes we might say, Oh, like I really want paid, but sometimes we might actually want a combination of all these things. When everything works out really well for us, We are really happy, right? That means it’s hitting all these different angles within, the capacity that is given to us whenever we enter the role sometimes we get really frustrated when we’re hitting an end at a certain point, right? Whenever we’re in a career position, but sometimes we don’t look at other opportunities that might exist whenever we’re in the current position that we’re in. And then interesting is this moment where we actually surpassed what our role was expecting us to do.

That is usually when we become very frustrated. That’s the thing that access of that difference is usually when we become frustrated, upset, and just to sum it up, the moral of all of these is just take a look at, what do you want actually, in this specific position? And at the same time, what are other opportunities you can explore if a certain area is not working for you ultimately to optimize your time at wherever you are or whatever company.

And the question is really, instead of maybe not getting promoted, maybe ask yourself, where am I over-indexing on and what are opportunities that exist for me. But definitely we’re going to get into later on today in the presentation a little bit about how do I then push myself to Excel,

So a couple of unfortunate trues just to share with us all. I think the first one that we should all understand is nobody is promoted or getting a raise. For giving you a promotion, meaning your bosses or managers wherever they are. They’re not getting celebrated for promoting everyone below.

It actually cost them energy costs and money, budget, whatever it is to give you whatever difference in title, position, whatever it may be. Yeah. You have to be your own advocate. You have to be your own cheerleader. And also historically marginalized communities, the QTBIPOC community, LGBTQ plus community, and women are all historically undervalued across the board.

And so with the truth of really. Maybe even shooting further than what you’re looking for, because historically this has been the case, but along with it, a couple good truths that are for us not everyone is out to get you. It might just require a little bit more communication, a little bit more realignment, a little bit more education.

And ultimately it’s getting the people on the same page. Where you’re at. The second one managers typically don’t have enough time on their hands. I think the area that we can win at is when we make it easier for our managers, life becomes easier for us. And the last one, when we are happy, doing great work, and also the company is succeeding and the boss is getting praise for your work.

And, Very complex situation at the end of the day, when you can align many different things, we can find a win-win solution. And that’s the conversation that we’re going to have today is how did we get there? So as we break down, what does it look like to get a promotion, and any role in the future?

Three key parts of promotions

Steven: There’s three parts that we have to think about. The event, the receipt and assessment. So the event is the action that you’re doing, whatever you’re doing, whether it’s doing the designs and the presentation during the project. The part that I want to stress with this is to. Let’s take a step back as we take a look at these three things.

It’s also, don’t over index on one it’s how do you spread out and balance and also hit all these three equally strong, right? So for example, the event doing the actions, if all you do is just focus on doing, doing, doing, but you don’t have a receipt, meaning you’re not saving what’s happening. Bringing other people into your circle type serve from you’re doing saving praises, right?

Where assessment having a discussion check-ins what’s happening. And when you haven’t imbalanced, this is usually when we feel the pain of Oh, I feel undervalued and we can find alignment of these three things. Then we can start to really get praise or get the right recognition for what effort we’re putting into it.

And so the first one events. Again, to have all the things that you’re able to do is just to raise your hand, say, Hey, I have free time. I want to do more, open up the opportunity for you to do more. But at the same time as we go into receipt, how are you capturing? What are you doing? How are you circulating what you’re doing?

Think about who is in the room with you. Especially if you have a manager who is not in your day to day contact or your teams. You’re going to have to figure out how you’re going to share your work with them, and then you can use regular chickens at them to share your work. Ultimately, receipt is how do you capture what you’re doing?

Another good opportunity is if your company is doing company all hands, that’s a great opportunity for you to raise your hand and say, Hey, I’d love to share what my team is doing. Just to show you got there with the world an activity I like to do personally is senior praises. So whenever someone says anything great about you.

Just screenshot it and just leave it into notion, Evernote, whatever. And whenever it comes time for presentation or sorry, whenever it comes time to do your assessment three 60, whatever it is, you have all of it in one spot. It’s great for promotion. I think it’s also great for a little boost when you need it too.

It’s just one of those things that we oftentimes forget about, and we’ll just archive that Mel. But whenever you see those come in, just save it. And then assessment, this is how are you assessing what you’re doing against where you want to go or what your tasks to do. And so with this as regular check-ins with your manager And a big part of this is also stating and setting the goals that you want.

We’re also, we’re all usually stuck in the space of, Oh, I don’t want to rock the boat and I don’t want to share what I’m doing and when we can’t communicate what exactly we want, we get frustrated because that’s not our truth. And our managers don’t know exactly what’s happening. So if it is a promotion that we’re really seeking, pay, bump, whatever it is. Put that as a part of your assessment, but that was a part of your goal. No. And if you do put it there and then you get some pushback, I think that gives you a better understanding of the space that you’re in. Rather than not sharing that out loud and seeing the voices that can support you in getting there.

And then lastly, document, document documents3 Save share all this stuff, communications around the goals or tasks, track your progress. A regular habit that I like to do. And also share with people to do is after each meeting that you have with your manager too. And if they’re important, parts of captured that lines, milestones, whatever it is, just shoot an email and say, Hey, just wanted to recap just for me, just for me to recap, here’s some of the things we talked about.

And then when you do that, you’ve captured an email. You can refer to it in the future. Cool? Questions?

So this one is something to also think about. Let’s see, let me jump real quick to this one. So capacity is also other outside external forces that might affect the way that you get promotion. Clara screenshots, not so important, but how do you bring these up during, during something like a negotiation?

Yeah. Great question, Clara. I think it’s just about bringing up what I mean, there’s so many parts that it really, first of all, it depends on where you take a screenshot of, but I think. The thing that you want to capture are any times promises are made anytime someone’s yeah. Like in six months for sure, like we’re going to revisit your promotion or whatever, and definitely you can bring it up or you can share it.

Also. Whenever you recap your progress and you’re tracking towards it. You can also share Hey, remember, like we set this goal here look how far I’ve come. It’s just a reminder of, Hey, look at how much work I’m putting all these goals that separately. Yeah. Question is documented achievements expected by higher ups.

Like we can email instead of standard. So great question, Kate. I think ultimately it’s just, how do we make it easier for the manager, and the people who manage us. And I was going to explain this in another smile, but let’s just switch roles, right? Let’s put on our hat of us, mega creative, super boss, managing a team of 50 people.

You not only have to worry about the business, the department, all of these things. Now you’re managing the work of all the stuff, 50 people, not just the work, but also the career trajectory. And let’s imagine all the 50 people never told you what they wanted. They all just said I wish, my boss will just assume that I know what I want.

And when you multiply that by so many people, this is typically why there was a huge disconnect because the manager is so worried about the day to day that they don’t have time to worry about setting up all of these goals and stuff like that. And so the recommendation is just. Make it easy for people present stuff to managers as a, I would like this.

Yes or no. Can you help me with this? We’re not. And when you make it that easy, then it’s all about just helping or they’re just about, Hey here, I’ll just sign it for you essentially. Documentation I think is really, really great for them to be able to have proof that they can now bring into other spaces if they have to get budget or whatever it is.

Ultimately, I think the question I want to ask you don’t have to be so upfront with them. It’s just Hey, like what can I do to help? This promotion cycle, what are some of the things that will be really beneficial and sometimes with the call-outs or praises? That actually is what some companies look at.

Again, this is very different from company to company and I’m just giving pretty broad recommendations. I have never thought six weeks and see positive feedback. I can think of a lot of times where they have been really helpful. Yeah, exactly. Even as little as it may be. I think that’s great. Just to show, Hey, like these are all the things that’s happened.

Look at even just like positive feedback across different departments, when you have that, it shows that you’re collaborating, working really well. And you don’t have to verbalize that you have evidence. Awesome. Cool. And that’s good to capacity real quick. So these are ex just imagine like external forces that also impact your ability to get promotion paid, whatever it is that you were seeking.

Constraints & capacity

Steven: Again, budget there’s budget constraints based on company departments. And some of these constraints just, I think. Ultimately you are the one control of your own destiny, where you want to go. And it’s just really up to you to dig up all the different pieces of information, right? And to feel empowered that you have the control to figure out what you want to do.

And when we don’t have the piece of information, that’s when we feel very defeated, we don’t know what to do. We’re afraid to ask, but imagine that’s just, the more you can ask the questions, the more you can understand. You’re now in the driver’s seat to figure out what you want to do with your career. And again, like small companies, big companies through so many different forces at play that impact what you’re going to get. So budget is one thing how much money is allocated for the department, how much is free. But even as we look at the pandemic when that hit. Of course, people could have been lined up for promotions or whatever, but at the company now is suffering and they can’t even, they can barely keep people on staff.

You have that constraint now playing against you. Company, team structure, this is a really good one to also understand. Imagine you enter a team, right? And your team is comprised of, really small, three designers. Of course, everyone wants to, keep going up and Getting seniority getting higher management capabilities.

But at the end of the day, there needs to be a setup where you have some people to work, right? Some people managing the team. And this is something that we don’t usually think about is just what is a team structure that’s already set in place. And I think two parts, one is really good to understand how you fit in and also your role or whatever you want to do fits into that structure.

So that you can better assess and better place yourself. If there’s an area that’s missing and lacking. Great. Obviously if they’re senior talent that just left go for it. That is a great opportunity. But if your team is very top heavy, that’s usually where you’re going to see a lot of resistance because, they are struggling to find people who will be below them, that they manage.

So it’s just one of those unfortunate circumstances where you just have to assess Hey, what’s up, what’s happening. What do I want to do in this situation? And then lastly, the thing that I hate. It’s like the elephant in the room. It’s just like willingness. Really ultimately, depending on the managers that we have, some are right, more shy, less extroverted, some are more pushy, whatever it is that may impact the way we are framed and put up for promotions. And so in that instance, again, it’s all about communication. It’s all about how do we work together to get to the end goal together. And I have this rule of thumb where if you’re ever frustrated, or if you’re ever angry, upset about whatever’s happening, it could stem from a lack of communication and to the degree of how far you’re apart from each other is the degree of how much, or is how much you’re frustrated or angry. If you’re just a little bit in disagreement, it’s a little bit of frustration, but when you’re on two different islands, that gap is so big. And that is the degree of frustration and anger. And when you can combine all this together effort, how much energy you put in to things multiply that times the capacity, the ability for growth that is where you can go. But if you look at capacity and the capacity doesn’t exist, if you put in, 500% effort, then you’re going to see only just five, 500% output. Also at the same time, if you don’t put anything out for it, but there’s a lot of capacity you’re still going to get the same outcome yeah. Real quick. Okay. Just like title break down again.

UX Titles

Steven: Many different titles across the landscape. There’s many different ways to break out all these different titles and positions. But generally how I like to picture who’s who , typically if it’s a junior designer, junior designer is someone out of school, but someone who needs a little bit more hands on training it needs more education.

If you go into an associate work, usually associate are the ones with just no, acronym or whatever, to a set designer, UX designer those titles, those positions usually need a little oversight still, but starting to become a little bit more independent. When you become a senior designer, the expectation here is usually: hey, you can run projects all alone.

I give you a task. Like you can run it from start to finish. And when you go into middle management, this is where you’re starting to think a little bit more holistically. You’re starting to think about the budget. You’re starting to think about teams. You’re managing from start to finish. When you get into director VP level, this is when it is your responsibility to just manage a gigantic budget.

And also you now manage departments. And then when you become a C-suite level, this is when your focus is on the company. Now, when you’re on the board, this is typically where you’re an advisor. And so I think this is just the very high level. Again, it’s very different for each company, but whenever you talk to people and get advice, too, I think it’s great to understand what are people’s goals, what are they trying to accomplish and how can you help them accomplish what they’re trying to do? And whenever you can fit and slot yourself in to be as convenient as possible, that’s when you get the win-win. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. Feel free to share any questions too.

Managing up

Steven: Managing up. So this is the practice of managing your manager and oftentimes, remember we did that scenario where we put on the hat and just imagine now your big boss design leader. And you’re managing 50 people. Just imagine like the headache of you having to set up, check-ins doing all this for 50 people, right?

So this is an opportunity where. You’re able to now help facilitate some of the communication with your manager. And so the first and foremost thing is to be the one in charge of taking care of the communication. Whether it’s a biweekly meeting that you have set up, this is what I usually recommend is every two weeks, just a quick, 30 minute check-in where you set up.

And typically what I’d like to do is if you can’t. Yeah. Awesome. And if you can’t set it up, What I like to pick is frequency over duration. Meaning you want to have little check-ins as frequent as possible rather than longer check-ins as like you batch it all together. It’s really easy for a manager to sit down with you, like once a quarter for two hours.

But that is going to be less effective than if you spread out 15, 30 minute check-ins over a month. Why because that allows them to see your growth over the span of XYZ months. And that’s the key as you want to bring people along with you on your journey so that they can become stronger advocates for you.

They have a better picture of who you are and what you’re doing. And so up to you to set up these meetings. And my recommendation is 30 minutes. Every two weeks. Start from there. If it doesn’t work, maybe push it to 15 minutes every two weeks, but frequency is where you’re going to win. Making things easier.

Again, this is where if it’s promotion, if it’s getting onto another project, like whatever it is, and also if you’re asking for approval versus open questions is present what you want to do, what you want to get to your manager, whoever is in charge and ask him, Hey, can I get your permission to do this?

And when you make it that easy and it’s just a yes or no, then you’re going to see doors open, left, and right for you. But when we come with Hey, like what do you think I should do? Remember what’s put on our big boss manager hat, you have 50 people asking you, Hey, what do you think is the best thing we should do?

That’s when you get, you’re, even though you try your best, you’re like, ah, like just, just try that, and especially when you’re on bigger, bigger teams and you’re like, Oh, the manager doesn’t do anything to me, everyone just trying to live their best life, and everyone has the day-to-day task and not everyone’s perfect, I’m not perfect, many people aren’t perfect.

And whenever we come from a place of, Oh Does that mean all that, like at the end of the day, the option is right. Is this opportunity to buy from me? Do I want this to continue? Or is this something that’s better? But if I still want to be here, let’s make the most of it. Let’s get what I want out of it: training leveling up, whatever it is. And again, as we talked about, just some things that impact a manager and their ability – they’re human. And they’re limited by the previous experience that shapes how they think about their team members. So if they’ve had, let’s say a lot of people who’ve been really proactive, right?

Who are like, can I do this? Can I do this? Can I do this? And then you joined the team. They’re going to put the same expectation on you and it’s not in fault due to them, but it’s just, that’s what they’ve been trained, or if that’s all they know, can you fault someone for not knowing something if they haven’t experienced at all?

Also if they have a lot of team members who are just really lazy and they’re just like coasting people, people would just want a job and just get in and out. I think they might not be as pushy on you because that’s what your team members don’t want to be pushed. So in this instance, again, communication, communication, communication . Time, big, big issue, especially if you have managers from much higher up ,this is where you’re going to run into difficulties with, getting time on calendar, whatnot, but again, make things really easy for them, understand the time limitations and slot yourself there.

Three of the systems. So again, these are the constraints that exist. Sometimes it isn’t our managers who are in positions to make the decisions of who gets promoted to, and so understanding and asking questions to better understand the system will also help you understand what What role you play in the operation.

And then lastly, legal bias. We live in a world where everyone is human, unfortunately, who is impacted due to their limited education experience, whatever it is. And instead of kinds of table with defeat, I think. We can also flip the table and think of as opportunity to feel empowered that this is your moment to celebrate your story.

And how do you bring people along with your own adventure? Yeah. Cool.


Steven: So now we’re going to get into feedback. So we have these check-ins right with our managers and when the feedback and I’m like, ah, yeah, like what do I do in these sessions? I was reading a book. I forget what it’s called. I should remember this.

I remember this in a sec. But it basically talked about feedback being three different parts and why our sessions or feedback sessions with one another fail quite miserably is because the exact feedback of what we want doesn’t align with what. What looking for. And so feedback is broken up into three different types, evaluation, affirmation, and coaching.

One looks at the past one looks at the present. One looks at the future. And at any given moment, we might actually be thinking and looking at one of them, but our manager is telling us. One other thing. So if we’re just looking for affirmation, like we just want to be told we’re doing a good job, but then all they’re giving us coaching.

Hey, I need you to try this or try this to try this. Of course you’re going to be upset, and so just understand these different types of feedback allows you to come into the situation and say, Hey, if it’s the valuation you’re seeking, you can say, Hey, I just want to know.

How am I doing okay. And asking him presenting question that enables your manager to understand what exactly you’re looking for. These specific terms might not exactly ring because this is not common workplace speak, but just understanding evaluation is more so awesome. Thanks fire. Evaluation is more so assessing.

Where you’re at, how are you doing right? Is this good or is it bad? Evaluation is more so understanding. What are some of the I don’t want to say punishments or just, what are some of the consequences, but not doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Affirmation is just, I just needed encouragement.

I need boost. I need to know I’m doing okay. But at the same time, I just want to, feel better. And also coaching coaching is I need recommendations of what I can do in the future. And so some questions to ask when we sit down and have meetings, instead of asking, Hey, I want your feedback on me.

We do that so much and people are okay, let me go through the like all the things in our head, let’s try to change it to what is one thing. I can improve on what is one thing that’s standing in my way of success. What is one thing that I can do to make the biggest impact on you? And when you’re more specific like this, it takes in consideration limitation of people’s time, but at the same time, they’re going to pick the most important thing that they see for you based on these different lenses.

Yeah. Simple. And all this will be in video too. And then I’ll export this as a PDF too so, but feel free to just take notes at the same time. But before I go into the pay and that’s like the second section, any other questions, I’m just like promotion feedback managing it. Yeah. Awesome. That’s helpful.

I know this took me like so long to learn. I’m I wish one time, like someone just sat me down or just read me all of these things. Yeah. It’s, we’re never taught these things, we’re just taught just do your best, but it’s like there’s strategies to communicate better with one another.

Yeah, totally. Awesome. Awesome. Any other questions? Yeah. Did that exercise where it’s you imagine yourself to be like the mega boss, with 50 employees make you understand a little bit of the context you’re working in. It’s this is a situation or bosses or you should again, and especially when you have higher and higher level bosses, like literally it’s like hundreds of people.

And when we can be more specific with our asks, that’s when they lean more into, because they’re like, Oh yeah, Steven, you totally got it. Yeah, of course go do that. I just did my six month review at a job. And do you follow us? These questions are really great. Awesome.

Awesome. Yup. Now I want it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Increased empathy for our managers. Yes. Yeah, no, that’s helping them. It’s helping them to help you. Ultimately. Awesome. Yep. Cool. This is great. I want us all to win. Give her emotion, give him money. That’s what we want.

UX pay

Steven: Awesome. Okay. So going to pay for a little bit this section is pretty short but basically again, do some research you’re somewhat. Yeah. I know. Give us cash now it’s $600. Kidding me. So many websites, right? In a nutshell, just check it out. These are some places that I recommend to check out, but again, like all these numbers are all over the place, but I’m going to give you some tips to better understand.

When you’re in a situation, what are some things to look for?

Full-time compensation

Steven: So when you’re in a full-time position, as we break out all the different monetary compensations in any company can be really different, right? Depending on the makeup of it. But typically you have the base salary, right? This is the numbers that you see reported across all of it.

Sometimes they report total comp, but again, it’s like. People don’t report total comp because they don’t really know it. So assume that most of it is just based. Yeah. Bonus. This is based on the performance again, this is really dependent on also when you do a sign-on bonuses, depending on the company structure.

My recommendation is when you interview. Put this in the contract, ask for it, sign on bonus, just ask, Hey, I really love you all. And I’m leaving this position and I just want to, ask, is there a room opportunity for a sign-on bonus? Also a performance-based bonus. Hey, I want to do an awesome job and I know you want me to do an awesome job.

Are there ways that you can incentivize them to do so with a performance bonus? Asking these questions, I think just gets to the point. And again, did you see how I ask the question? It’s like a yes or no question, right? It’s not. Hey, what about. Sign-on bonus. Just put it out there, and it’s a yes or no.

And then you already got your answer, right? Stocks equity, again, this is based on with company. If it’s public or not private you’ll typically see companies that are public that provide equity, such stocks to get a lot bigger salaries. And so typically, we’ll have Google, Facebook, capitalism.

There’ll be able to give you a lot more money because they have that. But also think about there’s a lot of fine print with that. With what you hear is a vesting schedule. So typically you wouldn’t get stock equity. They don’t want to just give it to you outright. So what they’ll say is investing meaning in X number of years, you’re going to be able to get all of this bonus.

They want to give to you. And usually it’s set up on a schedule where after one year you get X number of that bonus two years, you get X number of that bonus. And typically it’s around four year Mark, you get the rest of the bonus. And so that’s something to think about when you’re applying and interviewing for jobs and they give you that big in equity or whatever, and they talk about the vest.

Ask them these questions. What is your vesting schedule or full vest look like? So that you can understand how many years you actually have to be at that company to get what they’re promising you. Yeah. And also with sign on bonuses, there’s is just stipulations about, you have to stick around for a whole year now.

So ask all these questions, especially with bonuses, like exactly what do I have to do to get it? And then lastly commissions is usually for, if you go higher in seniority, when you’re actually bringing in business contracts, you do it based on the commission schedule. So if I bring in new business to an agency, I’ll typically, get 1%, 2% of the total revenue of that business contract.

You typically will see it through referral, like referral commission bonuses. If you bring in more talent there’s a story one time that when I took like product management courses somebody in the class had made an extra like $50,000 a year where cam visa with commissions, if referral bonuses. And so they just literally acted like a recruiter posting all the position on LinkedIn and then everyone registered through them. And whenever people got a job, they just got the extra bonus. And so it’s like interesting. Yeah. But again, it could play a double-edged sword. If you bring in like low level of talent, at one point, they’ll be like, Hey, Steve, it’s your people are they that good? But if you had a bigger company, I don’t think it matters as much as just throw your name on it. Just bring in everyone, what kind of hurt? Again, big takeaway. Don’t take a promotion without pay increase. You’re entitled to it. If they’re asking you to do more responsibilities again, if I was to set up a company to be sound.

Every role has different responsibility in different pay. A salary bands is what they call the spectrum of your salary. I’m expecting you to be in different roles and responsibilities have different. Yeah. And that’s a really good. Thing to point out is when you’re talking to HR about salaries and how much you’re making, ask them, Hey, where do I sit in the salary band for my position?

Where do I sit in the spectrum? Am I on the high end, low end? Can you give me the numbers of what I should be looking at? And that should give you an indication of, What, you know what you’re working with again, what are your constraints within the system question? I think co-workers get a sheet of paper called into the meeting and then it’s really about the commission on them.

How do you negotiate from there? Yeah, great point. When it comes to like salary number, everything, I always like to ask them for their money first, before I give mine. And so if they ever ask Hey, like how much do you make? I’m like I’m just curious. What budget are you working with? I just really want to understand, you guys a lot better, you all better.

And then it gives you more room leverage to negotiate. And if they do give you the number again, shoot for what you want, but boost it again a little bit more. Because y’all are minorities. You’re all marginalized. People give yourself a 20% boost and Steven gets like 2% commission. I’m just kidding.

No, just give yourself like that number. And then what I’m going to say is instead, so this, they don’t tell you, but you don’t have to disclose how much you’re currently making. Yeah. This is like the thing that people don’t really talk about. They don’t want you to know And it’s actually very different per state, but if you’re in California yeah, I know.

If you’re in California, they actually prohibited ask you about your salary. So next time, instead of them saying, Hey, how much do you make at this position? Just play a power move and just say. I’m looking for this. It’s like you’re answering their questions, but you’re not telling them what you’re making.

Don’t feel like you’re ever in a position where you have to reveal that information by law. You don’t, they’re not allowed to get that. Again, it’s different from state to state. Definitely check that out. But back to the negotiation again, this is where you present, instead of saying, this is how much I made.

Just say, this is what I’m looking for, and shoot a little bit higher. They’re usually going to need in the middle. Always, always And again, if you want to use the other compensation items to negotiate, use it, like all this is within your wheel house, just understand that base salary is something that’s reoccurring that you’re going to get.

No matter what of your performance, as long as you’re preferred. Like working, you’re going to get it. So they’re going to be more wary of putting stuff into your base salary. They’re going to put more into like your bonuses because that’s either a one-time thing or it’s not guaranteed, they’ll say it’s based on the company structure, but if you feel a lot of pushback, this is like my recommendations, like start from like base.

If you can’t get based, then go for these other bonuses, get your money.

Any more questions about money? I have a question. Yeah, go for it. Coming from the perspective of someone who starts as like a contractor. And it’s like a, it’s more like a temp to hire situation. So in the past, I’ve been at a position where I had like a six month period where I was a contractor with a certain staffing agency and then get switched over to full-time.

So I didn’t actually get a pay increase, and I was disappointed by that. But. I guess my question is, should you expect to get a little more from the actual parent company versus the contracting agency? Because I know that they also pay that agency to pay us. So that’s the question I have. Yeah.

Again, the ugly truth we go back to, right? Nobody is promoted. For you to get more money, nobody is celebrated for you to get more money. When you’re going through a recruiting agency, the catch 22 is they make money off of you, but only if you get the position. So sometimes what they’ll do is they’ll put you a little bit lower so that you don’t fall out of a window too.

It’s a game for them. If they push too hard and they lose the opportunity, they get nothing. All right. So they’re trying to negotiate that winner themselves. And so this is where I recommend again, be your biggest advocate if that’s what you’re doing. And over the span of, X months do you perform, Exceeds expectation.

Again, this is where the check-ins is super helpful. You need to understand where you stand at your work that you’re doing, and then we can track and get you’re doing great. He can just reply, right? Oh, thank you. Really appreciate you, man. Shane, I’m doing really right now.

And then the future, you’re like, here’s the email in the meeting. We went over and you said I was doing really well. Five consecutive times. So that’s a great way to track all these performances. And yeah, definitely. You want to push a little bit, but again, don’t push too much. It’s again, like figure out how you can ask these questions to better understand the constraints that we’re working with.

Yeah. Does that help? Yeah. Okay, thank you. Yeah. And again, what’s what, what’s the worst that could happen, right? Like when you asked for more, the worst is no. If you don’t ask, it’s always going to be a no, for sure. Don’t do their job for them. How do you manage the fear of, Oh, Clarissa? I always say I make X now 15 to 20% more.

When you say, you know what? Yeah, I’m all for it. Nobody just tell them exactly. You miss a hundred percent of the shit. Yeah. I’m all for a fight. The DEI tax DNI tax. Yeah, exactly. How do you manage if you’re losing opportunity to, into high? Has that happened to anyone? Yeah, so actually that brings me to freelance watch outs.

Freelance compensation

Steven: Let me actually do this real quick. Let me get to that question. So freelance compensation, the typical rule of thumb is if you work annual. A salary, you work about 2000 hours. So the mathematical composition is you just take an annual rate and then you divide it by 2000. Easy. You just divide it by two, and then you cut a couple zero staff, right?

So if you’re making a hundred K it’s about $50 an hour rough estimate, because there’s 52 weeks in a year. And you take two weeks vacation, 50 times, 42,000. Give or take but sometimes people boost up the number a little bit more so that you cover insurance equipment, et cetera. But now I’m going to get to some of the friends watch outs is this, I think this is more like the freelancers you’ll typically see where if you push too hard, people are just going to be like, I don’t want to use you in a salary position.

It’s hard because. Here’s another tidbit is if you already have an offer, like they’re already pretty invested in you. They’re like, yes, play with play with the numbers, go for it, that’s why it was so much work to get there. But once you get the letter, like literally it’s coasting from their own, like the number is like the last thing they’re thinking about.

They want the work And again, in that situation, if you’re in a salary position, you get an offer and you’re too high. They’re going to tell you, but definitely be like, do your research. Okay. Your region, how much money people. But sometimes if it’s a little too high, if I’m in the hiring position, then I’ll go.

I don’t think you really did your research. You’re just like pulling it back. With the freelance watch out with the rates is. Again, like if your rate is a little too crazy for what you’re offering, then you’re going to see people just walk away and usually freelancers see this happen quite often. Again, it’s just understanding what the market is asking for.

And then are you with your numbers to understand yeah. It’s again, I just go back to the more you can just put it up there. And just see how people respond. The more you learn over time. No real answer. Sorry. Hopefully that helped Karen. Do you get more for lack of health benefits?

yeah, exactly. Yeah. So freelancer is usually a little bit more because you pay for your health insurance. Like I paid $680 a month for house insurance is absolutely horrendous. This country’s health insurance is absolute terrible free healthcare. Yeah. It’s yeah, I know. Yeah. Yeah. I know too close to the left.

I’m just catching up on all this. I was also wait. So once you get the offer, how high do you think you can go again? It’s based on your homework. Some companies will just give you what you’re asking for, which is great. I’ve had that happen to me in a couple of instances. I’m like, okay, great. Again, like if they’re listening to you and if they’re giving you what you want.

I w I wouldn’t play them too much because imagine if you were in their position, even Steven Steven’s Hey, I want to make $5. I’m like, here’s $5. And see if it’s no, I want seven. I’m like, Oh, like

shady. Yeah. So see how they respond. If you throw out the number after you did some conversation and they respond though, then just be like, I’m from right. Yeah.

Yeah, again, it’s just based on the scenario. I wish I give you a better answer, but it’s one of those instances where you just see how they respond to you initially. And then you, you can only push so much until person’s like this person. I don’t want to do business with. You don’t want to get to that point.

Yeah. That’s. What about someone not to give the first time I moved for X amount to respond to Sam, looking for a fair and comparable compensation and skills. Yep. Great response care. You know what I say? I just say the one word negotiable move on rate is negotiable. Yeah. That’s worked for me to get out of those situations really quickly.

And then I just talk about the one versus later. Yeah. Do you agree? You should give him a number. Yeah. It’s also know who you talking to number with. It’s usually an HR conversation. You don’t need to tell everyone your number. And if some people ask, like they’re being a little nosy, more so than they need to.

And so if it’s in the first part of the interview, it’s you could just give me a couple shovel. Totally. We can talk about it and get to that point. Because sometimes all that stuff, and the last slide as we end our presentation for today feels a little bit entertaining. Don’t forget when you ask for promotion and what you want to do in their career. So many areas to explore, right? And see, first of all where you can push what you can get. And if you’re hitting a wall there and see other opportunities within the place that you’re at, or the jobs that you have to get the most out of what you do right at the end of the day, there’s opportunities all around us.

It’s up to us especially as creatives to also be creative with our career as well. Yeah. Thanks for coming to my Ted talk. Let’s see. I think that was it. I take a couple more questions.

I’ll cut off the recording now, but for any of you watching on a recording, hope that was super helpful. Get your coin. Yeah. Awesome.


Transcription by Descript

Learn about ways to uplevel your design career, in your current role. In this session, you will learn:

  • Tips and strategies to get yourself promoted
  • How to manage up and set expectations with people in higher titles
  • Insights to empower the next time you are having the conversation around financial compensation and promotion
Sign Up

Event Extras

Recent UX Nights