*Advice on negotiating base salary at current role to meet market value* (post salary transparency law passed)

Hi everyone! I would love to know if anyone has experienced the same situation that I'm in. I am realizing that my starting base salary at my latest job is much less than what the actual market value is post salary transparencies law being passed.

I have been at my current job since June 2022, before salary transparency ranges came out in California where I reside. I made the mistake of throwing out a range in my interview process (I know I know, in hindsight I am kicking myself for doing that). At the time, all I had to reference were salary calculators online that I don't think were very accurate. The range that I threw out to the hiring manager was based off ranges I was seeing on these calculator websites, so I really had no other insight to what was a fair market value with my experience. Now that salary ranges are posted for roles, I am realizing that I am significantly underpaid by at least $15k-$20k.

As a senior UX Designer, the next promotion would be a manager role, which I personally do not want. I enjoy being an individual contributor, and want to be able to maintain my daily creative tasks. With that being said, I am anticipating my company not giving me a signifcant raise in order to meet market values without a significant title change.

Is anyone in this situation? If so, how did you handle it during your yearly review? Other than salary, I really love my company, my coworkers, the mission, and my work life balance. I don't think I need to negotiate for things such as more vacation time since we already have very flexible PTO. Would love advice on how to approach this.

Thank you for reading!

Great to hear that it sounds like you're happy at where you are on all fronts other than comp!Have you had a frank conversation about your currently salary as it relates to market? The way that I would approach it is:- gather ranges shared out by companies in similar size and stages as yours, for UX design roles with similar years of experience- if your company is sharing out roles LIKE yours and posted the range, definitely use it as part of your research- assert the fact that you've noticed your salary is below market, how much you enjoy your work and the company, and want to understand what they can do to close the gap- share the above soon before the next review so you can give them ample of time to prepare. Ideally they don't take until the next review to make any adjustmentsHope this helps!!
This was so helpful, thank you for the advice! Much appreciated :)
@Ruby199 - Thanks so much for sharing this experience. What you're going through is, I hope, exactly what those transparency laws were designed to address. A couple quick thoughts here, and I'd always be happy to connect in real time to discuss further.- As you work on building your case (and I think you should) combine the market data about your salary discrepancies with your specific job performance and background/expertise. You should ideally not only be able to say, "I should be within this range" but where you should be within the range when taking into account your personal performance vs. expectations combined with the background and expertise you're bringing to the table.- The 4 times you have the most negotiating leverage at a job (in descending order are): first time offer stage with a company, getting an offer from another company that you're willing to leave your current company for, negotiating pay for a backfill promotion, and performance reviews. It sounds like that last is most relevant to your current situation. This is where I'd suggest you want to be able to point directly to the KPIs, OKRs, and goals you were assigned during the last review and provide evidence on how you met (and ideally exceeded) those expectations. You'll then want to tie that level of performance back to market data for what you should be getting paid.- Increased salary is the ideal (and should be remedied in the long-term). That said, see if you're willing to explore other options in the nearer term like deferred compensation (your new pay rate is X, but you'll get paid X-10 until the next fiscal at which point they'll pay you the backpay for the time you were working at X-10 and then at your salary rate of X going forward), stock and stock options (especially since you've said you really love the company and want to stay), or possibly a bonus this year, and then a pay raise next year.- It can feel pessimistic, but very little gets employers motivated like keeping a great employee. If you don't see traction with the direct negotiation approach, you may get more out of bringing a competing offer to the table. Just be ready to take it if your current company says no.Looking forward to hearing how this goes as well as other folks' perspectives
Wow, thank you so incredibly much for the thoughtful response! This is some solid advice going into my review. I forgot to mention that I brought this up to my manager in last years review, so it's been on his radar that I am looking for a merit increase that is more in line with what my market value is. I think bringing all of this information to the table (along with Teresa's input above) will be super beneficial, and will hopefully get me to where I want to be. Thanks again and will update here!