I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right place, so MODs, please move this if necessary.
I've found myself in a rather unique situation, and I was wondering if anyone could give me some input from their own experiences.
In 2004 I worked for a very well-known company as an intern doing web design, graphic design, content production, etc.-- essentially running their website and creating all the content for it as well. This was while I was going to school for journalism, and although things in the journalism field never worked out for me I continued to pick up web skills on my own as I designed and implemented new websites for various clients over the years.
Fast forward to 2009. Freelancing didn't work out as a career for me, nor did journalism. I decided to hook up with a company my father worked for (a major US fashion retailer who shall remain nameless) to make ends meet. My first job there was working on the phones as a call center associate. Over time, I was promoted from the entry-level position to a senior, then a lead, then a trainer.
A couple of months ago, a position opened up for what's called a "Learning Design Administrator." The job essentially entails, among other things, maintaining the company's online internal procedural manuals (terrible design that was done on a shoestring budget using Frontpage and nothing else back in the late 90's).
When, I realized how outdated and under-powered these procedural manuals were. Shortly after I started working for the company, I began working on my own solution to a lot of the issues presented by the site. About two and a half years ago, I presented the idea to my supervisor. She loved it, and my team at work started to use a version of it before IT shut us down because we didn't have their input.
The idea would have died there, had I just let it go. I didn't. I continued to use the solution I had created for my own purposes (one of the reasons why I was constantly promoted was my efficiency).
I became very much an expert in our systems, and one day about a year and a half ago, out of the blue, our VP sat with me to learn our fraud prevention system in preparation for a meeting with our vendors. I showed her the solution that I had created and she was shocked.
"Why aren't we doing this?" she asked.
I told her about what happened when I tried to present the idea. She understood, but from then on she's always seen me as something of a genius and calls on me for tech-based ideas to problem solve current issues.
Fast forward again to today. When I was promoted to Learning Design Administrator, I was finally in a position where I worked with technology and once again able to pitch the idea, this time with some credibility and the ear of the right people in the company to get the attention I needed.
My boss got the go-ahead from her VP to write a business case justify funding for the project. What's more, they want me to build and maintain this project for use within my division, with possible expansion to the entire company down the road (I work in a support division encompassing about 1,200 employees). I may be able to hire someone to work with me on the project, so I may have some managerial duties as well.
Essentially the project involves building a newer, updated version of our procedural manuals (currently on a very fragmented website with about 700 individual pages) with social media functionality and a web forum to boot. The great part of this all is that I will save the company literally millions of dollars in lost productivity and provide immeasurable improvements in issue tracking, training, team building and associate feedback. This will also pioneer the concept of social networking among employees working in our industry. It turns out that all those years of teaching myself coding are finally paying off, and they want me to lead the project.
In other words, it's going to be a huge win for our company, and I couldn't be more honored to be leading the way.
So here's the bad news: I have absolutely no idea what to ask for salary. None. Apart from my freelance work (which was never very steady and never for major websites) and my internship (which paid $1,000/month before taxes) I have never had a true, full-time job in this field. I'm not exactly sure what category this job would fall into, but my research says about $70,000/year seems to be a fair salary for the type of work I'd be doing.
My question, then, are these-- what would you consider a fair salary for this type of job? Has anyone else here been in a similar situation and can give me suggestions on salary negotiations? What types of jobs should I bring up as comparable to the work I'm doing to support my salary requests?