Optimise your chances of getting the best salary for you
We would all like to get a bigger salary. But, studies show that time and time again people simply accept the salary that they are offered do not negotiate with their employers to get a better deal. There are many reasons why this is the case. For example (and this is particularly the case with early career employees), sometimes the excitement of getting an interview overshadows the need for careful negotiations about salaries. In addition, many interview candidates (particularly in highly competitive fields) feel that they need to show their willingness to work no matter what the conditions and also that accepting a lower salary will make them a more attractive prospect in their prospective employers’ eyes. However, these ways of thinking can stop us from pocketing the salary that truly reflects our worth. So, below, you will find three handy tips for negotiating the salary that you want.
- When should I bring up the question of a salary?
Though the potential salary may be right at the forefront of your mind when you apply for a job, it is important to make a good first impression with your potential employer. That means not jumping right in to make salary negotiations, but instead using your first contact with them during the interview to demonstrate your strengths and skills. After all, once you have impressed the interviewers with your competencies and charm they will be much more likely to award you a higher salary in any case. So, remember: impress them first and then begin your negotiations. If you need help preparing for an interview, why not run through a list of interview tips?
- Ditch the embarrassment
Many people feel embarrassed talking about money, but when negotiating a salary you need to be cool straightforward. There is a careful balance to achieve here. On the one hand, you do not want to look greedy and ask for a huge salary that is well beyond the limits of what other employees are paid. On the other, you do not want to appear desperate and flustered and ready to accept whatever offer you are given even if it is unfair. Do a little research and see what similarly qualified people in your field are being paid and aim for that. Look at what other people in the company you want to work for are being paid as well, if you can. That way, you can state your salary expectations with a sense of confidence. Do not be afraid to state if, based on the research you have done, you are dissatisfied with the salary that you are offered initially. Think about it – the very worst thing that your employers can do is say ‘no’ to the salary you suggest before offering a different one.
- Use the space in the room as you negotiate
More specifically, as you are in the process of negotiating, leave the room after you make an offer. When negotiating a salary, it is best to initially state a sum that is much higher – perhaps even double – what you would actually be happy to settle for. State your sum and then leave the room. That way, your prospective employers can discuss the salary among themselves, and you can take a breather and collect your thoughts. Staying in the room can make it easier for the people you are negotiating with to influence you. Once you return to the room for the first time, you do not need to accept the new sum that is offered. Make a second demand that is higher than the new sum offered, leave the room again, and then if you are happy with the next sum that they offer you can accept that.
Negotiating the best salary for you does not mean that you are greedy or materialistic. In fact, being able to talk confidently and calmly about money at the correct stage of the interview process is something that can be very attractive to prospective employers. So, why not run through the list of three tips above and do a little practice so that you are prepared to tackle the question of your salary in your interview. And remember, negotiating your salary does not stop once you have secured the job. Too few employees ask for a pay rise when they are entitled to one and this can result in a situation where several employees are doing the same job – but some are being paid more than others. So, the message is: do not let yourself miss out on the salary that you want at any stage of your career.