To get what you deserve, you must know your worth
First, pat yourself on the back as you’ve already completed the hard part of sailing through the interview rounds. You found the right job, applied for it, are still breathing after the application process and have successfully received a job offer. That is commendable.
Before you celebrate with your loved ones, there is still one crucial task: negotiating your salary. You might be tempted to seal the deal with the first offer that comes your way, but that is not the best idea. You have worked hard to come this far, and you must stay determined to get the remuneration you deserve.
Here’s a fun fact; around 84% of employers expect their candidates to negotiate their salary. This should motivate you to try and grab the deserving heftier offer.
Salary negotiations are important discussions that help you secure a higher pay package. Suppose you feel you aren’t paid enough. In such cases, you should feel empowered to negotiate for an amount that you deserve, irrespective of whether you’re a long term employee or a new hire. Negotiating your salary is a perfectly normal part of the employment process. It is a reflection of the appreciation by your company for the work you do, and it is vital for your career development and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. There is no shame in asking for what you deserve or even what you think you deserve. So, don’t shy away and put your best foot forward.
Here’s how you can negotiate your salary right away.
1. Know your worth
Don’t just suggest a random number when negotiating salary. The salary range you recommend should be based on research to understand how much you’re worth and the average salaries in your region. Salaries are dependent on a plethora of factors and may vary accordingly. Some of these factors that you should look out for are:
- Experience level
- Exact skill-set
- Employer policies
While it’s important to consider all factors when deciding on your desired salary, it is also crucial to define your salary range. Find out what others in your field are getting paid and compare it with the salary range you’re vying for. Do thorough background research on the ballpark salary for your job title to get an idea of the market value, which will help you negotiate a realistic compensation package.
Some tips which will help you determine the suitable range are:
- Salary rates in your location and salary averages based on your years of experience.
- Salary averages for your specific skillset (e.g. if you’re in content marketing, a content manager is likely going to make a lot more than a content associate).
2. Don’t miss out on perks and benefits
It is essential to factor in all the perks and benefits you get from your company as a part of your salary package. Here are some benefits that you should also look for in a job offer.
- Better insurance plans
- Flexible days off
- Paid time off
- Personal development budget
- Option to work from home
- Better retirement saving plan
- Health and fitness packages
Your salary might be low in some cases, but the benefits offered might be attractive. Some companies do not encourage salary negotiations but are open to sprinkling perks. If that is the case with your company, you should be negotiating to get more benefits out of the offer.
3. Pick a range and the higher number
Find a realistic salary range that you think you deserve, one that the company is likely to pay for someone of your skillset. The next step is to pick a number on the higher side of the range. Why? Let us explain.
When you suggest a pay range to your hiring manager, they will pick a number on the lower end of your suggested pay package. From this point, the manager’s suggestion will remain an anchor in the negotiation, giving them an authoritative position. To turn the table around and dictate the negotiation terms, always pick a number on the higher end of the salary range. You will be more likely to secure a favourable outcome.
4. Say ‘no’ to the first offer and be gracious
The employer’s first offer is certainly not their last in most cases. Don't accept the first offer and take some time (usually not more than 24-48 hours) to come back with a counteroffer based on your research and market standard for your position.
During negotiations, keep your emotions in check and make your case based on relevant facts and research. Never be ashamed of asking for something you deserve, but be mindful of your tone. It would be best to not come off as argumentative or ungrateful. Plead your case with facts and grace, and be grateful for the opportunity. No matter what the outcome, always be understanding and appreciative.
5. Leverage your situation
Your negotiating power will vary depending on your current employment situation. If you are unemployed and applying for a job, you would earn approximately close to your old salary or even slightly less than that. If you are a fresher, do your research on what freshers make for an entry-level job in your industry. Feel free to use your current situation as a bargaining chip if you think the job you’ve applied for is paying less than your current employer or its competitors.
6. Negotiations are a two-way street
To wrap it all up, here are some quick tips to help you negotiate better:
- Don't focus too much on yourself: Focus on how you’d be valuable to the company and what would your contribution be.
- Pitch perfect: Practice your pitch before the negotiation to understand the cadence of your points.
- The curious case of research: Back up your counteroffer with rock-solid arguments based on your research. Back it up with your strength, experience and skills, and clearly explain to your hiring manager how your expertise will help you excel in the role.
- Put on your game face: Be confident when delivering your pitch, but remember to be respectful.
- Black and White before its Suit and Tie: Make sure that the hiring manager puts down the discussed salary figure along with the perks and benefits on paper.