Salary negotiation is a very important part of one’s career. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to negotiate your salary. Doing a job but not getting compensated enough is harmful to your career and can lead to stagnation. But salary negotiation is not easy for everyone. It is a difficult conversation to have and does require some skill to perfect. That being said, it can be learned like any other skill.
Salary negotiation is a way to ascertain a fair amount of compensation at which you would be willing to do a certain job and your employer would be willing to match it in monetary terms. It is basically the monetary worth of your labour and the negotiations mean that you and your employer are trying to find that number which satisfies both the parties. The discussion, therefore, is purely a business transaction and the best negotiators are those who take it as such.
There are mainly three components to it:
Even the best of us may know our jobs perfectly but feel uncomfortable when it comes to negotiating salaries. On the one end, we fear losing out on a job if we demand more and on the other, we feel that we deserve that extra salary for the value we would be adding to the company. The uncertainty lies in the space which exists between ‘how much do I deserve?’ and ‘how much should be acceptable to me?’ Most people settle for less as they accept the ‘acceptable offer’ instead of discussing their actual worth.
Most companies understand the potential employee would negotiate their salary and they are prepared for it. If they see value in the applicant, they do increase their valuation to acquire the talent. They even expect you to negotiate. It is often the applicant who, for one reason or another, either does not negotiate or accepts a lower offer.
Salary negotiations on your terms are important because it gives you a fair estimate of your market value. It gives you confidence in your own abilities and skill. It puts you on a growth trajectory which is crucial for your future. And it impacts your growth in the company itself.
As we all know, practice makes man perfect. It is important that you pitch your requirements well to the manager, and that you are confident with your pitch. So to negotiate your salary, it is important that you practice your points in advance, do it with a friend or a family member, before you go meet with the concerned person. When you practice your speech for the first time, you may fumble or be unsure. There are the places you need to prepare before you meet the manager. Make sure your confidence levels don’t drop as you practice your speech.
While we all want a lot of money, it is important to be reasonable, so as to not lose out on the job opportunity with bizarre demands. Keep a minimum figure in mind, add a couple of more grands to it, and negotiate your salary. Make sure you have positive skills and the confidence to justify the figure you’re asking for. Know the going rate for the field you are in, the company size, as well as the location you are looking at. Come up with a number, and stick to it as far as possible.
Once you have an amount in mind and have practiced your pitch, the next thing is to up your confidence and enthusiasm levels. It is important to sound confident and enthusiastic in the request that you make, as well as be reasonable about the amount, in order to convince them to accept your conditions. Show that you are excited about the job, sound confident in justifying the amount you are asking for, make your speech and stop.
It is important to know where to stop. It is the job of hiring managers to bring down the amount as much as they can, for which they will try their level best to manipulate you, point out at what’s missing in your profile, or how they are “not in the position” to offer you more at the moment, and how they would like to first see your performance before giving you what you’re asking for.
For this reason, it is important to practice beforehand. Keep some obvious questions in mind and practice their answers. Try not to budge too much from your request, as it’ll show them your desperation, lack of confidence, or how easily you could be manipulated. Be patient, and let them talk once you have made your pitch.
It is important that you keep the salary negotiations going. If they say no, try to find out why they say so. See if they would like to offer other non-monetary benefits and if these would help you. In most cases, they will first say no to your request, so keep a margin in mind. A company would only ever say yes to a candidate’s request if they are absolutely confident about your skill level and hiring, and know that there is enough return value for them to invest in you.
At many companies, they would ask for the payslips of your previous companies and base your salary on your last payout. They would offer a certain minimum percentage of hike based on the last three months of payments you’ve received. Try and avoid divulging that personal information as much as possible.
If you’re asking for a raise in your current position, show them what all you’ve done in the past and that you are looking for a hike in your salary in your current company. Make sure you point out at all the work you have done in the last year, or whatever time period you are looking at. Provide the evidence to show that you deserve what you’re asking for, and give them points of how you’ll contribute in the future, to further validate your asking for a raise.
Even if they agree to your request, it may not meet your demands completely. Choose carefully if you wish to negotiate further or let the opportunity go. If you feel the money being offered does not meet your expectations, or is not worth the effort and work that you will be putting in, ‘Say No’. Do not panic. Do not look at it as a conflict.
Whatever the situation and company, never feel afraid to ask what you want, just remember to do it in a polite and best possible way. Also, never apologise for asking for a raise or more money when negotiating a new job offer. It does matter a lot and you need to be ready to negotiate your salary.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)