Do you feel a sense of stigma when negotiating your salary? Feel uncomfortable when placing emphasis on your pay packet?
Well, I’m here to set things straight. Negotiating salary is not only valid and reasonable, but also instrumental in your career development.
So, let’s eliminate the uneasiness surrounding this important discussion by getting back to basics.
Most things in this world have a price tag (including your labour!). The effort you invest at work is valuable, so it makes sense to seek proper remuneration for that time. Afterall, a reasonable pay packet represents fair recognition for your time, knowledge and skills.
Okay, before we move on, let’s explore why negotiating your salary is such an important skill.
Why Demonstrate your Ability to Negotiate?
Clearly, negotiating can ensure that you’re earnings are on-par with your career development. And if you’re negotiating when entering a new job, it may enable you to take the position (which would have otherwise been too low-paid).
But the benefits of salary negotiation goes beyond this.
Let’s consider things from the employer’s side. There’s a misconception that pushing for better pay will be viewed unfavourably. In fact, the opposite is often true.
This is an excellent way to show your employer your compelling communicative abilities. Let’s not forget that negotiation is an incredibly important professional skill, especially in industries such as sales. Some employers might even be disappointed if you do not negotiate!
So, what holds you back? What stops you from having a constructive conversation about your worth?
Does any of the following resonate with you?
The Value of the Offer
Many candidates are hesitant to start negotiations because they fear they’ll lose the job offer. As a recruiter, I can tell you that this is very unlikely. Once the company has shown a solid interest in hiring you, they will be unlikely to change their mind on a whim (especially if your requests are within reason).
Knowing Your Value
Many candidates are intimidated by negotiations because they are not confident in their requests.
When negotiating salary, it’s important to demonstrate that the validity of your requests by being well-informed.
So, researching the standard industry salaries can help you feel more confident in your proposals.
“It’s important to demonstrate that the validity of your requests by being well-informed.”
As I mentioned previously, there are several ways to estimate your market value, one being to speak with a recruiter. Recruiters work with many different companies within the sector. As such, they have first-hand knowledge of salaries on offer, as well as how your skills place you as a candidate.
Preparation is Key
Once you have done your research, you can start to prepare your approach. I always recommend being very honest.
First of all, you may like to remind your potential employer of your interest and commitment to the job on offer. Tell them that you can really see yourself working there. But… you have done some research, and have become aware that this salary is less than what other businesses would offer for your skills and experience. Finally, ask if they can they help make your decision easier.
By entering salary negotiations this way, your potential employer will be more understanding of your perspective, and be compelled to act on their empathy.
Afraid Your Requests will be Rejected?
If your proposals are rejected, then you’ll need to carefully ponder what decision will work best for you.
You may choose to accept the lower salary if the job role is particularly fitting for you and your goals. However, as I discussed in one of my previous articles, accepting a lower salary comes with a set of considerable consequences.
However, if your proposals are knocked back, there are other options to consider. It may not come down to taking the lower salary, or walking away altogether. Let’s look at some of the other possibilities.
Consider other Valuable Benefits
There are many other job benefits which could balance-out the lower salary. What’s more, your employer may be more willing to provide these employee benefits.
Let’s have a look at some of these options.
First of all, I would like to talk about a budget for training. Whilst you may not receive a higher salary in-the-hand, attaining extra training can carry wonderful monetary value.
So, if your new employer rejects your negotiations, consider negotiating a budget for training. For many companies, this can be a financially attractive way to reward employees, as it improves the team’s skills and knowledge. This is a clear mutually-beneficial solution , and as such, it’s more likely to be agreed upon.
With this in place, you could develop your own skills. Consider attending workshops, lectures, and events that are relevant to your professional development.
Another potential option is health insurance. Again, this benefit is mutually-beneficial.
Employers seek a healthy and happy workforce, as health and productivity go hand-in-hand: the better staff feel, the more productive their work habits will be.
As such, health insurance is a great way for your employer to avoid illness-associated costs and retain an engaged team. On your side, you can enjoy a more active and healthy lifestyle, which can be particularly valuable if your job role can be stressful.
Depending on the type of work, you may be required to travel. If this is the case, I would certainly suggest opening up a conversation about travel expenses.
If the salary is lower than expected, then you may want to ensure that travel costs will be covered by the employer. There may be room for an employee benefit here, too. Consider suggesting compensation for your commute, or a company car. Once again, these benefits will be more financially attractive for the employer, whilst also bearing great perks for you as an employee.
Open Mind, Open Conversation
Overall, you can see the pattern here… a higher salary or an employee benefit is not only advantageous for you.
They carry mutual advantages, including on the employer’s side. Not only would the company be more likely to attract and attain talent, but also would create a happier, better enabled and more engaged team. So, when it comes to negotiations, make sure to point out these mutual benefits!
With the right preparation, you can enter salary negotiation with confidence, and ensure that you accept a job offer that’s right for you. Good luck!