Knowing how to negotiate your salary is an important skill for all workers as it maximizes the amount you can earn and improves your overall working conditions. There are a couple of things to keep in mind throughout the process: firstly, it is a two-way negotiation, and secondly, you are on the same team.
Negotiations don’t have to be an aggressive exchange between two opponents. In fact, the best negotiations take place between people who are working together to achieve a common objective.
Sometimes because of budget restraints, it is impossible for employers to raise basic salaries. In these cases, there are alternatives to negotiating the salary, bonuses, paid vacation time, perks, and your working schedule can all be negotiated.
Although you shouldn’t be aggressive when looking to negotiate a salary offer, remember that you have the power to turn down it down. There are other jobs out there, having an online presence and keeping your professional resume up-to-date is an important part of staying ahead of the game. Using an online resume builder is an effective tool.
How to negotiate the salary for a new job
Follow these tips on how to effectively negotiate your salary to improve your chances of negotiating a better deal…
Do your homework
Take time to research how much someone with your skills and experience should be earning. Not knowing this information leaves you in a weak position to negotiate. Knowledge is power. Also make sure properly prepare for your job interview to maximize your chances of reaching the negotiation stage.
Don’t make the first offer
Avoid stating your salary expectations and let the employer make the first offer. If you’re asked to state your salary expectations, don’t give an actual figure if possible. Tell the employer that you’d like to know more about what the job entails before discussing the salary. If pushed give a wide salary range rather than a precise amount.
Silence is your ally
What to say when negotiating salary? Often nothing is the best option. It is often best to let the other side do the talking. When you receive an offer, no matter what it is, don’t rush to accept. Instead, remain silent for a period of time and look pensive. This is often enough to prompt an improved offer. At this stage, often during the second interview, the employer wants to employ you, even if you’re eager, keep your cool.
Take your time
The next move, once you’ve received a solid offer, is to say you need time to think it over. Sometimes, saying this you can get an immediate improvement on the original offer. Saying no can also raise the offer, but this is a risky move if you really want or need the job. Remember that the further you get in the recruitment process, the more time the company has invested, and the more committed they are to hiring you.
If for some reason, the company cannot move on the basic salary, there are other things you can negotiate. Ask for perks such as bonuses, a travel allowance, health insurance, more flexible hours, or extra paid vacation. Sometimes employers don’t want to raise your salary because of a rigid pay structure, or because they don’t want to create inequalities. However, in these cases, there are often other things they can budge on.
How to negotiate a salary raise
How to negotiate a salary increase is very similar to negotiating a pay package for a new job. Preparation is key. Gather as much information as you can about your own performance (such as recent appraisals), the pay policy of your company (know the limitations and constraints), as well as external information regarding how much someone with your professional experience should be earning.
When to negotiate your salary? This will depend on how things work in each individual company but there are often natural opportunities to take advantage of and timing is key.
If your contract needs renewal or you have been promoted you should always negotiate your salary. You can also use appraisals, end of year reviews, and milestones (for example you’ve been there for 2 years) as windows of opportunity.
If you feel you deserve a raise, and there isn’t an upcoming opportunity to enter negotiations, request a meeting with your boss to talk about salary. Then present your case calmly and don’t ask for an immediate response. This is a reasonable approach and at least you would have tried.