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By Lilian Wamaitha

It is often difficult to know how much you should ask as salary before accepting a job offer because most of the time you have no idea how much you are worth to a company.

It is therefore possible to sell yourself short during salary negotiation and accept an offer that is less than what other people in your position are earning elsewhere.

According to Ms. Muthoni Ndegwa, a top recruitment manager, one way of ensuring that you close that wage gap and get the salary you deserve is by negotiating for what you believe you are worth rather than just accepting an offer right away. Here is how;

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1. Invest in networking

They say that knowledge is power. Start networking from the very beginning with other people in your sector or field to gain more insight about the role you are applying for. Attend events. Inquire what people are earning in certain positions at other companies.

Networking with relevant people in your industry will help you understand what a competitive salary is for someone in your position.

You need to know what worth is in the job market to have more bargaining power.

2. Do your research

Besides attending networking events, take time and research different companies and the salaries they offer.

Glassdoor is a very nice website to find the salaries that different companies offer. Use this information when that time comes to negotiate salary.

3. Be real but don’t sell yourself short

You don’t want to be in a situation where you negotiate for double what the company is offering.

For instance, let’s say the company is offering you Ksh.80,000 and you want to negotiate for a ridiculous amount of Ksh.160,000.

However, in as much as you don’t negotiate for double, don’t also ask for the bare minimum

“Ask for five to ten percent more of what they are offering but prepare to explain why you are worth that much,” says Ms. Ndegwa.

Maybe you have more experience that other candidates and that would be beneficial to the company.

Any company will have more regret hiring you if you ask for more money but cannot deliver.

All in all, a good company should be able to appreciate and value someone who knows what they are worth if they can deliver on what they promised during their salary negotiation.

4. If the employer cannot guarantee to give what you are asking for…

When it comes to salary negotiations, you have the most leverage. There is always a chance that the company will not be in a position to give you what you are asking for but they might be able to give you other benefits like more vacation days or work from home once in a while.

Whatever the case, there are things that are way more important to you than money.

Ensure however, that you get it in writing about these other benefits. If the employer can’t guarantee the salary you are requesting, ask them what you can do in that position to reach that level.

You can also request for something like an annual raise or within a certain period of time like maybe six months.

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5. Talk career ladder

When it comes to, a good employer will value your career goals. When negotiating salary, be sure to ask about upward career growth to envision what your future in the company will look like.

You don’t want to accept a job offer that has no promise of growth. An employer will appreciate a goal driven candidate who is looking to turn their job into a career.

Be in the know about not only how much you will be making but how that job will translate into your overall career growth.

At the end of the day, you deserve to earn just as much as that other person in that company. Knowing what you are worth from the beginning will give you an edge when negotiating salary.

The writer is a Communications & Digital Marketing Officer at Career Point Kenya. Leave us a comment below or email lilian@careerpointkenya.co.ke.