By Michelle Wanjiku
Salary negotiation is important because that is the only way you will get the salary you want. The employer will offer you a salary comfortable for them but it’s up to you to ask for more. You need to remember that no one is looking out for your well-being but you.
Having good negotiation skills will come in handy here. However, there are rules you need to remember when negotiating your salary that will ensure you get the best offer for you.
1. Do extensive salary research, preparation and practice beforehand
You cannot negotiate if you do not understand just how much you could ask for.
When it comes to the salary offered, there are things that are considered, from the industry standard, years of experience, size of the company among other things.
So if you want to negotiate the salary offer successfully you need to know how much someone in your industry with your experience should be paid for the position you are applying for.
This will give you a clear idea of where you should start your negotiation at. If you don’t know how much you should be paid, then you might end up being underpaid.
2. Defer salary discussions until an offer seems imminent
You need to try as hard as possible to avoid discussing your salary on the first interview, even before you know whether you will get the job.
You need to first impress the employer with your skills and qualifications and convince them you are the best person for the job.
SEE ALSO >>> 3 Things Going Through An Employer’s Mind During Salary Negotiation
This way they will be more willing to compromise on the salary they offer you because they already know what you bring to the table.
3. Get the employer to state a salary figure or range first
You should also strive to ensure that you are not the one who mentions a figure first. If possible ensure that the employer gives you a range first. That way you will know where to start the negotiation from.
This will prevent you from giving a range that is way below what they would have initially offered.
4. Wait until an actual offer is extended before negotiating anything
You cannot negotiate salary before you are offered the job so don’t negotiate for a better salary during the first interview.
Wait until you are offered the job before you negotiate for more. One thing to remember though is that you cannot negotiate your salary after you have accepted the job offer with the initial salary.
5. Always negotiate the offer, no matter how good it seems initially
One thing to always have in mind is that an employer will always state the lowest offer the can to give themselves room for negotiation. They will never start with their highest offer.
This means that no matter how good the deal seems to you, always negotiate. You might end up getting way more than you initially expected. Never go for the first figure the employer gives you.
6. Never misrepresent your former salary
Yes, your previous salary might determine what you will be offered by the organization, but this doesn’t mean that you should lie about the amount.
Some employers don’t focus too much on the previous salary unless it is above what they will offer.
SEE ALSO >>> Salary History: Just How Much Should You Tell?
Also, the employer will end up finding out what you were earning and when they find out you lied, it would ruin your chances of getting the job and if you already did, you could end up losing the job.
7. Don’t confuse salary with the full compensation package
Keep in mind that there are other forms of compensation other than your salary. So if you can negotiate for other benefits the better.
You can try to negotiate for health insurance, housing allowance, travel allowance among other benefits to complement the salary you are given.
This will increase the overall amount of money you earn.
8. You can only win at negotiation if you’re willing to “walk away”
What this means is that you should be willing to walk away from a job that doesn’t match what you are looking for in terms of salary.
If the offer is too low and the employer cannot increase, it doesn’t just settle. Remember that this salary might determine your next salary so you need to be careful when accepting job offers.
The most important thing to remember is that you should never accept a job offer without negotiating your salary. The employer expects you to negotiate your salary so you shouldn’t feel like it can ruin your chances of getting the job.
You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.
By Michelle Wanjiku