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April 17, 2013 at 8:43 am #31782Learnist CareersParticipant
Job hunting in todayâ€™s market poses a tricky question: should you still negotiate your salary?
With reports of high unemployment rates and an ultra-competitive job market, many candidates feel theyâ€™re lucky to have landed an interview at all, often making them hesitant to bargain for better pay. But according to Stacey Hawley, Career and Leadership Development Coach and Executive Compensation Specialist with The Credo Company, candidates should remain confident in their negotiating abilities. â€œIf you have identified your career goals, created a blockbuster resume and targeted the companies that met your career objectives, you should be an ideal candidate,â€ she says. â€œWhen you interview, remember to answer the question, â€˜What’s in it for them?â€™ Show them you are worth every penny.â€
How much should you get paid?
To answer this question, start by asking yourself another: How much do you want to get paid? Obviously, you want to earn a salary to cover basic outgoings as well as lifestyle expenses and savings. But taking into account market averages and economic conditions should give you an idea of what current salaries are like. According to the 2012 UK Salary survey results, median gross annual earnings for full-time employees were Â£26,500, up 1.4 per cent from the year prior. That said, it was below the inflation rate of 2.3 per cent. By doing some background research, you can find a number that lies somewhere between your dream salary and the market average.
Plucking an obscure number out of thin air or putting forth a number completely out of touch with industry standards during discussions will likely kill negotiations on the spot. By doing some market research, youâ€™ll be able to find a number that is realistic, says Hawley. â€œDo your research prior to the first interview,â€ she says. â€œResearch online salary sites, talk with friends, and read what other job postings are offering for similar positions. Bear in mind that pay differs by industry and company size at the executive level, but for lower level positions there is less variability.â€ Also pay attention to how the company itself as doing, especially if itâ€™s publicly traded. Not only will it help you understand about the business as a whole, but will help you gage what theyâ€™re able to pay.
Once youâ€™ve worked out what you should be earning, now itâ€™s time to ask for it.
What to do
Firstly, overcome the nerves.
According to a Salary.com survey, 18 per cent of people donâ€™t negotiate a salary offer when taking on a new position. Negotiating salary is part of business, and shouldnâ€™t be shied away from. You donâ€™t want to end up in the 18 per cent that walks away from negotiations leaving money on the table!
Practice negotiating with friends, or in front of the mirror, and tweak your body language to convey confidence. Also practice some open-ended phrases to help you counteract any possible outcome. Have 2-3 clear points ready to put forth as to why you deserve more money. Draw on your knowledge, experience and qualifications that support your arguments at the bargaining table.
Know when to start the discussion. â€œI suggest discussing salary after the job has been offered,â€ says Hawley. â€œIf you are pressed for salary requirements, ask what the company is offering for the role, and offer a range, for example, Â£20,000-Â£25,000.â€ Donâ€™t be afraid to initiate the conversation either; studies show that the first offer put forth often sets the bar for the negotiation.
Know what to negotiate. In addition to the numbers, Hawley notes there are other aspects of the job offer you can discuss. â€œThere is more than just salary that is negotiable,â€ she says. â€œOnce you receive an offer, remember you are being offered a total package – beyond just salary. There are many items that are negotiable.â€ If a company isnâ€™t able to budget for your salary expectations, try to barter for other benefits such as health care, pension payments, stock options, corporate wellness programs, paid holiday time and flexi-working and telecommuting options.
What not to do
Hawley notes that there are three things to avoid in the salary negotiation process – if possible.
1. Communicating by email. â€œSo much can be misinterpreted my email,â€ she says. â€œPick up the phone. That way you can reiterate your excitement in the role. This is more professional and you can guarantee the tone – you cannot guarantee how your email will be interpreted.â€
2. Answering right away. You donâ€™t want to settle too soon, says Hawley. â€œThere IS time. You can always ask for time to process the information. Before concluding the conversation, set up a time to talk again,â€ she advises.
3. Not doing your homework. Donâ€™t come to the bargaining table unprepared, advises Hawley. â€œHave a sense of what a competitive pay package looks like for this role, in this particular industry for a company of that size.â€
Lastly, show confidence during negotiations with an employer. After all, if you donâ€™t believe youâ€™re worth more money, why should they?
photo by: Darren JohnsonMay 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm #34902AnonymousGuest
This can be difficult depending on the actual role. For example, call centre salaries vary widely depending on if it is sales, customer service and where the call centre is based. You can still negotiate but try and be realistic – for example do not try and negotiate for London wages in the North of EnglandJuly 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm #34903AnonymousGuest
Great tips from Learnist Careers, thank you.
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