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4 minute read

6 Useful Tips for Smarter Salary Negotiation in the Workplace

Don’t let the complexities of the job market intimidate you from negotiating for fair compensation. Learn how you can be smarter in negotiating for the salary you deserve.

Anyone who adds value to a business’s revenue should be fairly compensated – and there is no shame in negotiating for the remuneration you deserve. Of course, this can be done more effectively with some careful evaluation of the company to understand what you’re dealing with.

To negotiate skilfully, it is important to be flexible with the terms offered, make requests with justifiable reasons, and work hard to produce outcomes that show the rewards you desire.

Here are six tips to help you navigate a salary negotiation:

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1. You don’t get two shots at first impressions 

When applying to a new company, the first impression at the interview matters the most. A hiring committee that sees you favourably will be more willing to agree to your demands. Carry yourself with humility and confidence as you negotiate to seek common ground, should you disagree with the offer given.

Negotiate, not demand, lest you sound arrogant and entitled. You can practice such negotiations with experienced colleagues and seek constructive feedback.

2. Be intentional, not play hard to get

There is no harm in sharing with potential employers that you have multiple job offers and simultaneous interviews. After all, you’re looking for the role that best fits you.

It’s best to make your intentions known from the beginning but refrain from rubbing it in their faces. While it may position you as a highly sought-after candidate, overdoing it might send the message that you are unlikely to accept their offer, which might make them retract the offer altogether. If you are interested, make it clear. State the benefits or conditions you are willing to agree on, and what exactly would make their offer stand out from the others.

3. It’s not always about you

Even if you were the ideal candidate with the perfect set of skills and experience matching the company’s needs, you may not be offered the salary that you want. Every company has non-negotiable budget constraints, but tactful negotiators go beyond the inflexible components and begin searching for negotiable ones, through a little probing.

As you understand the other party’s constraints, you will be able to propose options that are agreeable between both you and your prospective employer. For instance, while the salary might have a cap, you could ask for alternative benefits such as flexible working arrangements, medical and insurance benefits, or productivity tool allowances, all of which could help you stretch your dollar.

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4. Ask everything, all at once

When negotiating a fair offer, having tunnel vision can put you at disadvantage. It is advised to consider your demands thoroughly and make all your requests before an offer is finalised.

Before conveying any requests to the employer, list out things that you require and state the relative importance of each to you. Set aside time to prepare this list in advance, instead of coming up with new demands every time changes have been made. Constantly asking for revisions of an offer will turn off even those who were keen to hire you and have tried to accommodate to your requests.

5. Think beyond the money

Never allow money to cloud your judgement. Instead, consider all factors including flexibility of work arrangements, office location, working hours, perks, and most importantly, job prospects. This includes the company offering room for your career growth and development, as well as learning opportunities for you to upskill and increase your market value. Think ahead and map out your career course to consider not only what you hope to achieve but when you want to advance in your career. Working strategically with a career path in mind gives you the leverage to reap the rewards later.

6. Calculated persistency with consistency 

Nothing’s ever set in stone. What’s non-negotiable today may be negotiable tomorrow, as directions shift and constraints loosen. Suppose you negotiate for a pay raise with your bosses, but did not get a favourable response. Before making any hasty judgement or rash decisions, be patient and consider revisiting the conversation down the road.

Take the time between now and then to prove why you deserve what you requested, with a stellar track record at work. But be cautious of your persistence border on badgering and harassment. If you constantly make demands without having any outcomes to show for it, you may end up putting off the employer.

This article is contributed by Good Job Creations.

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