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How To Negotiate Salary Skilfully Without Being Pushy

How To Negotiate Salary Skilfully Without Being Pushy

Warning: If you think you’re average, don’t read this.

This article is specially written for talented people who want to get a higher pay when getting a new job. If you think you’re just average, this article might not be suitable for you.

Most employees would love to have a higher pay when they get a new job. However, not all employees have the courage to negotiate a salary raise, as the discussion of salary is very often deemed as a taboo, a subject that agitates employers.

As a matter of fact, there can be still much room for negotiation about the details before you sign the contract. As long as you dare to voice out your thoughts, there is a high chance you land in getting what you expect.

This article will provide you with skills suggested by experienced HR and managers on how to negotiate a salary raise before and when you receive an offer.

Before the interview

Make sure you understand the job market

It is important for you to have an expected number in mind first. Otherwise, very likely you will be led reluctantly by any experienced HR.

As Ramit Sethi told in “I Will Teach You to Be Rich”: “If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you’re at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager who will simply control the conversation.”

And about what number you should have in mind, it is essential for you to gain some knowledge about what is the usual payment of your position in that industry in that geographic area.

Glassdoor is one helpful source for you to better understand the job market. In this website, when you type in the job title, you can have a glimpse at what salary other people usually get in that post in the specific district.

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    Should I reveal my expected salary in the cover letter or not?

    The question that troubles many job hunters is whether one should write the expected salary in the cover letter or not.

    And the answer is: don’t do that!

    It is not reasonable to write your expected salary in the cover letter if it is not required in the job ad.

    Showing the expected salary in the early stage runs a big risk. If you state something lower than what you deserve, you lose; if you write something higher than what you deserve, you lose too, as it may cost your chance of getting an interview!

    In this light, it is better not to state your expected salary in the cover letter if you are not required to do so.

    But what if you are required to state the expected salary in the cover letter?

    It is not unusual for the companies to want to know the candidates’ expectation in advance. To them, it is a matter of time efficiency — they want to pinpoint the potential employers who will accept their offer, and they do not want to waste time on those who are beyond the benchmark they are willing to offer.

    In case you are asked to state the expected salary in the cover letter, you have a few options.

    Dodge the question and show your maturity as well

    You can dodge stating it directly. You may redirect the focus from the salary to your passion. For instance, you can state: “Salary is only one of the factors I consider paramount in weighing a job offer. I am delighted to discuss it once I am as determined a strong candidate for the position.”

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    State a range that the company won’t say no to

    Or you can state the range you and the company are both comfortable with. In order to provide a safe salary range, you can once again refer to Glassdoor to have a look at what your counterparts usually get. Besides Glassdoor, you are also advised to inquire the personnel in that company beforehand to have a better understanding about what the price your targeted company is comfortable to offer.

    State the exact number like $53,750

    Or you can directly state the exact number you hope to settle on. Even though it is riskier to state exactly the number, sometimes stating the exact number may do you good. According to researchers at Columbia Business School[1], employees are more likely to be given an offer closer to their initial request, state a more precise number in their initial negotiation request when they state a more precise number in their initial negotiation request. The reason is, as the researchers explain, the employers assume you have prepared extensive research into your market value when you reach that specific number.

    Also, when you state the exact number, you can also aim higher than the usual range. It is because psychology shows that your bargaining partner has the feeling that he or she is getting a better deal if he or she negotiates down from your original ask. Given that your employer will almost certainly negotiate down your term, you may need some room and still end up at a salary you are pleased with.

    Should I still state it when a standard salary is already stated in job ad?

    There are jobs that are fixed with a price. For example you may see figures like these on a job ad: $22/hr, $50/day. For jobs like these, can you still negotiate a higher salary? The answer is yes.

    The point is, you should let your employer know how far you exceed their expectations.

    In order to persuade your employer, your approach is to emphasize your past achievement and your potential contribution to the company.

    For instance, you can negotiate in this way: “I wonder if the salary is flexible. Based on my achievement in education and my past experience in this industrial field, I’m confident I can help the company get 70% growth in the coming year. I wonder if you might be able to offer $Y instead”.

    However, one golden rule you should bear in mind is that every employer does have a range in mind. That is to say during the interview you may not want to present yourself as if you were ignorant of the salary information stated at the start. Show them you know it very well but at the same time you know you can over-deliver.

    During the interview

    When being asked about your current salary

    During the interview, the employer may inquire information about your current salary.

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    However, revealing your current salary may put you at disadvantage if the job you are applying can offer a salary much higher than your current one.

    To encounter situation like this, you are advised to quickly draw attention to other topics. Instead of focusing on your current salary, you may once again highlight your skills, your responsibility, and your contribution to the company. As employers desire capable candidates, showing your ability can put you at a better position in the interview.

    Besides promoting yourself, you can also express your outlook about the company, and your passion of growth. This can also underscore your ambition, which is also the quality that companies desire to see in candidates. In this way, the flow of the conversation will be around your advantages, instead of your history in the current company.

    How to handle if the employer says “NO”

    The rejection may sound daunting to you. However, according to Pynchon[2], a negotiation does not really start until someone says no.

    She explained: “It’s not really a negotiation if we’re asking for something we know our bargaining partner also wants. Negotiation is a conversation whose goal is to reach an agreement with someone whose interests are not perfectly aligned with yours.”

    Therefore, other than feeling sorry for yourself, you should rather be glad that you get a clearer picture about what your employer wants. At the same time, your employer also understands your requirement better.

    If your current suggestion is higher than what the company is going to pay, you may lower your term in the negotiation which you still comfortable with, and see if the company still rejects.

    Try to reach a common ground with your employer.

    If the employer still refuses to compromise, despite asking for a raise in salary, you may change the battlefield from the salary raise to other benefits, such as traveling compensation or vacation days. These all are matters that you can also bring up to the table and negotiate.

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    Do not accept the offer too soon

    If you are landed with an offer, congratulations!

    Meanwhile you should still remain your cautiousness. You should not accept the offer too soon. A lot of people are shy to hold on the offer, as they are scared their employers may pull back the offer.

    However, most of the time, as affirmed by Chase the career couch, employers don’t do this when they have already spent so much efforts on negotiating with you.

    Accepting the offer too soon may cost your opportunity to negotiate better terms. Despite the offer itself, some details can still be negotiated, such as the salary, the bonus, or other benefits. These all have room to be negotiated.

    After the interview

    Reevaluate your offer

    Following the discussion above, you need not accept the offer immediately. Instead, you can ask for more time for consideration. You can ask the employer: “I’m thrilled you want to hire me. Could you just give me a couple of days to think about it?” If the company values you, it will be happy to allow you time to think about.

    When you are considering the offer, salary should not be the only determiner. Besides salary, there are also other factors that are worth consideration.

    These 7 things, as suggested by PayScale, are things that are also worth your consideration.

    1. Vacation time
    2. The skills you may learn in the company
    3. Exercise
    4. Traveling compensation
    5. Clothing allowance
    6. Means of telecommunication
    7. Access to the company’s product or service

    These important factors also have huge influence on whether you will be happy in that company, thus worth of your serious reevaluation.

    Show your excitement no matter you’re ok with the salary or not

    After receiving the offer, you should first express your appreciation of the company’s decision to hire you. But don’t make it like you really need the job to survive. Instead you should show them how excited you are to contribute for the company and achieve your career goal with them. They will be able to feel your passion and eager to work with you soon.

    Only after this you can reveal your stance whether you’re fine with the salary they offer or not. Now, since the company has acknowledged your appreciation, they will be inclined to accept the terms you suggest.

    Reference

    More by this author

    Chris Cheung

    Editorial Intern, Lifehack

    How to Answer Behavioral Based Interview Questions Smartly How to Spot out True Friends in a World Full of Fake People What Are 4 Core Leadership Theories And How To Apply At Work Why You’re Not Incapable, You’re Just Burning Out How To Negotiate Salary Skilfully Without Being Pushy

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    Last Updated on April 17, 2019

    10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

    10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

    What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

    Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

    They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

    1. Communication Skills

    Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

    To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

    Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

    Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

    After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

    2. Flexibility

    Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

    Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

    Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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    Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

    3. Being a Team Player

    Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

    What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

    This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

    Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

    4. Positive Mental Attitude

    There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

    Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

    Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

    It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

    Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

    5. A Strong Work Ethic

    People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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    If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

    Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

    • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
    • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
    • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
    • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

    For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

    6. Public Speaking

    Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

    Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

    If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

    For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

    Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

    7. Integrity

    From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

    • Always doing what you say you will do
    • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

    …even when no one is around to check up on you.

    There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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    Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

    8. Managing Your Time

    Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

    A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

    Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

    Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

    These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

    9. Assertiveness

    In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

    • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
    • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
    • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
    • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

    Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

    How do you use this information for yourself?

    It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

    Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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    How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

    10. Creative Thinking

    LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

    Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

    How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

    Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

    These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

    You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    Final Thoughts

    The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

    So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

    The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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    Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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