Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

    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.”

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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

    Trending in Work

    1 7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success 2 The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise 3 How to Master the Art of Stress Free Work 4 23 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing for an Interview 5 20 Critical Skills to Add to Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on December 3, 2019

    7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

    7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

    I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

    It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

    A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

    1. Define Career Success for Yourself

    Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

    What does career success mean to you?

    This is about defining your career success:

    • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
    • Not what people may think of you
    • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
    • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

    “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

    When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

    There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

    Advertising

    • Work-life balance
    • Opportunities for growth and advancement
    • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

    Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

    • What do you mean by work-life balance?
    • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
    • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

    Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

    • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
    • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
    • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

    Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

    • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
    • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
    • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

    Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

    Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

    What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

    2. Know Your Values

    Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

    There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

    Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

    Advertising

    • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
    • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
    • Put the words on your fridge
    • Add the words on your vision board

    Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

    3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

    When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

    How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

    Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

    • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
    • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
    • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
    • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
    • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
    • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

    Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

    • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
    • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
    • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
    • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

    Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

    By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

    4. Determine Your Top Talents

    What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

    What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

    Advertising

    What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

    What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

    What do you notice?

    5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

    Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

    I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

    Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

    Keep these words visible too!

    Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

    6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

    Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

    Advertising

    Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

    “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

    7. Manage Your Own Career

    Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

    Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

    Summing Up

    For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

    Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

    Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

    1. Define Career Success for Yourself
    2. Know Your Values
    3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
    4. Determine Your Top Talents
    5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
    6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
    7. Manage Your Own Career

    “When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

    Good luck and best wishes always!

    More Tips on Advancing Your Career

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next