How much should you receive for your services and your skills? What is the right value for you? How much are you worth as a professional? This should be your line of thinking when you are scheduled to go to the negotiating table with a future employer.
In short, when you are applying for a job and getting ready for an interview, you also need to prepare for a salary negotiation. It’s a given: after the initial interview, and perhaps after a series of tests, the future employer will start discussing salaries. That will come when they are considering hiring you.
When you and the prospective employer have reached this phase, you must be ready and prepared. Even prior to preparing for the initial interview, you must clarify some points in your head and let these points sink into your system.
8 points to clarify before going to the negotiating table.
1. If you’re presently employed, how much are you currently receiving?
Your ultimate aim here is to decide how much your ideal salary is, and if worse comes to worst, what is acceptable. If you think your present pay is lower than the prevailing salary rate, go out and do your due diligence.
Contact people who are in the know. You can also get information from job agencies and government institutions dealing with job placements, but the best option is to research and contact the officers in the company you want to work for who may be able to give you their figures.
2. If you’re not presently employed, how much was your last salary?
Go dig out your employment records from your past employers. Review your salaries when occupying specific positions. If you find them and you have a bit more time, get certifications that you worked there, and get proof that you got paid a certain amount.
3. Gather your credentials.
You must take stock of the skills, training, seminars, experiences, and achievements gained or undertaken during past employment. These, and many other considerations, constitute a comprehensive basis for your worth as an employee — and your value as a member of a company.
4. Find out prevailing salary ranges.
Do your research to find out the prevailing market value of a worker with your experience and skills. This was mentioned in point 1, but if this is your first job you will find this information will help you a lot to negotiate a fair salary.
5. Dig deeper: how much are other companies paying?
It would also be beneficial to dig further to find out how much most of the companies hiring in your field are willing to give as a salary for similar positions. In the middle of your negotiations you can casually mention these figures. That way the prospective employer knows that you are aware of the current rates and benefits attached to the offer. (Intimidate a little. That will help, promise!)
Some companies, for instance, pay a lower base salary, but they compensate for this with more benefits; or they offer training and education opportunities. One company that hired me offered medical benefits, paid holiday and vacation leave, plus yearly rice, medicine, and clothing allowances.
When you prepare to negotiate, it’s in your best interest to study these aspects.
6. What does your position entail?
You need to know how hard it is to do the job at hand. Find out its nitty gritty: the tasks involved, the risks, every small detail about it. Additionally, ask these questions: Will you need to have long commutes? Will you need to relocate? Do you need to take the night shift? These are all details you have to know. From the interviewer’s answers, and their implications, you can come up with a reasonable figure. These details can also be used as bargaining chips to raise your salary.
7. Allow the employer to bring up the subject of salary.
A wise negotiation tactic you can apply is to let the person interviewing you give a salary range prior to offering up an amount. Don’t bring it up yourself. That way you’re playing within the employer’s budget and not shooting too far out of the court, which might cause them to not consider you anymore.
8. Psych yourself up.
Negotiating about money is stressful. You have to prepare your mental faculties, your body, and your spirit. You need to have a restful interlude — at least two to three days before the appointment. Have enough quality sleep, eat healthy meals, and go for long walks. This will relax you and cool you down prior to gearing up for the big day.
And…you’re ready for the kill! If you have covered these eight points, you can walk to the negotiating table with confidence.