Negotiating your salary

The interview is over and you've got a job offer in hand. But that's only half the battle won. The real decider is how you manage to negotiate your salary and carve out your job profile. Let's give you a brief run through of how to wangle whatever you think you deserve.

    Be Prepared

    • Preparation is critical when negotiating the terms of your employment.
    • The more information you have about the prospective employer and your own market value, the more focused your demands can be.

      Understand needs, yours and your employer’s

      • Negotiations involve trade-offs. You need to be very clear about your priorities.
      • What is it that you want? This will help you reject or accept the offer. And ask for exactly what you want.
      • Don't let the employer bully you into accepting the offer if you're not satisfied with it.

        Understand the dynamics

        • Sometimes you will have skills or experience that are in great demand, and the company would like to hire someone quickly.
        • On the other hand, you may be one of several candidates being considered. Sizing up the relative position of each of the parties to the negotiations will help you determine when to press your advantage and when to back off!

          Use truth to your advantage

          • Honesty is important. If you lie during the negotiations, sooner or later, you will be caught out. Once you are caught lying, even if you don’t lose the job, you lose all credibility.
          • On the other hand, total frankness is not helpful. You are not required to answer a specific question directly unless the answer helps your position.

            Creativity to the rescue

            • You may not be able to get everything you want, but be sure to get everything you can.
            • Focus on the value of the total package.
            • If you are creative, you can package what you want in ways that are acceptable to the company and important for you too.

            Stress goals

            • While negotiating, winning often becomes more important than the actual goals that are achieved. Never let that happen.
            • Not only is it important to focus on achieving your goals; it is also important not to make your future boss feel like a loser in the negotiations. Aim for a win-win situation.

            Never forget employment is an ongoing relationship

            • This is most important and cannot be overemphasised. Employment negotiations are the starting point for your career with the company. They set the tone for your employment relationship.
            • Get too little and you are disadvantaged throughout your career; push too hard and you can sour the relationship even before it begins.