After putting together a tailored resume and working through the job interview(s) confidently, you’ve done everything to impress the interviewers and have received a job offer: congratulations!
It’s now time to figure out the logistics.
Money can be a tough topic, but it’s important to reach an agreement with your (hopefully!) new employer where you are earning what is deserved and have the benefits you need, while also starting off a new role on the right foot.
Here are some things to bear in mind when negotiating pay:
UNDERSTAND YOUR VALUE
Before considering your offer, it’s good to understand your worth in the market. So, do your research. Understand the rough pay scale for someone in your field and position — what is the highest pay rate, and lowest, according to the internet?
*Note what currency those estimates are in as well, and translate them to your currency.
Consider what you were making in previous roles too, and the pay raise you are hoping for in joining this new company.
With that information, go back to the job description for the role being offered. How many of the requirements are you highly confident in? What are you bringing to the table that elevates your worth? What are your best, sellable assets? Write it all down — memorize that list, and be confident in it.
With all the above information, decide what your absolute minimum pay would be to take the job. Keep this to yourself, but keep it in mind so you can decide if the offer just won’t work for you (and be prepared to walk away, if they can’t meet that minimum).
CONSIDER THE WHOLE OFFER
It’s also important to truly understand the whole offer. Avoid saying yes to the first offer, and ask any questions you feel you need answers to before you give a response. At this point, you are their preferred candidate, so be confident in feeling like the hiring managers won’t disappear on you — and want to make it work.
Read through the whole offer: salary, benefits, vacation time, etc. Really understand what is being offered to you before you get back to them.
That said, hiring managers will be waiting to hear from you before letting the other interviewees know they have moved ahead with another candidate. So, be polite and get back to them in a timely fashion (a day or two ideally).
RESPONDING TO YOUR OFFER
Now that you have an understanding of what your minimum salary is, what you are bringing to the position and why you are worth the value you’ve decided on, and have thoroughly considered all aspects of the offer, it’s time to get back in touch with the hiring manager. Now, you can voice salary and benefits requests, or ask any further questions you may have.
Requesting Salary Considerations
Here are a few formulas you can use to include relevant information as to why you are worth the salary you are hoping for:
“Formerly, I made between X and X annually, however, I am now looking to advance my earning potential.”
“Based on [include the assets you bring to the role here], I believe X is a fair starting point for salary.”
“I am willing to consider X, depending on how and when pay increases are offered in the future.”
The important thing is to sound confident in your reasons for the salary you are putting forward. Help the hiring manager understand why you deserve what you are asking for, and focus on what’s in it for them. And, don’t underestimate the power of likeability! Ask for what you deserve, but make sure you are backing up those statements.
Asking Questions & Further Requests
If you have things you would like clarified around the offer, ask them all in one email. This shows that you respect the hiring manager’s time and have collected your thoughts, rater than sending them question after question throughout the week.
Some further things you can ask for clarification on, or request (if you feel it necessary to your decision):
- Ask for clarification on any benefits
- Ask for clarification on vacation and sick days
- Ask how often wage will be reviewed — this can help your decision, especially if you agree to a salary at the lower end of your range.
- If you are seeking certain accommodations, this is the time to ask what options are available: more vacation days, flexible hours, the option to work from home, etc.
- Be prepared for tough questions they might ask you in return, such as: do you have any other offers at the moment? Are we your top choice? Etc. Prepare some respectful, honest answers.
- Avoid ultimatums. By this point in the process, and as you are choosing to engage in the negotiation, you have hopefully decided you would like to work for this company. Remember that these are potential co-workers and presenting yourself cordially is important.
- Ask for the offer in writing!
Your success in the long run doesn’t depend on you having the negotiation go entirely your way, but in getting the job you accept right. Is this a place where the culture works for you? Where you have opportunities to grow? Where they support you in the ways you need?
That said, you know what your own value is, and should a company not be able to see that (even after presenting your case politely and effectively) or support that, you can walk away before signing anything.
Now your value. Ask for what you deserve. Show your worth. And accept an offer where you are both comfortable with the contract, and with the team you are joining.
~ written by Lucy Fox
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