Negotiating your salary can be a tough balancing act between undervaluing and overvaluing yourself. If you suggest a salary that’s too high, you could price yourself out, as employers may offer the job to someone more affordable. Equally, if you give a figure that’s too low, employers may not think you’re senior enough for the job.
So, how do you handle the question of salary? Do your research first.
Payscale.com offers an excellent resource that allows you to benchmark your salary offer according to the position you’re applying for, your location, your experience and a number of other factors. You can also use it to see how your current salary measures up.
It’s common to be asked about your salary expectations during a job interview or another stage of the job application process. This allows the interviewer to eliminate the candidates with too-high expectations, and determine what they need to offer you if they do decide you’re the person they want for the job.
Therefore, it’s important to go into the application process with a figure prepared. This can be a range, as you won’t be negotiating your exact salary until you have a job offer on the table. Start with your absolute, deal-breaking minimum and lead up to your ideal figure. Just make sure it’s realistic and justifiable, based on your research.
If you’re offered £20,000, don’t ask for £30,000. PayScale explains: “When you consider that a typical yearly increase is between two and three percent, and promotions are typically between eight and twelve percent, you are essentially asking for the equivalent of two promotions.” Seems slightly unrealistic to ask for a 50% increase now, doesn’t it?
Don’t rush into a decision. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for time to consider the offer. Make sure you have the details in writing, go home, and consider your options.
Remember that there are extras to think about. Ask about benefits in addition to salary such as holiday time, pension, bonuses and perks such as lunches and gym discounts – they may be worth those extra pounds you were looking for.
If you want to ask for a higher amount, according to Forbes, the trick to negotiating your salary up is to “consider how competitive the market is for your skills and let that inform the number you put down. If the market is saturated then you don’t have as much to leverage. Do your research to understand how in-demand your skills are and what the typical compensation package looks like.”
Finally, Payscale.com advises “If you’re going to ask for something, be prepared to explain what you want, why you want it, and if possible, how it will benefit the company. This will allow you to justify your rationale for a higher salary. It is important to be data driven when negotiating.”