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What you need to consider before negotiating your salary

Negotiating your salary with your potential employer can be tricky. After attending interviews, getting excited about the opportunity and imagining yourself working for the company, it all comes down to securing a job offer – and a good one at that.

The key to successfully negotiating your salary is preparing well and being realistic. Naturally, you want to be offered a salary that is befitting of your worth, skills and experience and in most instances, employers are fair with what they offer.

At the same time, if you’re asked for your salary expectations earlier on in the recruitment process, you won’t want to price yourself out of a role that is perfect for you.

So how can you ensure that your salary negotiations run smoothly and leave all parties feeling happy? It all starts with your preparation. Be sure to make a note of these tips for when you begin negotiating your salary with a company.

Decide early

The employer or recruiter will usually question you on your salary expectations at some point during the recruitment process. So do ensure that you prepare for this.

Before you even start looking for new roles, you should make a decision about what it is you want from your next opportunity. That includes your salary, the role, company culture and work/life balance.

Don’t bring it up too early

Unless you’re liaising with a recruiter who hasn’t disclosed any salary information, it’s best not to bring it up yourself. Focusing too much on salary in the early stages of the recruitment process could jeopardise your chances. In some instances, candidates have had their interviews cancelled for asking about salaries!

Employers don’t like to see that all you’re interested in is the money (even if this is the case). While the money is obviously important, first you should show them that you are passionate about their company and your career. The opportunity for negotiating your salary will come up, so be patient.

Know your worth

While it’s all well and good having a desired salary in mind, it needs to be a realistic one. We’d all like to be earning £100K for working 12 hours a week!

Use sites such as Payscale and Glassdoor to establish what kind of wage others in your industry and role are on.

Set your expectations

Once you’ve conducted some thorough research you can decide what salary to look for in your next role. Consider the top and bottom salary ranges that your research has uncovered, where you are currently and where you could realistically fit. Decided on your own salary range that you would be happy with going forward. It’s good to leave yourself some wiggle room for negotiating your salary.

Consider other benefits

Remember, when it comes to looking for a new job, money isn’t everything! What else is on offer? It’s important to take into consideration other factors including:

  • Training
  • Progression paths
  • Company culture
  • Flexibility (which could include working from home and agile working hours)
  • Additional benefits

Weigh up everything that a role has to offer you rather than fixating on just the salary. If you’re offered a luxury of workplace benefits and you’re still negotiating your salary, it’s likely you won’t get very far.

Preparing to sell yourself

If you want employers to offer you more money you need to show that you’re worth it. Most companies will be prepared to pay a bit more if they believe that the person is going to be a valuable asset to their team.

Throughout the recruitment process and especially at interviews you need to sell you personality and the unique skills and experience you can bring.

Turning down a job offer

If the salary falls short of your expectations and other benefits don’t swing it for you then don’t be afraid to turn down a job offer. In some instances, this will open up further negotiations for you to get the money you want. In others you may have to focus on a different opportunity.

There are plenty of roles in the majority of sectors right now, so even if you have an interview lined up for one job, keep the ball rolling with applications so that you have more choice.

Don’t stress when negotiating your salary

Try not to get too wrapped up in worrying about salary negotiations. It’s an important step in every recruitment process and you win some, you lose some. In many cases, candidates receive the salary they want and don’t even need to negotiate further.

If you are clear about what you want, brush up on your negotiations skills and prepare for the salary discussion, you’ll be absolutely fine.


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