The best time to negotiate your salary is before you accept a new job as you are in the strongest position, after that it’s on annual reviews based on performance or internal promotions.
Money is such an emotive subject yet everyone works for monetary gain so how can you ensure you are paid what you deserve, irrespective of gender.
We can’t hide from the statistics: in Australia, women earn 81.8cents to a man’s dollar, and 57% of men negotiate their offer and only 7% of women.
However, your new employer will not love you any more than at the point they are recruiting you. So invest in this opportunity at offer stage to achieve the salary and benefits you want.
Follow these tips to negotiate what you deserve:
- Know what you want when you commence your negotiation. If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, both your desired number and your walk away point (if it is a new employer), you’re already on the back foot and at the mercy of the hiring manager who is automatically in control.
- Know what else you want in terms of bonus, commission, holidays, training, travel, insurance, working hours, health benefits, car, mobile, and other non-monetary perks. And what of these are negotiable against salary, walk away points and nice to have’s.
- Practice the pause. When you hear the offer, nod, and pause. In this gap, the person making the offer could well interject with a better offer or other benefits. Give yourself time to assess what is on the table and how it compares to the figure you had in mind, even at the end of a negotiation you can still ask for 24 hours to sleep on it.
- Manifest the salary you want: write the number down on your fridge, computer, mirror, car, anywhere you see it. State it to yourself and believe it, for example, “I earn $100,000 a year. Write yourself a paycheck with the monthly figure. Reinforce in your mind what it is you want and don’t doubt that you’ll receive it.
- As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook suggests “Pronouns matter. Whenever possible, women should substitute we for I. A woman’s request will be better received if she asserts ‘We had a great year,’ as opposed to ‘I had a great year.”
- Research what the average salary range is for your role in your industry using websites such as www.payscale.com, and speak to a recruitment agency who specializes in your sector. They are at the forefront of what the market is paying for your level of experience, and whether your skill set is in demand (higher demand = more chance of increasing your salary).
- Negotiation is a two-way process and both parties need to feel they have won, or at least it is a win-win situation. Remember, at any point, either party can walk away, including your potential new employer. Your new employer needs to feel you are 100% bought into their business and the role, not just looking for monetary gain, otherwise, you risk the employer withdrawing the offer completely.
- Take into consideration your personal circumstances. If you are out of work or at risk of redundancy you have power than if you are in a secure role. If you are out of work research the market, how buoyant is the talent pool, on average how long are people out of work (and can you allow for that time frame or longer?). Do your market research before negotiating.
- Research the company you are joining, you might be desperate to leave your current employer but you don’t want to jump from the frying pan into the fire. If they pay way above the market averages, maybe it because everyone there works exceptionally long hours, or maybe the company has a high turnover of staff so the only way they can retain people is by paying more. Find out about the culture as much as you can because often money is not the only consideration, because if you are not happy then the increase in salary will still not be worth it.
- Finally, be clear on non-negotiable areas and your walk away point, whether that is salary or non-monetary benefits.
Be calm, flexible and do your research, knowing what you want and what you will forgo, and remember, ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’, so speak up.