Making sure you get paid what you are worth can be difficult, especially if you have just been offered a great job. But don’t be shy, and remove the myths about salary negotiation from your brain, because if you don’t, they can prevent you from getting the salary you deserve.
I used these principles recently to get a friend from an initial offer of 2.8% to a 19% pay rise on a new position – yes, in the middle of a recession! That’s almost 7 times more! She was extremely disappointed with the first offer she received, but too polite to ask for more – until she talked to me of course! Please be aware of these myths, and don’t fall victim to them:
Myth 1: Aim for the highest salary
When you look at your life, you will probably realise that cash is not always the most important thing. Consider carefully other benefits, bonuses and quality of life that a position affords. The job with the highest salary might enslave you and leave little time for home, hobby or sport activities.
Myth 2: Employers don’t like negotiating salaries
Most employers have respect for a person who is firm in the way he values him/herself. There is no harm in justifying to an employer why you deserve more.
Myth 3: If you don’t indicate your expected salary, your application won’t be reviewed
You will sometimes find “expected salary” to be a requirement in job ads. By quoting a figure, be it too high OR too low, you can either eliminate yourself from consideration, or lock yourself into a salary that is below what you really want.
If you are qualified and meet all other criteria, employers will not ignore your resume because it doesn’t list a salary range.
Myth 4: There is no room to move
If an employer believes you are the perfect candidate for the job, and the offer on the table is below your expectations, it is rare indeed that they have no room to move. Exceptions are possible.
Myth 5: A “starting salary” is OK to begin with
Don’t fall for this one! Most salary increases are negotiated on your current wage. Accepting a lower “starting” salary, without any negotiation, will impact your negotiations for years.
Myth 6: Asking for less improves your chances
Few employers hire on salary alone, and his strategy can sometimes backfire by devaluing you in the eyes of the company, and actually decrease your chances of landing the job.
Myth 7: Agree to the offer ASAP
Don’t believe that if you don’t jump at an offer, an employer will rush to make the offer to someone else. Get the offer in writing, and if you have any doubts, take at least 24 hours before accepting. Understanding that you have room to negotiate will help you to get the salary you deserve – the first offer from an employer is rarely the last and final offer – salary negotiation is part of the process.
Know Your Value
Knowing your own value is one of the most important skills to have generally, but being able to realise it is even more important. Look at the value you add and expect to be compensated accordingly. If you are unable to get the compensation (monetary and non-monetary) you think you deserve there are always alternatives – you are more resourceful than you dare to let yourself think!