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"My Job's worth more than Peanuts!" How to Negotiate Salary with an Employer

That part of the interview where you are asked to state how much you would love to be paid if you were hired is usually difficult or nearly overwhelming for most interview candidates especially those applying for entry-level positions. You want to make it easy for your employers to hire you now that you are so close to wrapping your arms around the job but you also don’t want to be at a loss or regret working because you are being underpaid.

From the employer’s perspective, there are things that determine the range of your salary, some of which are;

-Level of the job in the Organisation: from the organisation’s role chart ranging from entry level to executive positions, employers will consider how valuable each role is to the company and determine the salary range for each role; obviously, the higher the position, the bigger the remuneration package.

Your work experience, qualifications and career progress

What other employers are paying for similar roles.

-The Company’s state of finance

In a previous post by Segun Akiode, he gave some important points to successfully negotiate salary with an employer; here are a few additional tips to help.

  • Relax:The first thing you should know is; when employers ask you this question, there’s a high probability they want to hire you. This should make you feel extra confident and comfortable to discuss your remuneration expectation.
  • Research: Do a thorough research on the company and the industry, find out what employers  pay  employees in similar roles, compare your skills with the job description and then draft out a range of salary you’ll be willing to accept; preferably, set your expectations a little lower than the salary range. You’ll need these findings to explain to your employers why you deserve more than they are offering.
  • Be courteous: Although employers will be disappointed if you don’t negotiate, they’ll however have serious second thoughts about hiring you if you do not negotiate smartly and professionally. Remember it is a negotiation not an argument. When presented an offer you are not satisfied with, politely decline the offer or request to think about it and give a response at a later time; you however also need to have an idea on how soon they need your response.
  • Use the right tone: It’s important you use the right tone to enable your employers enjoy the interview with you. It is a deciding factor in any interview, the interviewers are potentially your colleagues and your tone would go a long way in determining how you would be related with as a co-worker.
  • Can you take a low salary if there are other opportunities in the job? There are other non-monetary aspects of your remuneration package, find out what they are and negotiate on them if your employers are unwilling to offer you a desired salary; which means you ought to have prioritised your expectations for the job- do you want a closer place to work, more vacation time, promotion/advancement opportunities, challenging responsibilities… whatever it is, be willing to discuss what you can compromise your salary for.
  • Be pragmatic and convincing but don’t sell yourself short:  whatever employers are willing to pay you, they anticipate a commensurate -or additional- value in return. Be realistic when laying emphasis on the benefits you’ll offer, employers will hold you accountable for this especially after they agree to pay you more than they initially planned.
  • Most importantly, whether you are able to reach an agreement with your future employer or not, ensure to keep lines of communication open for further discussions. In the case where you may have to talk over the issue, be sure to have dug deeper into company information and have a rough calculation of your worth to your employers. Using your findings from research; make good use of figures to highlight your worth to future employers to further convince them.

What would you do if you really want a job but you are not comfortable with the salary offer? If you’ve had a similar experience, how did you handle the situation? Please share your thoughts/experiences in the comments section below.

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell