Figure out your worth

Last Updated : 09 November 2021, 02:56 IST

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Are you satisfied with your job?

One main factor that contributes to job satisfaction is the salary you get. While pay scale is often fixed at a certain range for a particular job role, negotiating with your employer or person in-charge can help you get better pay.

You could perhaps earn even more money, provided you convince them of your worth.

In an interview, Indra Nooyi had said she “never, ever, ever asked for a raise,” and like her, many aren’t comfortable asking for a hike. Studies also show that women are less likely to negotiate their salaries compared to men. However, experts opine that not negotiating often means settling for less. This affects your future income and in turn, your self-esteem.

“You have to be aware of your strengths as well as weaknesses prior to asking for a better pay. Only then can you manoeuvre the tough questions. The key is to be confident and assure the recruiter that the plus points outweigh the negative ones,” says Harshvardhan, a data scientist.

Harshvardhan thinks that it is easier to negotiate a salary before accepting a job offer, compared to asking for a raise later on. “You have to know when the situation is in your favour,” he says.

The most favoured route to getting a higher pay is switching companies. According to Bikash Pratap Singh, a senior associate consultant, the general trend among the youth is to work in a company for a minimum of one and a half to two years and a maximum of five years.

“Even companies value people who are adaptable. Adaptability can be developed if you are exposed to different work cultures,” says Bikash. He explains there are two kinds of switch: by moving to another organisation or laterally within the same organisation; and doing this increases a person’s market value.

So, before you set out to negotiate your salary, here are some things that may come handy:

Having patience: Wait for the company to start the conversation regarding the pay. This is important for two reasons. One, you will get to know the range the company is willing to pay. Also, what if the company is planning to pay you more than you expected. So, don’t make haste.

Knowing the trends: You have to research and find out the industry’s current pay standards for the job role you have applied for. “Finding out the trends and the company policy will be helpful, as you can get an idea of how much to expect,” says Harshvardhan.

Being specific: While stating your expectations, it is advisable to mention a particular number or range. This will convey that you have done your research and know your worth.

Writing emails: Nowadays, the common mode of communication is through emails. So, while writing your salary negotiation email, keep it short and concise, stating your expectations.

Projecting your worth: While it is important to state a precise number, you should be able to project your skills, experience, and potential for contributing to the company’s growth. You should be able to reason out why you are asking for more. “Compensation purely depends on performance. So, there is no use of stating your personal problems,” says an HR professional.

Knowing what is right: Sometimes, the company may not agree to your demands. In such a case, you need to ascertain if the offer is fair and working in the company will help you in the long term. If you truly feel you deserve more, then don’t be afraid of rejecting the offer.

Being likeable: At all stages of the interview, you have to be polite. Being likeable increases the chance of getting a better offer. While being persistent and assertive is essential to have an upper hand, you shouldn’t come across as being a nuisance.

Indicating your willingness: The hiring manager will consider negotiating only if it is felt you are serious about taking up the job. So, let them know you are ready to take up the job provided certain conditions are met.

Considering all aspects: Apart from just negotiating a salary, it is crucial to consider the whole deal. Do take into account: job role, location, flexibility, perks, opportunities for growth, work culture, travel options etc. “It is important to never accept an offer in a hurry. Always, ask for some time. Consider all the factors, not just the pay before taking up a job,” says Niveditha, an IT professional. It is important to be able to have a life outside the office too.

Knowing the deciding factors: If there are multiple contenders or multiple job offers, then it is unlikely that the company will be willing to give you a higher salary than others. If you are one of the few contenders, or are contending for a new position in the company, you will have more room for negotiation.

Drawing the line: It is advisable to not negotiate for the sake of negotiating. Stick to asking for what is most important to you, the smaller aspects can be sorted out later. Don’t come across as being annoying.

Choosing the right role: Sometimes, you may get an option of opting for a better job role or a better pay. Take a call depending on what will benefit you in the future.

It is essential to first know your own value. Only then can you confidently justify your expectations.

“Negotiation doesn’t end when you accept the job offer. You will have to prove that you are worth it,” says Harshvardhan.

Published 09 November 2021, 02:49 IST

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