Job Search Part 7: How to negotiate your salary and benefits.
Are you looking for work? Then you have come to the right place!
This is the seventh post in our series on Job Search.
In the first post at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/05/job-searchwhat-kind-of-work-are-you-looking-for/ , I said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.
In the second post at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/12/job-search-part-2-where-are-you-looking/ , I set out some options for you about where to look for work
In the third post, you can find it here, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/19/job-search-part-3what-networking-can-do-for-your-job-search/, I said that networking was the most effective way to look for work and I discussed how to do it well.
The fourth post at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/26/job-search-part-4-writing-that-winning-cv/, set out how to write a CV to help you stand-out from the crowd.
In Part 5 we discussed how you prepare to be a star at a conventional interview.http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/08/09/job-search-part-5-preparing-for-the-interview/
In Part 6 we discussed Phone Interviews, Group Interviews and Assessment Centres at this link http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/08/16/job-search-part-6-phone-interviews-group-interviews-and-assessment-centres/
So you did well at interview and you are now being offered the role. But you are not sure about the remuneration package and whether it is the right one. What should you do?
Now is the time to do your homework on what you should expect.
First, find out what is a the minimum for the role that you could consider. You need to know your financial commitments and what it takes to maintain your present life style. What are you earning now? Surely you would expect at least the same salary. Find out about market rates and what other people are being paid for the same work? Find job specs with similar requirements to what you’ve been offered and check what other employers are currently offering. If you are particularly well qualified or experienced, you should expect higher than average market rates.
Having done some research into what the market rates are, you’re now in a position to start considering your ideal salary. This is the salary you consider you should be paid given the job you’re applying for and your own level of experience. Looking at the higher-end salaries for jobs being advertised in your chosen field, as well as the level of experience they require, is a good place to start.
When you have considered salaries, you should consider the possible benefits package. For example, your prospective employer might offer any of the following benefits:
- Health care
- Pension scheme
- Stock options
- Free gym membership
- Travel schemes/car
- Flexible working options
You should consider how much flexibility you’re willing to offer for these kind of benefits. That means the monetary value of each benefit as well as the effect on your life style. For example, flexible working hours might allow you to spend more time with your family and pensions could help your future security.
Now, you have a fair idea what you might expect and it is time to think about negotiating. Your new employer is likely to have a figure in mind for your salary, but you should not simply accept or reject the first offer. See how much flexibility there is and when a salary review is likely to take place. This might make taking a slightly lower offer more acceptable. If it is a low offer, tell the new employer that is what you think but tell them tactfully and back it up with facts from your research.
If the package is around your expected salary, you can still attempt negotiation. You should explain how your experience, knowledge and qualifications position you in the market. If you are one of those lucky people offered your ideal salary, you can still discuss future opportunities for earning and for career development.
You should never flat-out refuse the offer of a salary straight away. Always say you ‘need time to consider the package’, that gives you and the employer more time to consider your options. Never just consider salary in isolation! Always take into account other things like benefits, working hours, work culture and the job itself as well as room for career development.
If the salary is not what you expected and it isn’t compensated for by additional benefits or career development, you should say so. If the employer is not prepared to move, then you’ll probably have to accept that the job wasn’t right for you and move on. Remember, if you’ve done your homework, you should know what you’re worth, so you should try your best to make sure that’s what you earn in your next job.
If you are serious about career and personal development, I think you will find our new programme at this link http://gettingtherewithwisewolf.com/ interesting!
Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with managers and professionals who want to make that jump to senior level while maintaining a good work/life balance. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR. She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at email@example.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com