Job seeker’s guide to salary negotiations

August 26, 2022

One’s salary is the most quantifiable variable of one’s worth in the professional job market, and that is why this variable gets the extra importance that it deserves. It is the core driver of the economic engine of your life. Job seekers with in-demand skills and impressive experience and credentials are calling much more of the shots when it comes to negotiating superior packages. Whether you want to shift industries, look for new opportunities or go after your promotion with gusto, you must have an idea about how you can negotiate your salaries when looking for the perfect job!

What is the role of salary in examining a job offer?
Salary after all is the single most important variable in evaluating a job offer. That said, it cannot be looked at in isolation. One must also consider the culture of the company, as well as, the strategic fit of the job with your life. Strategic fit refers to how easy or how difficult a job will be should you accept it. And learning what resources will be made available to you in terms of time, personnel, and finances – as well as, the goals or KPIs you are expected to achieve will help you better understand what the opportunity truly means to your career and life.

How can job seekers determine their market value?
If you are a working professional, ask yourself, knowing what your company knows about your performance today, would they rehire you with enthusiasm for the role that you are in? This question serves as a litmus test to get a fair understudying of what you are worth.

Apart from checking this above barometer for your worth in your own eyes, a candidate must look at three areas to understand their market value, and they are namely:

Conduct online research
Do this to see what companies are paying for similar roles and similar job descriptions.

Conducting inter-company research
This will further bring into focus what you may be able to get in the salary negotiation game. Inter-company research allows you to dive further into facts such as the impact of geographical locations on pay. The same job in Bangalore pays more than the same job in Ahmedabad but one must also keep in mind that the cost of living in these two cities is significantly different. This type of research takes you one level deeper into this otherwise quagmire of CTCs.

Conducting intra-company research
This is also an area that provides the deepest insight into salaries. This type of research helps you understand whether you are leaving money on the table or are you getting a fair offer based on the merit and value you bring to the table. And to be able to uncover this, you need to build the right context to approach and learn from company insiders. The good news is that this context can be built into how you structure, set up and run your job search efforts.

How can job seekers maximise their value and salary?
The first thing you must understand is that you are not paid for your time, your knowledge or your personality. That is not to say these things are not important but they are not the foundation. The foundation of what you are paid for is the value of the results that you deliver. So break the connection of your value from your time, knowledge or personality and forge it with the results that you have delivered. Maximising the results produces a direct increase in salary. And to convince a company that you are the best candidate for the job you will need to research their problems and opportunities.

You will need to understand how you are connected to the financial statements and performance of the company, and what you need to deliver to maximise their performance. Now how to go about doing this is not something that is taught in the formal system of education but it is not difficult to do. You begin looking at the financial statements, the industry dynamics, the market and the competitive landscape of the company to understand the needs of the company at a deeper level. These are needs that go beyond the job description. Once you uncover these needs, you can then make a much superior assessment with regard to your ability to be able to accomplish these deliverables. The implications of this are directly relevant to how you will market, present, communicate and negotiate the best offer for yourself.

What are the key takeaways?
It is a job seekers’ market and candidates cannot afford to sit back and let this opportunity pass by out of the fear of broaching this subject, or not knowing how to comfortably tackle this otherwise sensitive topic. Armed with the right mindset and facts, negotiating your salary to the best becomes much easier. Mastering the salary negotiation game is not an optional skill any longer, because this will drive the economic engine of your life. The good news is that this focused knowledge is available today and represents one of the best value investments of your time. Spending a week or two learning how to do this provides a greater ROI to you than anything else, especially in both the short and long terms.

Leave a comment