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Money Talks: how to negotiate a salary and get that little extra

Most discussions about money can be awkward. But when it comes to negotiating a good salary, you need to learn how to embrace the embarassment and indulge in some straight talk.

One of the reasons most employees steer clear of the negotiating process is because they are worried they may ask for a number that is either too low or too high. To ensure that doesn’t happen, wait for the employer to make an offer. Some other salary negotiation tips to keep in mind to help you make that little extra are:

Know your market value

Do your homework and find out what people from your field and level of experience are making. This information can be obtained through word-of-mouth, from job ads and even services like the Monster Salary Index where you can calculate and compare pay packages. Then, put a monetary value to all those skills you have learnt on the job which make you more valuable to the company before you arrive at a final figure.

Delink your salary from your last paycheck

Most companies in India fix pay by asking for a candidate’s previous salary and offering a certain percentage hike on that figure. Although this is standard practice, there is no reason the same method should apply to everybody. If you have been underpaid till now, use this opportunity to ask for a paycheck that meets industry standards. If you are already on the higher end of the pay spectrum, list the skills and qualifications which bring value to the company to convince your employers of your worth and obtain a little more.

Be flexible

The art of negotiation also entails dealing with compromises and rejections, so don’t feel bad if they come your way. Some employers could meet you halfway, in which case you have some reason to be happy. In case of an outright rejection, you need to take a call whether the offer is still good enough for you or not. Weigh your pros and cons objectively and then communicate your decision politely to the company.

Study the salary structure

Companies usually draw up a salary structure and send it for approval to the employee they are hiring. Ensuring that your salary is structured in such a way as to minimize the tax burden by including allowances and incentives is one way for you to get more out of your salary.

Keep the negotiations professional

Remember to be confident, polite and ready for compromise. The last thing you want is a deadlock. Also, be careful not to seem desperate, pleading or apologetic. Don’t bring up any personal reasons about why you need money as that would be very unprofessional. Engage with the company confidently on equal terms and get the best deal for yourself!

While as a new recruit, your salary is chiefly determined by the sector, skills and qualifications, experience, size of company, etc, negotiating well can help you get that little extra. Most companies tend to quote a figure on the lower side, so it’s important that you negotiate. If you don’t, chances are you have missed out on making more money.

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