At some point during the interview process you will be asked about your salary expectations. This mostly happens during the latter stages of recruitment process when you have made some impression on the interviewing panel and you don’t want to be caught off-guard with the question. Quoting a low starting salary or saying anything along the lines of accepting anything they offer is literally selling yourself short.
A starting salary can determine your career earnings and starting with a low income can stunt your earnings for a long time. You don’t want to overprice yourself out of the job either and this is why you must know how to negotiate your starting salary so you get a fair remuneration.
Know your value
You must know your worth before going to the negotiation table. These are your skills and experience that you can back with demonstrable examples to back your salary demands. You can’t just throw an arbitrary figure when negotiating for your first salary. You will either undersell or oversell yourself.
You must know the value you bring to the company for you to have Reasonable Salary Expectations and be able to get a favourable outcome out of the negotiations.
Understand the industry rates
You should know the average salary for similar roles within the industry. Ideally, your salary range should be within the industry rates unless you can support a higher salary demand with unparalleled experience or unique set of skills. The salary range should be specific to your working location because they differ from one city to another.
In addition to the industry rates, you also need to understand the nature and size of the company. For instance, you don’t expect most startups with limited resources to match the industry rate. You can find essential information concerning a company’s pay scale on company review sites like Glassdoor.
You should approach your salary negotiation with an open mind even if you still must have your boundaries. It’s a negotiation so be prepared to negotiate. You should have a range of acceptable income rather than a fixed value when negotiating for your starting salary and any other increments after that.
This shows the employer that you are willing to negotiate and gives them room to consider a figure within that range that works for their budget. In fact, you might just be lucky to get a higher amount than what you would have settled for.
Look beyond the salary
There is more to a remuneration package than the salary. There are other benefits like medical cover, flexible working hours, leave days, performance bonus, pension contributions and professional development opportunities that you can also negotiate for.
You might find that a company is paying you slightly lower salary but that is made up for in generous benefits. It is therefore important to assess whatever you are offered beyond the gross salary.
In addition to these, ensure you also understand a company’s salary review and promotion policy. You can start with a low salary but earn better within a specified duration if it gets reviewed often.