You have finally done it. After many searches and applications, difficult interviews with questions like: ‘Would you choose this job over your own biological mother?’ you have finally reached the end of your long journey and received a job offer.
However, after straining through all the fine print and the listed salary, you have to wonder to yourself: ‘How much is my job worth?’ The offer has been made, the hiring manager is interested, and now the ball is in your court. What is the next step? Negotiation.
Many online resources have cropped up recently to help gauge your price on the market. In one of the most popular, Payscale.com, you can search your job title and compare your offered job salary to that of employees that have anonymously reported their earnings and bonuses, according to their location and years of experience. Other options include WageIndicator.org, which shows the median monthly salary by country for different jobs, with other relevant demographics such as the age and sex distribution of employees. For more specialised insider information, Glassdoor.nl may offer you valuable insights into the company you are about to join from anonymous staff and interviewed candidates.
If you want to be even more adventurous with your approach, then it is time to network. Ask other professionals in your field (not directly though): ‘Does this salary range sound right for this kind of job in this kind of company?’ and gauge an opinion from their responses. Use the combination of comments with the salary information you already have to approach your salary offer.
Make a Plan
If a hiring manager offers you a salary greater than the region median, then that is great! Go for it. However, you will find more often than not that companies attempt to cut employee costs by offering them lowered salaries or sub-standard bonuses.
So what do you do when faced with a less than expected salary? ‘Wait some time, then make a counteroffer proposal’, suggests Dr Randall S. Hansen of Quintessential Careers. ‘Remain professional, and write a short counter-offer focusing on one or two points. If the salary is too low, ask for an increase. If you know the firm will not negotiate salary, focus on modifying other terms of the offer such as vacation time, relocation allowance, and bonuses. Then ask for the final offer in writing. No legitimate company will have issue with this. If your employer accuses you of not having trust, or attempts to bully you into a verbal agreement, take this as a major red flag.’
Many employers often low-ball new employees with their initial offer, and may even expect you to negotiate. At the end of the day, solid research and diplomatic tact will take you far, and bring you the salary you truly deserve.
By Alexander Droujinine