How to negotiate the right salary for you

So you’ve impressed at interview stage, and you’re at the touching point of an offer where you’re having the all-important salary conversation. This can feel like an awkward stage, but it’s a key part of the process where you could ultimately decide whether the role is right. Negotiating salary can be a bit of a back and forth scenario, but it’s an important one to get right. Here’s the top things to consider…

  • Salary is more than a flat figure, consider the benefits on offer too. What are the companies pension contributions? How many days paid leave do you receive? Is there private healthcare on offer? Good benefits are valuable in itself, so consider whether you intend to make the most of them.
  • Do you have an idea of the market salary for this role? Do some competitor research, or if dealing with a recruiter, ask them what they believe the fair salary for the role is. That way, you know whether there is room to manoeuvre.
  • Is the role or salary more important to you? We all move jobs for a reason. Be it for a new challenge, to climb up the career ladder, or simply because we need more money, there’s much to consider. If you’re side stepping to a role which interests you more, you may have to sacrifice a bump in salary, however the rewards in experience are priceless. Consider all the bases of what you require, and more importantly – what you can live on.

How to negotiate

Once you’ve received the job offer, if the salary wasn’t quite what you were expecting it’s time to start negotiations.

  • Ask whether there’s any movement in the offer. Also ask how frequently reviews will take place. It could be worth sacrificing an amount initially if, once you’ve cemented your place and shown your capabilities in a role, you can then prove you deserve more.
  • If it’s markably below your minimum expectations, explain why. Give reasonings as to why and back up your points. Cement a clear argument.
  • If it’s close to what you expected, you can still negotiate. The employer clearly wants you for this role, so reiterate your experience, knowledge and qualifications that has made you right for the position.
  • Even if the salary is higher than expected, still have a think. Consider your future in this job. Is there room for development? When could you expect your earnings to grow? Adapt your lifestyle and income to this.

If things still don’t seem right…

Think again. There will have been a reason you’ve applied for this role, so take all of the above into consideration. Are there things in lieu of money you could try for? Things like flexible working could be an option. Get an idea of team culture as well; if the job is somewhere you could see yourself being truly happy that’s also a really positive thing to think about.

The negotiations process is also a really good time for you to get a feel of the company itself. If you’re feeling friction or that the company aren’t being accommodating, it may be time to reconsider whether it’s the right place for you. Ultimately, knowing your worth when it comes to finding a job is the most important thing of all – however it’s up to you to decide exactly what you think it is.