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Negotiating your salary; A 5 step guide to maximise your chances.

Salary discussions are often a taboo subject for most people. Asking for a pay-rise is something that a lot of individuals can feel uncomfortable with but we feel it is an employee’s right to have regular discussions & reviews centred around your pay. Throughout the years, the national living wage has increased (admittedly not by massive amounts) but add a sprinkle of inflation to your outgoings coupled with incremental rises in the everyday cost of living and you can go from being comfortable to struggling very quickly.

When you’re feeling left behind by a lack of regular pay reviews who is the onus on to raise the subject as a topic of conversation?

Unfortunately for some, if the business is not doing this as part of their standard operating model, then the responsibility will fall to you as the employee which can often be a starting point for problems.

Having the confidence to approach this subject with your line manager is one thing, having the ability to convince them of your increasing value to the organisation is where it becomes more difficult. Furthermore, the ability to know when to assess the situation and know when to accept any offers of increase without pushing back too much is when the real skill of negotiation comes into play.

Following the systematic approach outlined below will put you in good stead to get that pay rise you so richly deserve! This doesn’t just apply to pay-rises either, you can use these tips when it comes to job offers as well.

Understanding your value and defining a wish number you can justify.

This is the most important factor of the negotiation and it happens before you approach your line manager. You NEED to understand your value, what you bring to the business and what you can potentially offer them in the future as you progress – this paints a clear picture of what you perceive as your salary expectations. We get it, you will always go for *insert very high number* but you also have to appreciate the market rates for the role you are in so doing your due diligence and aligning that with your perceived self-value will bring you to a figure you will be able to justify and feel happy within yourself.

  1. Try not to factor in your previous salary.
  2. Search online for salary averages and speak to your peers.
  3. Find a number you are comfortable asking for and are able to ratify – being able to justify it is imperative.

Have a range you are comfortable with, taking into consideration other components of an offer.

As per the above, having your ideal salary in your head is where the negotiating starts. This figure should be the upper limit of the bracket you are willing to discuss. Quite honestly, companies will be reluctant to give you a big pay rise off the bat so there is always likely to be a lower end counteroffer. Be prepared for this and you will still have a chance to secure an increase you are happy with. Consider the total package being offered, all the benefits you get alongside your salary on top of the fiscal amount creates a total sum, so try not to go overboard.

  1. The number you have in mind should not be set in stone; a small degree of flexibility is essential but don’t undersell yourself.
  2. When asked, give a specific number you would ideally like to attain and keep the range you have in mind to yourself like a poker hand.

Don’t answer directly – thank them, sleep on it and return with a thought-through answer.

Once you get to the point of an offer don’t accept on the spot, take your time and read through the full details making a note of any revisions or topics you might want to discuss. Doing this will enable you to fine-tune any concerns you may have. At the end of the day, any agreement needs to be mutually beneficial.

  1. When you receive the offer, take time for consideration (overnight is best) before making a decision.
  2. Go through the contract thoroughly, there are usually a few minor points worth discussing.
  3. Explain any revisions required and allow the ping pong game to begin.

No homework – No change. Try to send them home with homework.

Linked to the above, the “ping pong” element of this is because if they aren’t hitting the ball back, you will be. Whatever they serve you, consider the implications and send them back with tweaks. Of course, you don’t have to if you are happy with what is in the contract from the beginning.

Don’t overdo it, always stay humble and show honest willingness and desire when the gap is bridged.

We get it, you want the most money possible and you won’t settle for anything less. That my friend would be a bad move. Being too stubborn in these situations can end up killing the whole conversation/offer entirely and leaving you in an awkward situation with a company where you are still employed. When the company changes their offer for you, that is typically going against their standard policy so you have to be mindful of this generosity. Having the ability to understand when to stop the negotiations and accept what is in front of you is also an important skill to learn.

  1. Read the situation, you could go back and forth for an eternity but know when to recognise and accept the middleground
  2. Revisions may not be required – if that is the case, still consider the options and accept/reject accordingly.

Following these steps will put you in a strong position to negotiate that salary increase you want and more importantly – deserve! Just remember to be respectful of your managers time and decision while factoring in revisions that may have to be made to the contract. At the same time, you also need to remember why you are doing this, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to make your money go further each month!

If your current company won’t entertain a pay-rise for you and you are considering moving jobs, you can read our complete guide to how to go about searching for a new position to secure your next career move.

Alternatively, if you fancy a chat about your next career steps, we would love to speak with you: [email protected] | 0161 714 7120

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