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Get What You Are Worth: Dos and Don’ts in Salary Negotiation for Jobseekers

How much salary are you seeking?

Chances are, the question above is among the trickiest questions you will face during an interview process or when you have been offered the job, especially if you have just freshly-graduated from college or university. On the one hand, you do not want to be too ambitious by asking too much that it will scare potential employers away and lose the job opportunities altogether. But on the other hand, you do not want your skills and knowledge undervalued if you give too low salary expectation.

As a newbie in the workforce, it is understandable that you might not have much references regarding the salary matters. While negotiating your first salary with prospective employer can be a daunting task, it is an important process you cannot shy away from. Owing to this reason, you need to prepare yourself to deal with the question, such that you can successfully get what you deserve. Here are some helpful guidelines of what you should and should not do in salary negotiation:


Conduct salary research

You understand that sooner or later, the salary question will be brought up during an interview or job offer. Prepare yourself and do your homework by conducting little research to find out how much other companies are willing to pay for similar position you are applying for. You can go to the internet and find numerous online websites that specifically provide salary information from various sectors and job roles.

Ask for advices

While the internet can give you a good reference about the salary expectation, sometimes you cannot solely trust what you can find on the web. You still need to crosscheck the information by asking for advices from people who have been working in the industry. If you know someone who is currently working at the company or position you are applying for, you can ask for their advices regarding the compensation matters.

Know your worth

By conducting a salary research, you will know your worth as well as your bargaining position in the market. From there, you can set your minimum salary requirement and estimated market value based on the skills, knowledge, and experience you can offer to the company.

Showcase your value

More than just asking for a certain salary, it is more important to provide sensible reasons why you ask for that number. If your potential employer seems to object to your salary range, then you should be able to showcase your value. Tell them confidently that the salary you expect is equivalent with the contribution you can give to the organisation if you get the job.

Be respectful

If the salary offered by the company turns out to be far below your expectations, then you must remain respectful towards it. If in the end you do not want to accept it and deny the job offer, then you should stay professional and be polite.


Come unprepared

For jobseekers, sometimes the excitement of getting the first interview invitation makes them overlook some small details to prepare, including how to tackle a salary question. Therefore, you should conduct the research on the topic beforehand so you will not be caught off-guard when the question is thrown.

Focus only on the salary

Instead of focusing only on the basic salary you can receive, you also need to consider other benefits offered by the company. For example, while startups might not be able to offer much when it comes to salary, they usually replace it with a variety of attractive perks that sometimes can be worth more than the money offered. Some of the compensation and benefits you should consider include training and development opportunities, health assurance, vacation and sick leave, as well as the option to remote working.

Give up too quickly

The key to a successful salary negotiation is patience. Therefore, you should not give up too quickly when it seems that your negotiation does not work. If the hiring manager says no to your request, you can always discuss more to finally achieve equally satisfactory results for both parties.

Rush the topic too early

Do not rush to start a conversation about salary unless the employer initiate it first. When the topic comes up, you should take some time to think it through before giving your answer. With this strategy, you can start negotiating well.

Be stubborn and aggressive

There is no doubt that money is a sensitive subject to talk about. While it is crucial to be confident in a salary negotiation, you have to be careful so you do not seem stubborn and too aggressive. Listen carefully to what your future employer is trying to say so you can give an appropriate response.

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