How to Talk Money

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salary

Negotiating a good salary is a tricky part of job interviews. Rhea Kavarana helps you put your game face on with 10 easy steps

It’s that time of the year with graduation around the corner and all we can think bout is getting a job! Having sat in college for nearly all campus placements, it’s finally game-time.

(1) SHED ALL INHIBITIONS
Over 15 years of studying is finally paid off with  your first job. Take all emotions regarding salary negotiation like fear, apprehension, etc. and wave them goodbye. This is a business transaction, so if you don’t ask for a higher salary, you have left that money idle for someone more outspoken to take. So may as well be the outspoken one, right?

(2) ALWAYS NEGOTIATE
Any figure presented to you by an employer is always the lowest limit, with wiggle-room intentionally left for negotiation. Just a 10% less salary difference in your first job can represent a serious lifetime loss if you include annual salary-hikes. Since your starting salary is the benchmark for all future appraisals, negotiate without exceptions.

(3) DO YOUR HOMEWORK WELL
Research the company, talk to people working in competitive companies, contact your mentors, etc. to have a clear idea on what kind of salary is offered in the market. Only then can you go into an interview well informed, enough to know if the salary being offered is legitimate.

(4) LET THE EMPLOYER INITIATE NEGOTIATION
Being too eager and initiating salary discussion yourself may come across as desperate and will seem like you are after the salary more than the job profile, which creates an awful impression. Furthermore, once the employer gives you a starting salary figure, know that it is a baseline and it can only go higher from there.

(5) TONE AND BODY LANGUAGE
Before the negotiation actually begins, be very aware that your tone is a tell-tale sign of your reaction to the salary. Keep your tone calm, sans excitement. Similarly, observe your body language and avoid widening your eyes with glee if presented with a good salary, or even slouching and rolling your eyes if the salary discussed is inadequate. Maintain a professional tone and body language at all times.

(6) YOUR WORTH
The foremost thing for you to do is emphasise on the value YOU as an individual will add to the productivity of the company. Discuss personal skills, past work experience, internships, academic background, etc. Bring to the attention of your employer what you have to offer that keeps you a cut above your peers, be it internships, prior jobs, duties in college, etc. This will help determine your value, which in turn will demand a higher salary.

(7) BE REASONABLE AND REALISTIC
No matter how much value you add to the company, you must be reasonable while negotiating a salary. Once you’ve found out the market rate, use that as a benchmark and avoid going above that rate unless you have a very specific  reason to. Being unreasonable during negotiation can really turn an employer off and even come off as too Smart Alec for a fresher.

(8) A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY
An important thing to note is that even a single digit salary hike can go a long way. Your starting salary if boosted by even 5% will automatically boost all annual hikes and bonuses, which cumulatively sums up to a healthy amount.

(9) BE FLEXIBLE
While negotiating, know the value of non-monetary recompense such as additional leave, paid leave, company-sponsored higher education, annual bonuses or stocks, a personal development course, a car park space, etc. These factors add tremendous value to the total employment package. If you couldn’t get a monetary hike of the desired amount, understand the value of perks.

(10) END ON A POSITIVE NOTE
Irrespective of whether the employer has agreed to your terms, end the interview on a respectful note by politely smiling, shaking hands and saying thank you. Avoid bitter facial expressions or even overexcited handshakes. Also make sure the employer is willing to provide the determined terms in writing. When starting out, until written offers are made, leave all doors open.

“Students should be able to take their stand as very often companies stress students out while discussing salaries, but they should be firm enough to take a stand. Never say, ‘Pay me whatever you want’. This is a deadly mistake that several students make.” – Haseena Sayed, Placement Cell Coordinator, Jai Hind College

“People start thinking about salary as the number one objective and talk about it first; this is one of the major mistakes made. It is the most important to see if the job fits your skill set, strengths and talent.” – Dipali Sheth, HR country head (India), Royal Bank of Scotland

 

Volume 3 Issue 8

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