#11: What’s your salary expectation?


Now, that many of you have been invited to interviews and were given job offers, we received an increasing amount of concerns on how to answer the famous salary question. So, it’s time to learn how to negotiate – as always, we’re here to help to get you prepped for your next negotiation. Consider these 7 points:

1.) Know what you’re worth

If you’re going to get the pay you deserve, it’s crucial to know the going rate for your position in your specific industry and in your geographic area, i.e. get a number in your head, for example, ask others in your field (ideally both men and women, to avoid the gender pay gap).

2.) Talk to recruiters (or to us)

Recruiters know what people with your “experience” and expertise are worth. So, the next time a recruiter reaches out to you, engage in a conversation about the position’s responsibilities and pay. You may not get a specific number, but even a range is helpful.

3.) Choose a range and pick the top of it

As you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. Ask for something toward the top of the range. Why? First, you should assume you deserve the top pay. Second, your employer will almost certainly negotiate down, so you need room to still end up with a salary you’re happy with. Keep the range small, i.e. not more than €5K.

 4.) State your number first

The anchor—or the first number put on the table—is the most important in negotiation, since it’s what the rest of the conversation is based off of. If it’s too low, you’ll end up with a lower final offer than you probably want. You should always be the first person to mention a number so that you keep control.

5.) Be nice but firm

If the employer’s number doesn’t match your expectations? Say this: I appreciate the offer at €48,000, but was really expecting to be in the €55,000 range based on my experience, drive, and performance. Can we look at a salary of €55,000 for this position?” But, be flexible: always be willing to revise your first offer. In doing so, you’ll still likely get a good deal, and the employer will be pleased with the outcome.

 6.) Practice, practice, practice

Write down what you want to say, and practice to a mirror, on video, or with a friend until you’re comfortable having the conversation.

7.) It’s ok to say No

When considering your numbers, you should also come up with a “walk away point”—a final offer that’s so low that you have to turn it down. This could be based on financial need, market value, or simply what you need to feel good about the salary you’re earning. Walking away from an offer will never be easy, but it’s important to know when to do it – and powerful to be able to say “no.”

Final words: Remember that many first time job positions, especially at large companies, are recruited “in bulk”, so there is very likely a specific range which means the employer does not have much room for allowance. So, in case they don’t fulfil your salary expectations, don’t assume they just don’t want to – more often than not they just can’t.

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