Salary negotiations and your next financial steps

10 AUGUST 2023

Salary negotiations are when you and your employer or potential employer, talk about settling on your salary and the benefits that come along with it.salary-negotiations-and-your-next-financial-stepsYou’ve reached a point in your professional career where you know your worth or you’ve just landed that dream job with the not-so-dream pay. Salary negotiations can be daunting, but essential to keep up with the lifestyle changes that occur when our work life evolves. Follows are some tips and advice on how to begin your negotiations and what to do when you get it right.

First Steps

salary-negotiations-first-stepSalary negotiations are when you and your employer or potential employer, talk about settling on your salary and the benefits that come along with it. They need not be aggressive and demanding; if both parties share the same goal, the results tend to be positive.

Before you think of starting negotiations, there are a few things you need to be sure of so that once negotiations begin, your argument and offers are well-thought-out.

  1. Your performance in the months before you bring up the topic of a salary raise is important and needs to stand as proof that you are irreplaceable to the company. Give your all during work hours and prove your worth.
  2. Know the going rate for your position in your geographical area, so your expectations are based in reality.
  3. Settle on an exact number before going into negotiations, so that there is some wiggle room.
  4. Timing is important when asking for a salary raise. Don’t wait for performance review sessions to begin negotiations, rather 3 to 4 months before.

The Process

salary-negotiations-processOnce you’ve set a meeting slot aside with your employee, you are prepared to begin the conversation around your salary. During negotiations, be sure to keep a clear head and remember these do’s and don’ts.

  1. Don’t begin with a list of complaints or using your personal situation as a bargaining tool. Instead position yourself as a solution to the company’s problems so that your employer can’t afford to lose you.
  2. Do work together with your hiring manager and not against them. See it as a collaboration but make the first offer if you already work at the company. If you are negotiating salaries at a new job, allow the manager to name the first number.
  3. Don’t try to close the negotiations on the first try, it's a process and there might need to be other conversations behind the scenes before you hear a final offer.

The Pushback

After the first negotiations, it’s important to be patient and not rush your counterpart. Hearing “no” at this stage could lead to larger negotiations at a later stage.

When your efforts are met with denial, there are few reasons why this could be. There simply might not be enough budget, or they are avoiding inequalities in a workspace if an employee is earning more than another. Don’t see “no” as putting a stop on doing your best at a company, embrace it as a way to continue growing and assess where you are in your professional career.

Some salary negotiations can be limited to email due to time constraints. However, this can work in your favour if you offered a position through email. It allows you to be clearer and state your worth plainly. Stay professional and bring up your salary expectations in relation to market data. State that you are eager to grow and contribute beyond your job responsibilities. Remember receiving no response to your email is not a dead-end. Remind the recipient that you have emailed them an important mail in person, but don’t be aggressive.

What to do with a salary raise

If your work history and future goals are warranted and your salaries receive that well-deserved boost, be smart with your financial decisions to make the best of it.

  1. Revaluate how you spend and budget your money. A higher-income can sometimes lead to increased spending, which will prove detrimental to the effort you put into the negotiation process.
  2. With extra monies, now is the time to pay off outstanding debts. Plan how you can stretch out your budget to include monthly installments and help yourself in the future.
  3. Not everyone has the luxury to begin protecting and saving for the life they could live in the future. Financial plans that protect your future could prove to be beneficial to take out at this point, for example, Personal Accident Plan and Funeral Plan available from RCS.
  4. Start thinking about investing in your health and important goals such as moving, starting a family or a new car.

Negotiating a salary raise is an important part of professional careers that many of us might need to do. Doing your research, knowing your worth, and being patient with the process will help achieve the results you deserve.

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