But a salary negotiation does not have to be an anxiety-inducing situation – all it takes is some research, preparation and a clear mindset. Here’s how to make it happen:
Know Your Worth
The first step is to research. Look for resources such as our Salary Watch reports that provide a sense of how much of a salary increment people in your field receive when changing jobs so that you have a benchmark in mind. If the skills, knowledge, and experience you are bringing to a new company are worth more than that, then you should seek more. But to do that effectively means you must know your worth to the market. Rather than conjuring up a figure you’re comfortable with, do the research so that you have data to back-up your salary expectations.
Have A Salary Range, Rather than a Figure
When it comes time for you to sit down with the new company to iron out the offer, it’s better to have a salary range in mind than a specific number. When beginning the conversation, you can broach the topic of negotiation by letting the company know you have considered the initial offer, but, based on your research, believe that a salary in the range of, for example, SG$60,000–SG$75,000 would be appropriate. By introducing a range, you’re letting the company know you truly are open to a negotiation instead of demanding a number they may not be able to provide.
You Can Negotiate Benefits
If for some reason the company you want to join is unable to meet your desired salary and you are still keen on the role, you can opt for negotiating benefits. By pursuing this avenue, you have a wealth of options available: more annual leave, a flexible working arrangement, costs for continuing education or professional training, moving expenses. Evaluate what it is you value as much as the financial salary and work toward finding a balanced compensation package that provides you with a reasonable salary and great perks.
You Can Take Time to Consider
If you are not certain about whether or not you want to accept an offer after you have done your best to negotiate, do not force yourself to make a decision on the spot. You can ask for more time – 24 to 48 hours is reasonable – to consider the revised offer and make a decision. Do not worry if that makes you seem as if you are playing hard to get. As it happens, that can sometimes work in your favour and be a step toward the company coming around to meeting your expectations. But even if that does not happen, it’s better to take the time to think through the offer rationally and without pressure than to make a snap decision that you may ultimately regret.
Your Goal Should Be Compromise
When it comes to the attitude you should adopt toward a salary negotiation, keep in mind that you do not need to bully your way into a higher pay bracket or more vacation days. It’s a conversation between two interested parties, and the goal should be finding a compromise that both are happy with.
“Offer negotiation is a collaborative process that works towards creating a win-win situation,” said Fahad Farook, Senior Director, RGF Professional Recruitment Singapore. “Identify what’s most important to you and what you’re willing to trade, take time to think about the offer and never be afraid to counter the offer. But what’s most important is to consider the package as a whole rather than focusing on a specific number or certain benefits.”
With the right data, information and attitude, you’ll be able to join a great new company in a role that you want with the compensation package that you are warranted.
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