Editor’s note – Over a decade ago I was at an interview and got asked the question “how much would you like us to pay you?”. This question came in halfway through a deep dialogue about technical issues and to be honest, I choked. I had come in for one interview and ended up with three (I’ll share another day!). Although I thought, I had been prepared for this question, I had not been as prepared as I should have been. As a result, I felt I didn’t do myself justice. In my conversations with many students, graduates and early-career professionals, it is evident many are unprepared for this question before and after interviews. In today’s article, Mr Paul Mutengu (PM), shares some pointers on what to be aware of with regard negotiating salaries. Enjoy reading – EA
Negotiating salaries are not the easiest of conversations to hold yet so crucial to ensuring we earn what we are worth. Everybody’s experience and approach will differ, but some principles apply, and these tips might help you as a guide – PM
Know your worth
Knowing your skill sets and capabilities will be your bargaining chip. Use it to highlight why you think you are worth that much.
Do your background research on what people of a similar profession and level of experience are earning. How much companies are paying depending on the location as these will vary. Often recruiters and employers will use a salary banding which encompasses a wide range of salary as a negotiating tool. Having this information to hand will help set a figure that you expect to earn when you go for interview.
Knowing your worth helps you to market yourself right, i.e. not to overtly and not under market. If you overstate the salary for the level of experience and skills, this will only deter the employer from seeking your skills. The worst part of not knowing your worth often results in under selling yourself. Remember your best chance of earning what you are worth is at the point of first contact with the company.
It’s a collaboration not a fight.
Remember it is a negotiation between you and the company or agency. Therefore, be prepared! Allow some room for manoeuvre. This means you will need to allow some room to go above and below your target. This is because it is not always about the money 😊 think outside the box in case the company won’t budge.
I find that expressing interest in what the role has to offer than the emphasis on money diverts the mindset of “s/he is only interested in the money” to one of “s/he wants to work for us! Try and use the situation to your advantage. Vision beyond the salary.
Be honest about your salary needs.
Contrary to the second point, Be honest. If the money doesn’t meet the need, then don’t just accept it. Be honest and state your requirement and let the chips fall where they may.
- Don’t be shy, speak up. Speaking up is the only way the company or agency will know of your expectations. Stick to the facts.
- Be prepared to wait but don’t quit.
You may not get what you desire at the first seating or asking, but do not give up. Be prepared to make amendments where need be that will ensure you get the salary you are asking for. Don’t give up at the first refusal, ask and find out why they refused. Be prepared to work towards your goal.
And from your editor, if you are unsure about where to begin with salary negotiation, why not visit the LinkedIn salary tool to identify what salary you could be earning or what your peers are earning in your sector before your next interview.
About the author – Paul Mutengu is a Senior Process Specialist/Team Leader at PCI Pharma Services in Newport, UK. He currently leads a team of scientists on tech transfer and development of oral solid dosage forms covering various stages of the product development life cycle. He has extensive industry experience where he worked in the area of Formulation Science for many years.
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