Insist on getting your worth in salary talks

Insist on getting your worth in salary talks

Confidence is the key to your dream job. FILE PHOTO | NMG

You’ve so far had a successful interview. As it comes to a close, you get asked the all-important question; ‘What is you salary expectation?’Most interviewers will tell you that they can usually hear a pin drop when they pose this question. The majority of candidates will usually break the silence by uncomfortably shifting their position on their seat, a searching and perplexed smile on their face followed by errr ummm, hmmmm … fingers get clasped tightly at this point, throats go dry … you know ho this unfolds.Uncomfortable as it may seem, this is a wonderful position to be in.The difficulty is in trying to figure out whether your response would under-sell your skills or price yourself out of an opportunity that you want.The tendency is to think of what you’re currently earning, top it up by 20-30 per cent and coyly blurt our a number. Depending on how expressionless your interviewer’s face remains, you’ll usually follow this up with an ‘but it is negotiable’. If you thought you were doing poorly in this question, here is your confirmation — this is not your best moment.Look, employers do not do us any favours by hiring us. It’s totally unnecessary to behave like an underdog. If you are at an interview, it means that the prospective employer is interested in benefiting from your skills to further their interest. Relax, you want to have thought about this beforehand and arrived at a figure that is worthy of the level of contribution that you bring to the table.Understand that this figure had nothing to do with what your previous employer paid you.

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Salaries are not set based on what employees want. They are graded based on what an employer believes that they should pay based on ‘market rate’, what the employer can afford. allocated project budget.Note that none of these bases have anything to do with you or how you value yourself. Basing your desired pay on what a previous employer pegged your pay at is akin to surrendering your financial well-being to other people’s very generalised opinions. Look, only you know what you have to offer and what you know to be a just and attractive pay for your work.Understand that there is no such thing as market rate — unless you that there is a whole pool of you that perform exactly like you do in which case your employer can elect to work with any of the and still enjoy the same output as you would deliver.There is no ‘market’ when it comes to your value. There is only you. Only you decide what the figure is. Whether or not an employer agrees with it is not the point. Yours is to be so good that even if they beat you down on pay, they know what you know your value to be in cash.This has to shine through in your delivery even if you settle for a lower figure. Your delivery is the bargaining chip that you are going to use to renegotiate your terms at the end of your probation or attract a different employer who will value your work enough to pay you what you are worth and then some.With experience comes confidence. Over time, you inevitably reach your “markdown” breaking point.This is the point at which you are comfortable enough with your delivery to not worry about whether you have priced yourself out of a job.In fact, by this time you are usually quite engaged in a job you enjoy so much that you are not necessarily looking but this is when you attract the most interesting of opportunities.You go from cajoling your prospective employers by offering to negotiate your pay to stating your fee without batting an eyelid. It is really a matter of confidence. When you have that, you honour yourself by accepting nothing less than is worthy of you.

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