Tackling the Awkward Negotiation Conversation

So, you’ve done it!  after countless informational interviews, phone calls, and in-person interviews, you’ve finally made it at your dream job. But as you analyze the contract, you find yourself a little diffident about what they’re willing to offer you. You’re in a fix. You know you’re going to thrive here. Shouldn’t you just accept their first offer?

Unfortunately, you, accepting this offer now, without a fair negotiation, will affect not only the next one or two years of your life, but it will have a dominoes effect, that could culminate into some major losses down the road.

Or you’ve had a really good year at work and have got a number of pat’s on your back for a job well done. It’s time for your appraisal and you go into the meeting expecting a big raise. But, unfortunately what you end up with is just the standard raise. As you were expecting otherwise you didn’t really prepare on negotiating and ended up in not such a great place.

Whatever the situation, negotiation can feel uncomfortable and intimidating, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Here, I am going to explore the best way to negotiate a salary to ensure you receive what you deserve. Here are 5 essential tips –

    1. Research you Ask.

Before you write your salary negotiation email, take your time to understand your industry’s current pay standards. Understand the prevailing salary trends corresponding to your job profile, qualifications, and years of experience, and in the current scenario, the pandemic. You may choose to cross verify with people in your network and visit dedicated websites that showcase these trends.

Several websites, such as Glassdoor and Indeed, usually put up average, and accurate pay scales for various job profiles and locations. This information can prove useful when justifying your ask.

2. Remember Your Worth

There was an interesting research, conducted by the University of Texas, where men and women were asked to negotiate a salary. Here is what happened! When women negotiated for themselves, they asked for an average $7,000 less than the men — but when they negotiated on behalf of someone else, they asked for the same amount of money as the men.

This concept is known as “communal orientation”. Essentially, women succeeded in negotiations when they felt it wasn’t about them — it was about helping someone else. Succeeding in negotiations, then, might be easier if you can re- envision the very concept of negotiation.

For instance, perhaps it helps when you’re negotiating to consider how you are an asset to the company. If you stress on reiterating to the company how you’ll support the organization and help them, you can make the conversation feel less about you. Always remember a very important adage – Know your worth. Negotiate your Value.

    • Recognize the organization’s worth and value of the position by negotiating within the stated salary range.
    • Prominently state the various metrics and contributions you will bring to the organization and how each justifies your worth.
    • Communicate through the proper channels and respect the recruitment process.

3. Talk about Industry trends

In point 1, we speak about research. If you want to get the pay you deserve, you need to know the going rate for your position based on your expertise and industry trends. Figure out how much money you deserve – considering your past salary and the market rate. Use this information to prepare a comprehensive package you’d like to earn, complete with the pay and benefits. You can use PayScale to access the market.

4. Be confident

“The way you enter a room can dictate how the rest of an interaction will be,” says Steve Jobs.

Confidence is imperative to a successful negotiation when it comes to a salary. When you negotiate for a high salary, your employer should also be absolutely convinced why they should pay you that amount. This why it is very important to speak with confidence and have a very positive body language. Also, remember that it’s very important to walk away from an offer that does not value your service. If you are not happy with what the employer has offered, thank them for their time and tell them politely that you would love to work provided they reconsider your deserved and desired ask. Here is a good read on confidence building for overall career growth.

5. Explain your Research

You need substance to prove your worth to your potential recruiter. Start by explaining your value through the contributions you have made throughout your career, in the past. Use your research and numbers to accentuate the results in terms of driving revenue or productivity and indicate what you can do for the company.

6. Move past the Base Salary

“Negotiating a job offer” and “negotiating a salary” are NOT synonymous. Most of your satisfaction from the job will come from other factors you can negotiate—perhaps even more easily than salary. Don’t get fixated on the base salary and money. Focus on the value of the entire deal: responsibilities, location, travel, flexibility in work hours, opportunities for growth and promotion, perks, support for continued education ( if you are a fresher) and so forth. Think not just about how you’re willing to be rewarded but also when. You may decide to chart a course that pays less now but will put you in a stronger position later. So, look at the bigger picture.

These strategies should help you negotiate effectively and get the job you deserve, but they should come into play only after a thoughtful, well rounded job search calculated to ensure that the road you’re taking will lead you where you want to go. If you wish to seek more growth in your career, drop me a line here, and I will get back to you.


A Short Note for those, who are up for a performance review.

Harvard Business Review (HBR)asserts that you collect two kinds of “evidence.”

a)First, in a file, keep track of your work and accomplishments throughout the year so you can easily jar your memory as to what and how much you did.

b) Include your money-saving adeptness, positive results from a project you’ve just overseen, positive customer feedback, or praise from the seniors, and second, to use salary database sites like the one on Michael Page or Monster to understand what the going pay rates are in your industry and with your job title or level.

More on Appraisals in the Next Blog!