Negotiating your salary Negotiating a salary is a difficult process, even for those sitting on the other side of the table to you. It is, however, something that is essential to do to ensure you are being paid the right amount for your skills.

Here are some tips to guide you through the process…

Before going into any negotiation, you need to have thought about what you want to achieve from it. Have an idea of the lowest limit you would accept but do not reveal this; it will make it easy for them to negotiate you to this figure.

When beginning a salary negotiation, use open questions that lead into the discussion rather than asking one that will lead to a blunt answer. A question such as this is a good way to start: “I am thrilled to have been offered this position and was wondering if we could do anything more about the salary?”

This leaves the discussion open and prompts them to come back to you so that you can negotiate. It is a much better way to open the negotiation than, “I am thrilled to have been offered this position. Is it possible to be paid £7,000 more?” They may agree (in which case brilliant) but, if not, it leaves you in a difficult position to continue the negotiations – you have already revealed your hand. The discussions need to be a constructive two-way process rather than just a series of offers and rejections.

Remember that you offer the business something; they are not paying you out of their own generosity. You have to show your value to them. Do you have specific engineering skills that very few other people possess? Have you completed projects in the past that others would not have had the expertise to compete? If so, remind them of this.

Your salary will be based on your experience. Do not be afraid to remind your employer of your skills and past projects so that they see your worth to the business and consider this in the negotiation.

Do not just focus on the salary that they are offering you.

Be open to other ways in which the business can benefit you. You may be offered stock options, a share in the profits, a company car… the list goes on. These may not have the instant appeal of a monthly salary, but employers are often more willing to offer them as an incentive. If you have a share in the profits, you will work harder to maximise the profits. You both benefit; it’s a win-win.

Finally, it is important to remember that salary negotiations are not a once-and-for-all event. If, at first, you do not get what you want from the discussion, sit down with your boss and ask what you will have to do to merit the salary you want.

Doing this will show them that you are not going to be disheartened by the result and, when you have achieved what they set out, you can return to the negotiating table in a far stronger position.

If you would like to gain more information about salaries in your area of work before you ask for a raise, get in touch with one of our consultants today. If you are looking for a whole new opportunity, Cobalt is always interested to hear from skilled, driven professionals – send us your CV, we’d love to hear from you.

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