9 Ways to Get the Salary You Want

As if job interviews weren’t already tricky and awkward enough, asking for the salary that you want takes the awkwardness to an all-new level. Many candidates hesitate to bring up the topic of salary for this reason and end up settling for less than what they deserve or really want. However, the good news is that it is possible for you to get the salary that you want. The trick is to know when and how to ask for it.

Related: 5 things you must do before your job interview

1. Let your employer bring it up

If you must be the one to talk about it, wait until the interview is drawing to a close. Discussing the salary right in the beginning of the recruitment process will only detract from your worth as a candidate. When your employer brings up the topic of salary, it is then that you can safely quote a figure. In the rare case that your employer asks you right in the beginning how much you’re expecting, make sure to provide a well thought out and an informed reply.

2. Study the market

Find out a little (either by reading up online or by asking people in similar roles) what the industry is like and how much a person with your skills and experience is likely to be paid. Before you demand a salary figure, make sure you have an idea of the reasonable range.

3. Find out how much the company can pay you

You may think you’re asking for what you deserve, but it can sometimes be an exorbitant figure for the company. It is not uncommon for companies to be restricted by their budgets, so it’s a good idea to ask your employers how much they can pay for the position. If you ask for something that’s beyond the company’s reach, you may very well be disqualified despite all the other merits you may have as a candidate.

Related: How to negotiate salary for entry-level jobs

4. Prove your worth

If your employer is convinced that you have the right skills and qualifications for the job, and that you’re the best match there is, he/she can very well decide to pay you what you ask for. Your SmartProfile™ can be a very handy document for you to effectively represent your key skills and achievements to the recruiter. Make a convincing case for yourself by creating a SmartProfile™ today.

5. Provide a salary range rather than a figure

There are many advantages to quoting a salary range than a specific figure. Apart from letting the employer know that you’re accommodating, it also opens up room for discussion. If the employer really wants you on board, it is likely that he/she will give you something within that range. However, if you’re asked to be specific, it is a better idea to quote an odd figure rather than a rounded-off, even one. For example, quoting a salary figure of 28,500 INR per month is a better idea than quoting 30,000 INR per month.

6. Take your time

Once the employer has made the final offer, make sure to ask for a couple of days to think about it. Accepting or rejecting an offer immediately after being told about the compensation is a bad idea. A few days’ time will help you assess your needs and preferences and weigh the advantages of the job against the money you’ll be making. When you do get back to the employer with your final answer, you’ll have a fair idea about why you’re taking the decision you’re taking.

7. Counteroffer, but not more than once

If your employer has offered to pay you something that is below your expectations, do make a counteroffer. Ask for something that’s higher (if you truly believe that you’re getting less than what you deserve), but don’t do it more than once. For one, this will convince your employers that you’re not a pushover. Secondly, you’ll probably get your employers to rethink if they’re not paying you enough.

8. Don’t lie about your current/previous salary

It’s easy for employers to find out about your last drawn salary, so make sure you don’t lie about it. If you’re hesitant to give your prospective employers the real figure because you believe it is too low for you to make a case for a higher salary, then you’d rather be honest about it. Saying something like “I honestly believe that I am underpaid for my skills/qualifications/experience/the work I do” is a better idea than telling a lie.

9. Opt for the alternatives

It is possible that you may not always be able to get the salary you want. And the reason for that may not always be in your employer’s control. Instead of rejecting the offer in haste or badmouthing your employer, try asking for other benefits (like more vacation options, the option to work from home, etc.), depending on the nature of your role. When the timing is right, try your luck again.

The bottom line is that if your employer is truly convinced that you’re the right employee for the company, you’re likely to get the salary you’d like. Just make sure to ask for it tactfully!

Related: 5 Guaranteed Ways to Get the Salary Increment You Want

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