When you start a new job, it’s an exciting time, but it can also be confusing. You might have many questions, especially about how much money you’ll be paid and how you can increase your earnings.
Money is an important factor, and sometimes people rush to sign job contracts without considering negotiations. But guess what?
You have the power to negotiate not only when you receive a job offer, but even after you start working. Talking about salary can be scary, and some companies might discourage it, but it’s entirely okay to discuss your job offer in detail.
Employers often leave room for negotiations in their initial offers, expecting candidates to try and get a better deal. So, don’t hesitate to explore the possibilities!
7 Ways to Begin your Salary Negotiations
1. “Are you open for a salary discussion?”
It’s a good conversation starter, instead of immediately asking to negotiate. You’re giving the employer ample time to prepare for your next questions and it also sets a more relaxed tone for a sensitive topic.
2. “Is there a chance of negotiating the offer?”
Since you’ve already set an expectation, go ahead and ask this question – it’s better than beating around the bush. If the employer says yes, then good! But make sure that your asking is reasonable and on par with your actual worth as an employee.
In case the employer answers no, accept it and move on to other things you can still negotiate.
3. “How and when will my salary be reviewed next?”
This is a good follow-up question if you were unable to negotiate your salary. This’ll give you an idea of your chances to get an increase. Some companies offer appraisal after 3-6 probationary months, while at others it might be one year.
By asking this question you will know what to expect. You might be happy to accept a lower offer for a really great job at a desirable company if you’re guaranteed an evaluation and possible salary increase in a few months.
Also, knowing whether you’ll be stuck with a salary you’re not satisfied with will help you decide in the end if you still want to be part of their company.
4. “Is there a 13th month bonus?”
While this is a given in some industries, it’s not the norm in others. A guaranteed annual bonus might be a good alternative to increasing the base offer. Plus, there might be other options for additional performance bonuses, which could net you quite a bit more cash if you’re a good worker.
5. “What other benefits do you offer?”
Beyond your base salary and bonuses, what else makes up your entire remuneration? Will you be getting health coverage?
Is your working schedule flexible, or are you allowed telecommuting when necessary (we all know how bad traffic gets in Malaysia!), or does the job involve travel? Some employers might give minimal allowances for transportation or food, and others might give you a company phone or vehicle.
If negotiating pay isn’t something on the table right now, the benefits might be enough to get your over the line.
6. “Can I get the offer in writing?”
Getting a very good offer verbally is one thing, but always ask for any negotiated terms to be sent to you in writing – ahead of the actual contract.
Ask for a copy of the offer and have the right people sign it for authentication. Documenting is important especially in job offers and negotiations to make everything official.
In the event of a dispute, you have something binding you can use to prove your case.
7. “When will I hear back from you?”
Yes, you’re eager to start work and earn, but sometimes you’ll have a little more time to think it over. Knowing when to expect to hear from them (or when they can expect to hear from you!) will give you a good guide on how quickly they expect things to move.
While all these questions are useful, keep in mind that if you do successfully negotiate more money up front, this comes with increased responsibility.
Because you’ll be earning more, your employer will be expecting more of you, and if you don’t deliver, you can expect to see consequences very fast.
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Conclusion on How to Negotiate your Salary
Asking the right questions during salary negotiations is as important as presenting your case confidently.
Inquiring about the salary range, benefits package, incentives, growth opportunities, performance reviews, work-life balance, and additional perks empowers you to make informed decisions.
Remember that salary negotiations are not just about the money; they are an opportunity to understand the company’s values, culture, and commitment to employee growth.
Armed with these essential questions, you can approach salary negotiations with clarity and secure a compensation package that reflects your worth and potential within the organization.
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