Negotiating your Salary: Do’s and Don’ts

Money. It’s one of the last taboos.

We live in an age where we’re willing to share almost everything about ourselves online with complete strangers, yet we still feel weird talking about how much we earn even in the company of close friends.

But it’s something that WILL come up at some point when looking for a new job. Here, we look at the Dos and Don’ts of negotiating a starting salary.

DON’T be embarrassed

Even the mere thought of asking a prospective employer for more cash than what’s on the table is enough to bring most people out in a cold sweat. They key is not to feel awkward or embarrassed about negotiating your salary – you won’t be the first and you certainly won’t be the last to do so. Employers expect it. And if you’ve already been offered the job, it means the company wants you and will be more likely to come to a compromise that suits everyone.

DO your homework

Deciding how much you think you should be paid can be tricky. You don’t want to under-sell yourself but you don’t want to price yourself out of the market either. The best option is to research market rates for your industry by checking current salaries on jobs boards, as well as careers websites that give an indication of average salaries for different sectors.

DO have a clear idea of what you want

When heading into a negotiation, you should have two clear figures in mind: the absolute minimum you’re prepared to accept and a realistic idea of what you expect to be offered. If the awkward subject of salary expectations comes up during an interview – before being offered the job – try to avoid discussions about your current or previous salary. After all, if you’re looking for a new job in the first place, you’re probably looking to advance your career – and that usually means earning more money.

DON’T assume it’s all about the money

Yes, it’s the reason we all get out of bed in the morning and head into work each day. And it’s important to make sure you have enough in the bank to cover the monthly outgoings. But, if the salary isn’t quite what you were hoping for, consider whether there are other benefits on offer – such as pension scheme, medical insurance, free gym membership – that could help sweeten the deal. Likewise, if the money’s good, make sure other aspects of the job – working conditions, hours of work – also meet your expectations.

DO be prepared to walk away

If you aren’t happy with what’s on offer and the company is refusing to budge, ask yourself whether it’s really the right job for you and if it’s worth waiting for another opportunity that pays what you feel you are worth. Before turning down a job completely, you could ask if they would be willing to consider a salary review in six months time. Or perhaps there will be opportunities for promotion and progression within the company that could lead to a more attractive salary further down the line?

Are you ready to look for a job that meets your salary expectations? Check out vacancies live on Scotcareers now.