career

"Follow this script and you're set." Exactly what to say when negotiating your salary.

Money makes the world go round.

In this day and age with house prices rising across Australia, along with the cost of living, financial stability is really important. And one way that people are trying to achieve stability is through salary negotiations

It can be hard to know where to start, what to say and how to sell yourself when asking for a pay rise - whether it be when you've landed a new job or in your current role.

So for either scenario, we've spoken to the experts about the dos and don'ts of salary negotiations with an employer - including the script structure to follow. 

Watch: Men and women negotiating their salary. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia. 

How to negotiate your salary after a new job offer.

According to Nicole, the Director of Robert Half, if you have specialised skills and an impressive resume, you could be leaving money on the table if you don't negotiate a salary offer.

"Most hiring managers will give you the opportunity to do some thinking about the offer and won't expect an immediate answer. Use this time to build your case for a higher offer," she told Mamamia

"A reasonable employer won't withdraw an offer just because you tried to negotiate. However, dragging out the salary negotiation can start out your relationship on a sour note. If the company can't meet your requirements after a few discussions, respectfully withdraw and focus on opportunities that better match your compensation expectations."

Something that industry experts also recommend is remembering that salary isn't everything. There are other factors about a job offer that should also play a part in choosing a role, such as the location of the workplace, the people you've met so far, and any benefits/perks on offer. 

Listen to Mamamia's podcast 8 Minutes to Change Your (Work) Life. Post continues after audio.


How to negotiate a pay rise with your current employer. 

A competing offer is not the only bargaining chip employees have at their disposal when it comes to re-negotiating their package with an employer in this market. 

As Nicole said, a high-performing employee is very difficult to replace, so employers are willing to come to the table if your skills and performance level is worth the extra cost. It just depends how much that extra cost is.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Employers don't just give out money. So come prepared with examples of your own performance and how your skill set fits in with the wider market to cut a competitive deal. Tenure alone is not a reason for a pay rise. You need to prepare a case which outlines the value you contribute to the organisation," Nicole explained. 

Bonnie Marcus - the author of The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead - previously told Mamamia that at the end of the day, it's up to you to do your homework.

Simply put, work out exactly what your boss wants. 

"You need to know - what does your boss need or want to be successful and how is your work, your contribution, helping them reach their goals? You need to understand your value proposition and how you are helping the business reach its objectives, and how will your work help the business in the future," she said.

It's also worth considering your overall career goals - do you feel comfortable and happy in the current sector you're in? Is there another aspect of the company/organisation/business you work for that you think would better suit your skill set? Nicole recommended keeping these factors in mind too, as by taking on more responsibility, you may then be entitled to a higher salary.

Stick to your script.

Preparing a case which outlines the value you contribute to your workplace is key when asking for a higher salary.

ADVERTISEMENT

First, make sure to provide plenty of strong examples of your hard work and performance. This could include introducing a new initiative, the amount of experience you bring to the table, the amount of managerial knowledge you have or consistently outperforming your KPIs.

Second, practice your pitch with a friend or to yourself looking in the mirror - you want to be confident in what you're saying, so practice will help.

As for the script itself, here's something you can look to for inspiration below. 

For a new job: "I'm really excited to work here, and I know that I will bring a lot of value. I appreciate the offer at $58,000, but I was really expecting to be in the $65,000 range based on my experience, drive and performance. Can we look at a salary of $65,000 for this position?"

For a company you're already with: "I've taken on a number of new responsibilities over the last year, such as [give three examples where you've taken the initiative or improved business.] My skill level has improved, so I'd like to discuss increasing my salary to a level that reflects my progress and my value to the company."

Remember these three key factors. 

Ultimately, any sort of money talk can be uncomfortable and nerve-wracking. But as Nicole told Mamamia, remember your worth and always keep in mind the following three factors. 

Knowledge is power: If you are unsure about whether what you have been offered is 'industry standard' or a good number for your job title and experience, do some quick research. You could always reference a third-party source that benchmarks salaries for your industry, and that can help to build an understanding of what the going market rate for your role and experience level is.

Be honest: People often think of salary negotiation as 'demanding' or 'confrontational'. But it truly isn't. And when you think about it, there's no wonder why more women have been conditioned to think that asking for more money is either of these things, because - the patriarchy! What salary negotiation should be about is a reflection of your value. So don't be embarrassed to state your worth! But as Nicole noted, just remember this: "You are being evaluated during the negotiation so approach the conversation tactfully and avoid inflating your position, bringing others down to lift yourself up, or using a fake counteroffer as leverage."

Be generous but realistic: It's always advisable to ask for slightly more than what you are after when negotiating on salary, as usually your employer will make a lower offer. Consider your experience and success and then align yourself with the top-end of that bracket. That being said, don't reach unachievably high. But it can't hurt to ask for slightly more than your actual desired figure, to build in a buffer for being 'bargained down'.

Do you have any tips for people wanting to renegotiate their salaries with a current or future employer? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Canva/Mamamia. 

Do you have a baby or young children? Take this short survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!