“Do you have any idea how much you are really worth?”
Everyone is apt to think that they are worth more than their qualifications, experience and abilities. Every time someone asks you your salary expectations for a new job or a promotion, itâ€™s difficult to take the ego-cut. You just canâ€™t say that â€˜Pay me what I am worth.â€™ However, with a good understanding of your worth, you can get the salary you want.
The equation is pretty simple: Your value to your employer should be equal to the salary you are being paid. Any less and you are allowing yourself to be exploited and any more then you are being pampered. Unfortunately this is not a thumb rule. Unless you have rare skills that are really in demand you would always be a small drop of the vast labor pool.
What can separate you from the rest will then be your intrinsic qualities like communication skills, confidence, courage, determination, etc, which can make you more valuable for an employer than the others in the fray. How would you convey these things to your employer? Well, for starters write down the answers to these questions?
- Can you accurately put a price on your worth as an employee?
- How can you convey your worth to your next employer?
- How does the company pay its employees?
- Can you use the companyâ€™s salary logic to your own advantage?
While writing down the answers to these questions you would be faced with some pretty complicated calculations. Here are a few of your inevitable questions with the answers.
If the company has a formal salary structure, would it limit my ability to negotiate a higher salary?
No, though the company sets its basic salary structure based on markets supply of employees with abilities similar to yours, if you believe that you are exceptional or have something special that makes you the â€˜catchâ€™ then you can always demand for a salary thatâ€™s higher than the set scale. Remember, only so called â€˜average employeesâ€™ accept the salary quoted by their employers.
Ok letâ€™s first define what a salary range is? A salary range is basically the pre-determined, barest minimum start point for a fresher (a beginner with no experience) at a particular job. This is the lowest possible industry standard salary that is offered to someone who has just the barest minimum qualification to do the job. The initial figure, with which your employer may start the negotiation process, will be something that he/she thinks you may accept â€” a figure that might not be fair in any sense of the word.
A number of managers admit that what they eventually offer has more to do with their impression of the candidate than anything else. Itâ€™s important you are able impress upon everyone what you bring to the table has more value, than all the candidates who have lined up for the job.
How do I stress on behavior and passions that sets me apart?
Start off by cataloging all your assets. This should include your educational qualifications, talents, special achievements and previous track record of work, contacts and subjects of interest. This helps the employer quantify in real financial terms your worth as a potential employee.
If you are able to stress on the fact that you have a mentality that makes you â€˜upwardly-mobileâ€™ or driven to succeed, then you would be setting a higher price on your head as an employee. Mention things like how you enjoy multi-tasking, donâ€™t mind staying late, love being a part of the team, are innovative and have true leadership qualities. Such things should be woven into your answers when you are asked to talk about yourself in an interview.
Most â€˜averageâ€™ candidates just concentrate on elaborating their resume (which the employer has already seen), you should stress on the qualities that the employer previously didnâ€™t know about. By doing this you make him aware that you know your true worth as an employee.
What about non-financial benefits?
Agreed, the paycheck that you get at the end of the month is what motivates you to work. But an organization is more than just the salary it offers. What if it gives you the opportunity to work with a company thatâ€™s known for its cutting edge technologies, or its powerful brand name? For example why would someone choose to work with HLL than Reliance or with Ogilvy instead of Rediff, though they were being offered a higher package by the later? Non-financial benefits are often just as important as your paycheck. Donâ€™t neglect these factors while you negotiate for a larger salary.