What struck me the most about speaking to a group of three upperclassmen interested in the non-profit sector was that they had never thought about negotiating their salary. It isn't totally surprising, though, as it can be connected back to hiya, or shame. Hiya plays a huge role in Pilipino culture and spills over into many unassuming areas of our lives, such as negotiating a salary. For example, asking our employer to potentially increase our pay, whether as a new recruit or as a seasoned employee, may be seen as aggressive, or asking for help where we think it might not be welcome.
But salary negotiation is a form of self-advocacy we should practice. It is absolutely necessary in ensuring you are being paid a competitive salary throughout your career, and it is, in fact, expected of any employee. It should not be seen as a shameful thing to do. Instead, it should be followed through with confidence, assertiveness, and gumption. Don’t get me wrong, negotiating your pay can be really scary and intimidating, especially if your potential employer doesn't open up the conversation. But don’t worry – a ton of resources are out there just on this topic alone.
Glass Door, for example, is a resource I use constantly to research salaries and current job postings, and it has a well-written, succinct article about how to approach this subject with your future employers:
1. Avoid accepting the first offer.
When negotiating a job offer, don’t be quick to say “yes.” Instead, tell the employer you need more time to think about the offer.
Ask the employer if you can provide a response within the next 24 to 48 hours. During this time, sit down with the job offer and determine whether it’s a fair offer. After you’ve made your decision, approach the employer with your counteroffer and be ready to negotiate a higher salary.
2. Don’t be the first to share a number.
The art of salary negotiation is to wait for the employer to make their offer. Unless the employer asks what your expected salary is, don’t provide a number until requested. The key is to be patient and wait for the employer to present what they think is a suitable salary for your experience and skills.
3. Keep your emotions in check.
Salary negotiation can put you through a roller coaster of emotions. It can be scary, stressful, exciting, and even frustrating. Regardless of how challenging the salary negotiation process becomes, make sure to keep a positive attitude and stay professional.
4. Remember to negotiate additional perks.
What many job seekers overlook during the negotiation process is the additional benefits they’re receiving as a part of the job offer. Instead of solely focusing on the salary, pay attention to other perks such as health benefits, a sign-on bonus, paid vacation time, and the opportunity to telecommute. It’s very likely an employer will be open to offering you additional perks if they can’t promise a higher salary.
5. Find balance between what you’re worth and what the employer can offer.
The most important rule of negotiating a salary is knowing what you’re worth and what the employer can offer. The last thing you want to do is to request a higher salary and more benefits without doing your research first.
For example, if you applied for a marketing position at a small nonprofit, you can’t expect the organization to have the same budget as a large marketing firm in New York City. Before you negotiate your salary, determine how much you should be paid for the position you’ve applied for. This will help you think of a realistic counteroffer to present to the employer.
Excerpt from 5 Rules of Salary Negotiation, written by Heather Huhman on the Glass Door blog
MoneyUnder30.com - 3 Secrets to Successful Salary Negotation
Salary.com - 12 Dos and Don’ts for Negotiating Salary in a Tough Economy
Forbes.com - How to Negotiate Your Salary Once You Have the Job Offer
WomenForHire.com - Negotiating Salary 101: Tactics for Better Compensation