The first job holds a special place in our careers, as at every point ahead, we are reminded of where we began from. But should we take up any offer passed on to us with our first job, or should we shed the awkwardness and ask for the correct value for our professional selves? There are times when we feel we are more than what we are valued at, or sometimes the value falls short in front of our expectations; during such situations, what is the proper recourse that one should be taking, especially if it is the salary of your first job? If you feel that your past internships or education have given you fewer compared to your other peers, or if you think that the offered salary is not your correct professional value, here is a complete guide on negotiating your first salary.
Why should we negotiate?
The salaries range from job to job, position to position, depending on the work scale and one’s knowledge and experience. Most importantly, salaries are supposed to cover living costs and provide for your other needs such as medical and recreational costs. However, you believe your work scale, experience, qualification and skill sets are valued more than your first job salary offers. In that case, you should stop being hesitant and ask for your value and the right amount. One must also keep in mind that asking for a salary higher than the relevant one, might lead to you losing the chance of landing that job, so ask for a wage that is genuine from both sides.
What are the aspects one can discuss during negotiation?
Research suggests that 52% of first job landers expect a higher salary than they are offered but shirk in anticipation of losing the job. However, there is always room for negotiation. Before you negotiate the right salary for your first job, you must be sure to access the following aspects and ascertain whether your current offer covers all these. If not, then choose to mention all of these while negotiating the correct pay scale:
Figure out your budget
A good grade salary is everyone’s dream. Still, your first job, your first full-fledged professional experience, also might mean a lower salary. Still, even your first salary must cover your basic budget. Your budget includes rent, commutation, food, and other living expenses. Create a detailed budget to ascertain all your costs and present it in detail in case you have to while negotiating.
Suppose you have had to move away from home for a job, which is quite probable in today’s world full of globalized economies. In that case, there are certain expenses that you are going to incur as a result of relocation, the primary one being living rent. Apart from this, you might have to avail certain services that might bring in new and different costs altogether. While negotiating, be sure to mention that you are relocating to a new place (if you are relocating) and explain in detail the expenses that come as a part of and as a follow-up to relocation.
Compare competitive salaries
Comparing competitive salaries is a tricky aspect. However, it gives you a better idea about the value of the position that you might be filling in. Try to surf and check competitors’ salaries in your field and the wages they might be offering for the same or similar roles. This can be a significant convincing point, and it will give you a better insight into the value of your job position and the challenges it comes with. Talking about the salaries that competitors usually offer is a strong point of negotiation; however, you should always mention this in follow-up to some other point of negotiation.
Ask for more than you want
The table of negotiation brings the opportunities to increase or lower the offer from the side of the parties involved. One should ask for an amount slightly higher than one wants as the hirers will certainly negotiate and reduce the concerned amount. This way, you might get your desired amount and look like a bigger person who agreed to negotiate the amount.
Apart from some factors, you can consider while negotiating your first salary, you might also want to look at other emoluments that the job brings that might suffice your salary in some way.
Particular job offers come along with incentives like travel reimbursement, insurance, paid leaves etc., which are lucrative but also help you save a large part of your in-hand salary. Before you negotiate your salary, consider accessing these incentives as well.
Stock buying options
Certain companies these days offer their employees to buy shares of their company at a discount or sometimes even for free. Suppose such an option exists in your job offer. In that case, you might strongly want to reconsider negotiating the salary or reducing the amount of negotiation.
Specific workplaces might have less to offer in terms of money, but they add an incredible amount of valuable experience to your resume that can help you land a better job.
Researching is the key to a good negotiation for your first salary. It is not restricted to researching the offer but also your budget and the new expenses you might incur. There are some very prominent myths revolving around such negotiations. Whether bargaining can cost you the job offer, if the country’s or the company’s economic position should be considered, or if you shouldn’t consider negotiation in case of no other option. Well, the answer to all such myths is a big NO! If the negotiation does not work out, you can still gracefully accept your previous offer. Even if the company is in a dire economic situation, you can ask for incentives to help you cover-up.
Learning to negotiate a salary or adding up to your ascertained value is an essential lesson that almost everyone should learn during their careers while maintaining decency and professionalism. Always remember that negotiation does not portray you badly; asking for more or what you deserve is never a negative sign.
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