7 Facts You Should Know About Negotiating a Salary Before Accepting a Job Offer

After spending months searching for a dream job in Australia, foreigners may be tempted to say yes to a job offer without a second thought. 

Although many candidates wouldn’t ever consider negotiating a salary, people usually miss the opportunity of being paid more because they are not aware of their market value. 

“Research shows that younger jobseekers and women often make this mistake – either because they don’t know how to negotiate salary, lack confidence and dislike the act of negotiating, or because they don’t understand the potential impact of their decision,” said Jacob Share on Live Career.   

Choosing not to evaluate a job proposal and skip negotiations can be a costly choice. 

According to Glassdoor, “average American could be earning about $7,500 more per year than their current annual base salary.” 

If you’re looking for a job in Australia or interviewing at the moment, there are some things you should know about negotiating salaries before accepting any offer. 

It’s more usual than you think. Many employers work on a job proposal anticipating a counter-offer. If candidates try to negotiate, they can improve an offer within a budget they have previously set. As stated by Robert Half, “some companies will factor in some movement to their salary package, to allow for this negotiation to take place.”

Know your worth. Being prepared to enter the workforce is fundamental. Before starting your job search, you need to figure out your market price. It is easy to find salary guides on the internet, but your wages need to reflect your real value. The experience, skills, and qualifications you have can determine how much you deserve to earn. 

“You’ll often get more precise numbers by talking to people in your field and asking, ‘what would you expect a job like X at a company like Y to pay?’ Recruiters and professional organisations in your field can also be good sources of data,” suggested Alison Green, in a The Cut’s article.

Money is not the only aspect you should evaluate. Sometimes, the salary is not exactly what you wish for, but the job may come with other benefits. Health insurance, bonuses, flexibility with hours, and work from home a few days a week are extras you may take into account. If employers don’t have much room to change your wage, they may be able to include some perks in the proposal. 

 Take a professional approach when you decide to negotiate. You need to be polite and concise in every situation. When you formulate your counter-offer, make sure you’ve done your homework, and you have enough information to support your argument. You can find a large number of materials published online to help candidates on this matter.

 Know your boundaries. If you research, you’ll know if a company is being reasonable or not. Pushing beyond limits and trying to get more money than what is fair may have an opposite effect. “Large, established companies often measure job candidates against well-defined job categories with a set range of salaries,” wrote Katie Shonk to Havard Law School

Formalise arrangements via e-mail or letter.  You can write a document and send a copy to the company confirming everything you’ve discussed verbally with the hiring manager. 

You can still agree to take the job even if the employer declines your offer. In case of a negative answer, you may choose to say yes because, after all the analysis, you still see it as a great opportunity. According to Seek, “when making a counter-offer, be aware that your expectation may not be fulfilled. Remember, negotiations are two-way”.

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