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GUIDE: What you should know before negotiating your salary

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Aug 16, 2023 5:58 pm Updated Aug 18, 2023 4:57 pm

In this expensive post-pandemic world, working hard is not enough to make a living—you also need to receive the salary you deserve. 

While it can be intimidating to bring up money during an interview, or in general for that matter, it's a topic something that you should learn to discuss openly for you to get paid fairly.

Rhonadale Florentino, a talent operations consultant who also serves as the CEO and president of HR consultancy company UpRush Social Geekers, shared some tips to remember when negotiating your salary.

Don't use your living expenses as justification

When negotiating, avoid using your "living expenses card"—these include your transportation fare, allowance, and the proximity of your workplace in your home. They might not budge for these reasons because you have the option to find an accessible workplace for you. 

"Justifications such as your living expenses will not cut it because that is something that you should have considered prior to applying," Florentino told PhilSTAR L!fe

Florentino also added that the increasing prices of goods and services are not also justifiable reasons as the company may also be suffering from it. 

Don't use your colleague's salary as justification for an increase

Your colleague's work is different from yours. You need to consider different factors as you are working individually.

It is also good to have an idea of how much other companies are paying for your position. You have to consider the line of business of the colleague you are comparing with, their size, and their target market. 

Do prepare quantified data to back up your request

Florentino added that there are no keywords or phrases that can convince an employer of a higher salary, so much as a number. "If you can quantify what you have done with your previous work, that would help convince an employer to provide a higher salary if you're doing this during a job offer," Florentino said. 

"On the other hand, if you are an employee wanting to ask for a raise, make sure that you can enumerate the projects that you have started within the company and show data for the impact of such projects," she continued. 

Present hard evidence such as company data, metrics, and peer recommendations. Your goal is to make your offer so attractive your boss will have a hard time saying no. 

"I am a firm believer that a higher salary comes after you have proven your worth, and that has always been my experience. If the company I am working for cannot see it, then I leave and find other opportunities," Florentino expressed. 

Do give a reasonable rate 

Florentino noted that some companies lose interest in candidates who are asking for something way beyond their budget, so an employee must give a reasonable rate. Plus, the higher the pay is, the higher the standards are. So, always weigh the pros and cons first and decide what is most important to you.

"I have always kept in mind that the higher the salary, the more complicated and high the standards are. Businesses will always want value for their money, so they will not pay someone a high salary only for that person to sit around and do programmable tasks. There will always be a trade-off, so you need to be aware of what your values and priorities are." she said. 

Don't rely solely on data from any online platform to justify an increase. It is called a 'salary survey' for a reason

Job details, organizational structures, and experience levels vary from one company to another. Some senior managers may not have the responsibilities of others, and some middle managers may be comparable to another company's senior management, etc.

As salary surveys are arbitrary and only apply to particular companies, one must not depend on data provided on any online platform.

What are the factors to be considered in negotiating your salary?

Florentino also told L!fe some of the factors that need to be considered when negotiating your salary during job offers or when asking for a salary increase. 

During job offers, an employee must consider the whole package of the offer. These include the compensation, benefits, culture of the company and opportunities for growth as well as the scope of duties and responsibilities of the position.

Always ask yourself what's more important: a higher salary or work-life balance. "Some companies might be able to provide both but it will have a trade-off, like officemates who can be a pain in the neck. So know what you are getting into," Florentino said. 

On the other hand, when negotiating a salary increase, consider the budget of the company, the complexity of the tasks, and the benefits.

The timing of your request will also be a factor. "If you are asking for a raise from your boss, discuss it during the evaluation period. This would allow your boss to include it in the same cycle as other increases," Florentino explained.