How to negotiate a higher starting salary

After completing your  internship, you could be offered a permanent position at your company.  It’s always a good idea to prepare for what to expect before you start your work experience as a permanent employee. Sean Binedell investigates how you could maximise your potential monthly earnings and ensure that your employer gives you a fair deal.

Do your homework

Be aware of what the average salary for your position and your experience is. Some recruitment agencies provide information on what you can expect salary wise in the fields that they specialise in. For example, recruitment agency, Ad Talent, conducted a salary survey in the advertising and communications sector. If  you plan on entering this sector, click here to find out what you could expect to earn.

Don’t be afraid to show-off

Illustrate how valuable you are to the company. If you are bringing unique skills to your role, don’t be afraid to highlight how they have already benefitted the company and how they will do so even further in the future.

Keep a poker face

Don’t show your hand too early during negotiations. This includes specifying a salary in your job application form. Companies may even have designated a higher portion of the payroll for your position than you anticipated.

Be flexible during negotiations.

It is important to act confident and know what you want. However if you are too aggressive or confrontational, a company may simply move on to another applicant. Nobody has ever died from eating some humble pie.

Get it all in writing

Ensure any salary negotiations or promises are recorded in a written or email format. The worst scenario would be for your employer to renegade on a verbal agreement because he/she has had a change of heart.

Boost your knowledge

So you got the employment contract in writing. But you should not be content on not expanding your role and earning potential. Experience and additional qualifications play a major role in your salary breakdown. It is important to sign up for any useful in-house training, as it will only maximise your value to the company and increase your negotiating power in future salary discussions.

What difficulties do new job seekers face?

We are currently living in a tough economic environment and several countries are finding themselves in a recession while others dip in and out of one. In such an environment, the first thing companies generally do is cut down on staff or offer future candidates a low salary. In a recent study in Canada, researchers found that initial earnings are likely to decrease during periods of a recession by up to 9%.

South Africa is struggling too and finding a job has become increasingly difficult, especially for the youth. According to Trading Economics, the country has a 25% unemployment rate.

Under these conditions it may be harder to find the ideal job and salary you desire, particularly when you are applying for your first role. However, it is still important to know your value and not let companies pressure you into accepting an offer of employment well below the average salary for your position.