Salary Negotiation Tips; Know Your Worth.

Salary Negotiation tips

One of the things that employers love to see in an employee, and by extension, a potential employee, is a sense of total self-awareness. Any hint of confusion and being unsure of who you are and most importantly what you want will immediately decrease your value and worth not only in the eyes of an interviewer but also in the eyes of any other human being.

That is why your self-confidence is of great importance. Confidence comes as a result of knowledge. What I have found out in my years of coaching people and in my previous years of recruiting people is; that a hoard of people does not know much about themselves. A lot of people have crammed things in school, and have brilliant minds on concepts and academia, but they lack one very important thing that is a great ingredient for success: Self-awareness.

“So, can you tell us what your salary expectations for this job are?” This is one of the questions that is worst performed. And yet this question can be a make or break for you to get that job. Its cousin question (assuming that you have answered the first question) is a pointed and introspective one: “Why do you think we should pay you that much?”

The answers that come out of this second question have made people lose opportunities in their droves.

Some people say, “I think that will be enough to pay for my rent and food and upkeep” Wrong answer.

Others would say, “That amount of money will make me comfortable because even now I am not earning anything” Very bad answer

Still others would say; “I think that is what my value is” Wrong answer.

When the interviewer is asking you “Why we should pay you that much”, they could be looking for either one of these two things or both of them:

  • Your contribution to their goals (that’s their main reason for hiring you)
  • Your sense of self-worth (that speaks of your aptitude, focus, passion and self-awareness)

Any other answer that is away from these two is nothing they want to know or even hear about.

Today, I want us to look carefully at your self-worth. Your motive for knowing your self-worth is not so you can get a job. No. Your motivation for knowing your self-worth as part of your self-awareness is so that you can be a success in this life. Someone who has looked past a job to the future appears to be more organized to an interviewer than the one who is not.

Consequently, the interviewer looks at you as a thinker, an organized person, a leader, and a focused potential employee. In one of our articles, we have said that it is important for you to know your “Why” of existence. That you should search out your purpose and find it. I Coached someone some months ago and admonished him (after we clarified his Life Purpose) that he should always introduce himself and state his personal vision. It turns out that soon enough, there was an opportunity for him to attend an interview.

In that interview, he told the panel his vision as I had instructed, when they asked him to “tell us about you”. As fate would have it, he was not qualified in terms of skills for the job he was being interviewed for. There was someone else who had better skill sets than he did. However, when it came to make a decision on who to hire, this panel hired the man with a vision—the man with self-awareness.

Another aspect of your self-awareness is your worth.

  • Your worth is not the total amount of money that your parents and guardians have spent on your education
  • Your worth is not directly proportional to your academic qualifications themselves. There are some people with no academic papers but have a very high value on their worth
  • Your worth is not linked to the total amount of effort that you are putting in a job.

Contrary to popular belief, your worth is personal! What you value yourself needs to be broken down into Dollars per Hour. (Now I am not talking about net-worth here) I am talking about self-value/worth. I have a firm belief that your worth is directly linked to your dreams, aspirations and desires of the person you want to be, the things you want to do (making a difference on earth), and the things you desire to have/own. Many people do not know this. The process of knowing all these things is called, Goal-Setting.

So once you have a figure for all this things (an approximation at least and a researched figure at best), you divide it by the number of working years you have left. That should give you the total amount of income that you need per year. Now, notice that I talked about income, not salary. Salary is just one of the ways you can have income.

Next, divide the figure you get by 12. That should give you how much income you need each month. If you divide what you get by 8 (working hours), that should give you the amount of money that you are worth in an hour.

So imagine your friend has the details of their worth per hour. The two of you attend an interview and you are asked those two salary questions. Your friend says what she is worth per hour. She goes ahead and says her intention of giving her all to contribute towards that income. She also says that she is quoting a particular figure because she knows that it is commensurate of the value that she is bringing to the organization.

When it comes to you, let’s say that you do not know what to say. Let’s say that you haggle around and say that the organization “Should give me what it sees fit”. Let’s also suppose that you have high academic qualifications than your friend.

And finally, let’s say you are the one hiring. Whom do you think should be hired?

Jill Abura
Jill is an International Digital Consultant at Ringier AG, spends her time on research on real estate investment and has a special place in her heart for green building.
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