Salary Negotiation Tips: How to Know Your Worth

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. 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 uncertainty about who you are and, most importantly, what you want will immediately decrease your value and worth, not only in the eyes of an interviewer during salary negotiation.

That is why self-confidence is so important. Confidence comes from knowledge. In my years of coaching and recruiting people, I discovered that many people do not know much about themselves. Many people have crammed things in school and have brilliant minds on concepts and academia, but they lack one very important ingredient for success: self-awareness.

Salary negotiation: Can you tell us your salary expectations for this job?

This is one of the worst-performed questions. Yet, salary negotiation and getting that job can be a make-or-break decision. 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 to 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, food, and upkeep.” That is the 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.” That is the wrong answer.

When the interviewer asks you, “Why should we 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 our self-worth during salary negotiation and beyond. Your motivation 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 succeed 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 said that it is important for you to know your “Why” of existence. You should search for 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. Someone else had better skill sets than he did. However, when it came to making 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 into a job.

Contrary to popular belief, your worth is personal and unique to you! In salary negotiations, breaking down your self-value into dollars per hour is essential. This isn’t about your net worth but rather your self-worth tied to your dreams, aspirations, and the impact you want to make. Many people overlook this crucial aspect, but understanding it starts with goal-setting.

First, estimate or research the total cost of your goals and divide it by the number of working years you have left. This will give you the total income you need per year. Remember, income isn’t just your salary; it encompasses all earnings.

Next, divide this annual income by 12 to get your monthly income target. Then, divide that by the number of working hours (typically 8 per day) to determine your hourly worth.

Imagine a friend who knows their worth per hour attending a job interview. When asked about salary expectations, they confidently negotiate a salary aligned with their hourly worth, stating their commitment to delivering value that matches this figure and the market standards for the position.

Now, consider you at the same interview, unsure about your worth and vaguely suggesting that the organization should decide your salary. Despite having higher academic qualifications, your lack of clarity and confidence in salary negotiation puts you at a disadvantage.

In the end, who would you choose if you were the hiring manager? The candidate who knows their worth and can effectively negotiate their salary, or the one who leaves it to chance?

Understanding and articulating your value is key to successful salary negotiations

Jill Abura
Notification Bell