Blog post

Money Talks


You often hear about enormous amounts of cash earned by celebrities or athletes followed by the usual cries of “no-one is worth that amount of money”!!

A week doesn’t seem to go by without some footballer being splashed across the news for earning more in a week than the rest of us mere mortals will see in a lifetime. 

However, you can’t argue whether they’re worth £300K a week.  Of course they are and here’s why.

It’s all about negotiation and that is absolutely the same for all of us. 

It’s fair to say, if we could magically secure a salary we’re happy with, minus any awkward discussions we’d take it!  Not likely though is it?

Talking about the subject of money shouldn’t send shivers down your spine.  Approached the right way, it is a lot easier than you think. 

There are some golden rules and the absolute number one is……………… make your new employers want you first! 

Sounds obvious, but steaming in with opening conversations in an interview about pay, sends out completely the wrong message.  The interviewer can only be left with the assumption you’re not motivated by the company and are purely there for money.  Even if this is not the case, it’s unlikely you’ll go any further.

Wait until you have a job offer on the table before you even begin to discuss salary!

2. Do your research.  A key factor in establishing your price when asking for a pay rise has to come from some old fashioned research.  Use jobs websites and whatever information you can get your hands on to compare like for like job roles to make a sound comparison. This will give you a good idea to construct a robust figure which is competitive for the market place. 

3. Work out your minimum.  Have a figure in mind that you need to achieve. Take into account previous earnings, any travel costs you’ll incur, and how much you need to live comfortably.

4. Don’t lie.  You may be asked at interview what you previously earned.  It might seem like a good idea to brag your way to a higher salary.  DON’T – this is a big mistake.  Your P45 will tell your new employer exactly what you earned in your last employment, so you’ll be seen as untrustworthy from the off. 

5. Understand your circumstances.  When you go to an interview, you already know how important the outcome is to you.  You may have already got another job offer, and if this is the case it allows you to turn down an offer you aren't happy with.  Alternatively, if this is a job that is most likely to be your only current option, then be more careful, as you don't want to talk your way out of the job.

6. No now, doesn’t mean no forever.  If you are unsuccessful in your salary negotiation, don’t panic.  If you are offered less than you were hoping for, dust yourself down and find out about the review structure of the company.  Ask about how salary rises are assessed and whether there is a chance in the future for further negotiations. 

7. Turn the tables.  Your interviewer is probably going to ask you some questions about what you think your role is worth or ask what is your desired salary.  Remember, if you haven't got a job offer on the table then this discussion should be approached with restraint.  Instead of reeling off some fantastical number, why not turn the question around to the employer, so that you can get an idea of what they may offer you. You could ask the employer "What kind of salary range do you have in mind for the position?" or to avoid being forthright you could just answer by saying that you "hoped to make as much as other employees with your skills and qualifications”.  This puts the ball firmly back in the employer's court, which will enable them to give you an indication of the type of salary on offer.

You might not to need to negotiate salary at all.  You may be perfectly happy with the salary on offer, and if this is the case, great!  Even if you don't get the salary you want right away, your employer will not think badly of you for asking.  Also, one unsuccessful negotiation should not put you off asking in the future .

So, going back to our footballer friend.  If you’re the world’s best striker, you’ll know what the industry pays for that person, how much the club can realistically offer and therefore will enter wage negotiations with a researched, informed approach.  

Done the right way, pay discussions show that you are confident and not afraid to go after what you want. 

And remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.