You make a certain amount of money for every hour you work at your job. You know how much that time is worth. How much is your free time worth?
Before you start spending all your hard earned pay cheques, take a few minutes to listen to these words of advice.
If you’re applying to a minimum wage job then how much you’re paid isn’t really an issue, but if it’s a salaried job then there’s an opportunity for negotiation.
When to negotiate
You need to have salary expectations in mind going into the interview but the time to negotiate isn’t around: Hi my name is Jim and I’m expecting to make $50K does that work for you?
The first interview probably isn’t the time for salary negotiations to start. They should wait until it’s clear that you are a choice candidate. If the company likes you and has chosen to make you an offer then they are likely prepared to negotiate. That negotiation is actually part of the hiring process.
Know your number
Salary negotiation isn’t something you start thinking about when you’re in the interview or discussing the job offer. It’s something you’ve prepared for well in advance. You’ve already done your homework and have a salary range in mind before you came into the interview. http://thejobwindow.com/?p=1519
That doesn’t necessarily mean a specific number, I expect to be making $52,342 a year. Better to have a range, I’m expecting to make in the $50 – $55K range.
If you don’t have an answer for the salary question, then that can actually drop you in the ranks if not discount you from the race altogether. It indicates to potential employers that you either don’t value yourself, know your worth, or have done your research. If you couldn’t even prepare yourself for an inevitable job-related question what kind of drive and motivation do you have?
Don’t forget about the benefits – they’re part of the negotiation. Holidays, insurance, pension are all topics that need to be addressed. Job perks can make a significant contribution to your salary. So, like you did your homework on salary expectations, you should know what you’re looking for in terms of medical, dental etc. The other thing you should remember to ask about is the company’s policy on future raises.
Don’t act like a thirsty wanderer in the desert
If you go in with the attitude of a thirsty wanderer in the desert of the job market willing to take whatever drops are offered you, you will probably end up with only a few drops. A confident attitude, surety in yourself and an ability to stand up for yourself speaks volumes about what you will bring to the job.
Don’t be greedy
If however you’ve been offered what you were expecting or more, then that’s not the time to start asking for more. Asking for more than you’re worth simply demonstrates a lack of judgment.
Do back up your expectations
Have reasons for your expectations. Why are you worth what you say you’re worth? Be prepared with examples from your resume and your personal experiences. Just because experiences didn’t come out of a job environment, doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the package you are presenting.
Thanks but no thanks
Be willing to walk away. If the job isn’t right for you don’t just take it out of desperation. You’ll end up looking again sooner rather than later. Better to get the right job with the right salary in the first place.
Take time to be sure
Don’t feel like you have to make your decision on the spot. It’s perfectly okay to take a day to consider your options.
Negotiations can be hard. The employer is going to try and get the best deal for the company while you’re trying to get the best deal for yourself. That doesn’t mean negotiations are negative. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase your value. How you handle yourself during negotiations is indicative of how you handle yourself in general.
Hey. Guess what. Science finally snooped around and tried to figure out if money actually equals happiness. And guess what – it doesn’t. Mostly. Sort of. Let me break it down for you.
- There Is A Money VS Happiness Drop Off
So, just straight up having money can make you happier – but only to a certain point. According to Time Magazine, the happiness to money ratio drops off at a yearly income of $50,000. After you hit the $50,000 mark, it doesn’t matter how much higher your income goes, your happiness based on money won’t rise with it.
- Things Don’t Increase Your Base-Level Happiness
Everybody is born with a certain disposition. To put it in terms of Winnie the Pooh because I am an utter child, some people are Tigger and some are Eeyore. That changes slightly over your life – things like quality of relationships, income (up to the $50,000 mark,) work satisfaction and a plethora of other factors.
But the fact remains that you have a base happiness level, and whatever good or bad events confront you throughout life, Tiggers will always be Tiggers and Eeyores will always be Eeyores.
Often people assume they can change their base happiness level with money – by buying a pool or a car or an entire zoo. But things cannot increase your base happiness level. Your new car is great, until a couple months later when it’s just your car. Your pool is the best thing that has ever happened to you, until you’re stuck cleaning it all the time and don’t even use it that often.
A beautiful new house won’t make you any happier than the one you just left, because sooner or later it’s not a shiny new house anymore. It’s just your house.
However, you can use money to increase your base level happiness if you know how…
- Having A Lot of Experiences Raises Your Base Happiness
If you have excess money and you need to spend it somewhere, hold off on that car and go on an adventure with someone you love. Or on your own. Or go out with friends, or go to a concert.
Experiences will increase how happy you are at any given time. That’s a little counter-intuitive, I know, because if you buy that new car you’ll have it for years but your vacation would be over in a couple weeks or that concert will end in an hour.
But that’s not how our brains process things. When you buy a car, after a while it loses it’s luster and just becomes your car. The thrill of a car only lasts a few months. A vacation or a great concert, or time spent with friends – those last your whole life. By that I mean, you can keep those memories forever. Memories get better over time – your brain edits out the bad parts and keeps the bits that made you happy. And you can tell stories, which brings more happiness by contributing to social situations. Each time you replay the memory of things you did, they become more embellished and amazing, whereas everytime you look at your car, it’s less and less exciting.
As cheesey as it sounds, you’re overall life satisfaction will increase due to time spent with people, doing things that you can look back on, rather than buying that sweet lava lamp you’ve been eyeing.
- Give Your Money Away
I am dead serious. You worked really, really hard to get the salary you have, and now I’m asking you to give it away? That’s right. First of all, as we’ve established, anything above $50,000 isn’t much use to you anyway, and secondly, altruism is one of the fastest and easiest way to boost up your level of happiness. Some people have even argued that the dopamine (pleasure chemical) spike in our brain when we perform a selfless act is comparable to that of a hit of cocaine.
Again, if you donate to charity instead of getting that cool new car, you’ll feel better about yourself and your worth as a person. Giving money away to help others is truly the best way you can possibly spend it if you have some extra.
The burning question…”What are your salary expectations?”
You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to answer this question. Two reasons: 1) Money-talk is awkward no matter what. 2) Fear of rejection if given too high or too low of a number.
No matter what, the salary question will always be awkward. There’s no right or wrong answer but it’s important to prepare for it if you want to be valued for your skills and past accomplishments.
Here are some suggestions to answer the tough salary question with confidence in an interview.
What not to do when asked about salary
Never say, “I don’t know”: Just like with any other interview question, you never want to give the impression that you’re clueless. This shows that you’re not prepared and didn’t do your research. Saying “I don’t know” in general is an opening to a disastrous interview.
Never say, “It’s up to you or “whatever you want to give me”: Employers can take this two ways: either you have low expectations of their company or you’re a pushover. And obviously you don’t’ want them to think either of that. When you say “It’s up to you” or “whatever you want to give me”, you’re giving the employer control and leeway to give you whatever they please – and this can backfire because some employers can take advantage of this and underpay you.
What to do when asked about salary
Research the position/field you are interviewing for to get a clear understanding: To avoid all those statements above, it doesn’t come any clearer – DO YOUR RESEARCH! You’re looking up interview questions and preparing for the interview anyway. So why not find out the average salary/hourly wage that people in that position are currently making? Glassdoor.com or your country’s government website is the best way to find this. Try to study the annual trends and how it has increased or decreased over the years and months.
Always give a range, not an exact salary number: After conducting some research on how much people in your industry and position get annually, monthly and hourly, come up with a range between five and ten. For example, you can say between $15 to $20/hour or $40,000 to $50,00 a year depending on experience. This will allow the interviewer to have some leeway with you and reach a middle ground.
Use your common sense: Be smart and know the level of your position. Don’t expect a ridiculous amount of money if you are applying for a junior position. For example, IT positions can make over $100,000 a year, but not when they first start out. So be reasonable.