A FORCE FOR GOOD hub | Know your own WORTH
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Know your own WORTH


You need to know your own WORTH and NEGOTIATE YOUR WORTH.

How to be unapologetic about asking for how much money you deserve,

How do you negotiate your worth if you don’t know your worth? Here are the steps you need to know and should follow…

Do Your Research

It’s important to do the background work. What are others in similar positions being paid? Use salary websites, general searches of the web, speak with a head-hunter or recruiter and ask around in the industry. This might not reflect your current situation exactly, but it will be valuable information for you to have and can help you get a better idea of what you can expect. Research the careers of those you admire and aspire to be like. What did their paths look like? It’s important to know what others have done to get where you want to be. If you are applying for a new job – find out what other companies are paying for similar role by researching before you get to the negotiation and job offer stage.

“No one will ever pay you what you’re worth. They’ll only ever pay you what they think you’re worth. And you control their thinking…Clearly defining and communicating your value are essential to being paid well for your excellence.”

Defining Your Value

It is important to take the time to sit down and self-evaluate. It’s critical to know your value when beginning negotiations. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my clients’/companies’ needs and how do I meet them?
  • What is my unique skill set that makes me better qualified to serve in my company/serve my clients?
  • What do I do that no one else does?
  • What problems do I solve for the company/clients?
  • What value do I add?

The first number on the table is an anchor, to which the negotiation is tied. You want to control where negotiations start, so don’t start too low.

How Much Are They Willing To Pay?

Sometimes you will know the salary before you go in for the interview. Do not simply accept this at face value. You can still negotiate. Think of it as a ballpark figure. If it is lower than you had hoped for, don’t walk away from the position. Go in prepared to negotiate based on what you can bring to the position. 

–Don’t accept the first salary offer. “Assume the first offer is negotiable; in most cases it is,”

Aim High

After initially presenting a salary request that they may reject, the company is more likely to agree to something reasonable. They likely will feel as though they are getting a good deal if they negotiate down. Once you solidly grasp your true value and decide your negotiating number, effectively communicate this to the hiring manager.

“People most of the time think that in order to push very hard, ‘I gotta be tough.’ In reality it’s the opposite: The nicer you are, the harder you can push.”

When negotiating, ask questions and don’t be afraid to counter-offer. If they still won’t budge, negotiate other aspects of the job such as vacation time. Finally, don’t be afraid to draw a line at the point where the offer is too low to accept. It’s never easy to walk away, but sometimes it’s necessary. Diminishing your market value, or accepting an offer that doesn’t feel right, will ultimately undermine you. You alone set the bar for your own worth!

  • Don’t Reveal Your Cards First

The first number on the table is an anchor, to which the negotiation is tied. You want to control where negotiations start, so don’t start too low.

  • Be Specific

Precision matters. A more specific number. Also, don’t provide a range. They will almost always go for the lower of the two numbers. The purpose of a job interview (or performance review) is to sell yourself. If you don’t believe you’re worth the price you’re asking, your employer won’t believe it either.

Focus on the value you bring to the company, not what comparable salaries are. When asking for a raise or making a move to another job, note your accomplishments, and attach time and money to them.

  1. If the company asks for a number on the application, leave it blank.
  2. When the company verbally asks how much you’ll take, you say, “I’m much more interested in doing [type of work] here at [name of company] than I am in the size of the initial offer.”
  3. If the company asks a second time, your answer is: “I will consider any reasonable offer.” This is a polite stalling tactic this will work another 30 per cent of the time.
  4. About 30 per cent of the time, you’ll reach this final step. Again, your response is a polite refusal to answer the question: “You’re in a much better position to know how much I’m worth to you than I am.” This is your final answer, no matter how many times the company tries to get you to go first.

Again, the purpose of this method is to get the company to be the first side to name a number. Once the company makes an offer, there are two options. If the offer is above your minimum, take the job. If it’s below your minimum, tell them it’s too low — but do not say by how much.

Be brave.

The biggest mistake you can make is to not negotiate at all. Don’t make excuses — “The economy is awful”, “I’m lucky to have this offer”, “I’d rather have a root canal” — and don’t fret about being rejected. The courage to negotiate is especially important for women — men are four to eight times more likely to negotiate salary. Most companies are willing to negotiate salary, but most employees never give it a go.

Be prepared.

Research a fair salary. Figure out how much you want — but ask for a bit more to leave room for compromise. Practice negotiating your salary. Sit down with someone you trust and role-play the experience. Record yourself so that you can find your flaws. The more you practice, the more you’ll feel comfortable during the actual interview.

Be silent.

During salary negotiations, it’s often best to let the other side do the talking. Using the Chapman Method, when you receive an offer — no matter what it is — follow the offer with “the flinch”, a long period of silence. In You Can Negotiate Anything, Herb Cohen writes,” Oddly enough, silence, which is probably easier to carry out, can be just as effective as tears, anger, and aggression.” Silence is golden.

Be persistent.

In many cases, the employer will reject your first request for a higher offer. Don’t let this deter you. Push back gently, justifying your proposed salary. Explain how the company will benefit from the investment.

Be patient.

The deeper you get in the process, the more committed the company is to hiring you. Do not mention your current income or your salary expectation — not even on the job application. If you do, you provide an anchor for the negotiation, and that can only hurt you. Wait for the employer to make the first mention of money.

Practice first–and practice again. Practice with a trusted colleague, coach, or friend. Practice overcoming objections.

You alone set the bar for your own worth.


Helene Taylor – Managing Director & Founder – Jito Connected


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