So, you’ve completed your Chevening year, and you’re in the working world. Negotiating your salary is a crucial step in securing a job or asking for a raise at your current place of employment. It can be a daunting task, so we've put together this quick guide to give you confidence when negotiating your next salary.

Salary negotiation can be stressful, particularly if you worry about coming across pushy or demanding. You must remember however, that it is a normal and expected part of the hiring process, and it’s up to you to advocate for yourself and ensure that you’re being fairly compensated for your skills and experience. With a little preparation and confidence, you can successfully negotiate your salary and secure a pay rate that reflects your value to the company.

1. Do your research

Before you start the negotiation process, it’s important to do your homework. Research the market rate for your job title and industry, and consider factors such as your level of experience, education (your Chevening Scholarship!), and location. This will give you a baseline to work from and help you determine and defend the salary you’re asking for. You should be aiming to create a credible, precise proposal for your salary – showing your employer what they should do, rather than focusing on the negative and telling them what they’re currently paying you is wrong. This will help you to look professional, rather than defensive.


2. Think outside the salary box

It’s also a good idea to consider ahead of time some non-salary compensation. Think about what is a big deal to you, that might not be to them, ie. Working from home. These easy wins can be negotiated as well. Similarly, consider what matters a lot to the employer, that might not matter to you all that much, and don’t undersell it. Try to go into the meeting with these elements mapped out, so you’re confident in what non-salary compensations you’re willing to give and take.


3. Consider your number

Once you have a good understanding of your worth, it’s time to start preparing for the negotiation itself. Make a list of your accomplishments and contributions to the company, and be prepared to explain how they have added value. This will help you make a strong case for why you deserve a higher salary. It’s also a good idea to have a specific number in mind, backed up with industry data that you’d like to request. You are much less likely to seem pushy or greedy if the number you’re asking for is benchmarked against industry data.


4. Say less!

When it comes time for the actual negotiation, it’s important to stay calm and confident. Reminding yourself to ‘say less’ is generally a good rule. You make your (well researched!) proposal, and then stop talking. Avoid getting emotional or becoming too attached to a specific number. Remember that the goal of the negotiation is to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, so try to focus on finding common ground and coming up with a solution that works for both you and the company.


5. You’re not average

Remember that your research will generally have given you the average salary for your role, and you’re not average, you’re a Chevener! So, pitch a bit higher than you expect to get. This helps to establish a higher baseline for the negotiation, and makes it more likely that you’ll end up with a higher salary.


6. Don’t have opinions

Be sure to speak clearly and confidently, and avoid using language that could be perceived as confrontational or defensive. It’s also a good idea to listen carefully to the other party’s perspective and consider their needs and concerns. When you are expressing yourself, don’t use language like ‘I think’, that sounds like an opinion. It leaves you open to being disagreed with. Instead, state the source of what you’re saying, ie. ‘based on Glass Door’, or ‘based on industry knowledge’. They are much less likely to disagree with data-based statements. By maintaining a respectful and professional demeanour, you’ll be more likely to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.


In the end, the key to successful salary negotiation is preparation, confidence, and effective communication. By doing your homework and being clear about your value and what you’re seeking, you’ll be in a strong position to negotiate a salary that reflects your worth to the company. Remember, salary negotiation is a normal and expected part of the hiring process, and it’s up to you to advocate for yourself and ensure that you’re being fairly compensated. With a little preparation and practice, you can confidently and successfully negotiate your salary, and ensure you’re being fairly compensated for your skills.

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