You’ve finished the difficult part. You’ve effectively fended off the volley of questions surrounding your previous experience and work life. Now it’s time to talk money and to get down to the nitty gritty. Cash, brass, dough; whatever you call it the salary negotiation can often be tough for even the most experienced professionals. I’m going to walk you through a few things you need to bear in mind when agreeing the salary for your all-important time and expertise.
Location, Location, Location.
When changing jobs one of the things that you should always bear in mind are the associated costs of relocation. In some countries the salary structure is often quite flat across the country. This requires little thought as to whether the move is affordable and worthwhile.
However, this may not be the case, in some locales the difference in the cost of living can be astronomical. For example, you’ve been at the grindstone of a local company based in the North-East of England. You’re offered what would appear to be a huge salary increment. But you should never forget the huge gap in the price of basic living expenses, most importantly the rent. For many this can mean a huge downsizing from a lovely semi-detached with stunning landscapes, to a small apartment with panoramic views of the local kebab shop. Think about what’s most important for you. If you’re going to maintain a level of comfort, the salary increment must reflect the new costs of your basic needs!
It’s not only about the money: let’s talk fringe benefits.
When looking for a new job, the icing on the cake can often be the so-called fringe benefits. Initially a new salary may not seem so attractive. However, when you factor in paid gym memberships, meal allowances, and how fancy you’ll look in your new company car, it can really make a huge difference. Some of these benefits go a long way in demonstrating the company’s investment in you, not only financially, but also as an individual. Membership of gyms, sports teams and other groups through work can be a great way to improve your social life and are tricky to put a price on. In-house counselling services are ever more frequently found in contracts, allowing you to deal with stress and form the perfect work-life balance.
The company car is an excellent way for a company to give you the independence to carry out tasks on the clock, whilst also saving you a packet in your personal life without the added expense of your own vehicle and the often-exorbitant insurance costs (this one benefit alone could save you hundreds per annum). Season tickets and travel subsidies are another great way to make sure you’re getting the best possible offer from your employer. In some cities in Europe the cost of commuting can reach into the thousands, any employer who will help out in terms of reducing that is again showing a real commitment to you as a new member of their team.
There’re only 2 things in life for certain: Death, and Taxes.
One of the key things that people often neglect to establish when relocating for work is that the take home may not be exactly what it seems. Taxes and other deductions may leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. When you relocate without establishing what’ll end up in your pocket, make sure to check that.
There’s a wide variety of taxes that may catch you out. Be it the church tax in Germany. Or huge taxes on cars in parts of The Middle East. What about the somewhat more perplexing cow flatulence tax in Denmark. There are a number of factors that can affect the income of both you and your business in certain countries. Somewhat more confusing can be the different tax systems of what is effectively the same country. This can make a huge difference in the US where your relocation could mean that pay rise is a little less attractive. You can have a quick look at those here. Defitely look out before you start your money talk!
Do your research and don’t forget it’s a negotiation.
When looking into a new job it’s vital that you enter the negotiation with a firm idea of what you deserve. You can use our JobLeads functionality here to find the average salary for the position you’ve applied for. Some people tend to do some quick maths with their current salary to estimate what they’re asking for. This is rarely a good idea as you’re probably seriously undervaluing yourself when you talk about money. When you have got the figure in your mind, it’s important that you start a little above there, if you’re looking for 50000 euro per year and this is the first figure you mention, the only way you’re going is down during the negotiation. If you set your initial figure a little higher and then eventually agree on a sum close to what you’re asking, both you and your future employer can leave the meeting content with the outcome.
When discussing the figures you should be cordial and courteous, but also firm. Using the terms remuneration package can also encourage your future employer to disclose some of those fringe benefits mentioned earlier. One of the best pieces that I have ever received when discussing remuneration is that your employer is not only paying you for your time, but also what you know, and the effort it took for you to acquire your skills and knowledge.
I hope these top tips help you with your negotiations, good luck and be sure to never undervalue yourself!