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3 Steps to Negotiating Your Salary: What It’s All About

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So, you’ve just gone through an interview process…what’s next? That’s right, before you can pop the cork on that bottle of champagne in celebration, there is the little issue of agreeing on the terms of your contract.

A subject which is perhaps often left undiscussed, is the issue of how to negotiate a compensation package for a job offer. Working with a recruiter – like Alexander Daniels Global – will mean having someone to support you but doing it alone may cause some professionals difficulty.

If negotiating salary is something that’s always made you uncomfortable – or maybe you’re in the process of doing it now – then we’ve got some pointers that we think could help you ameliorate this all-too-common issue.

In fact, Alexander Daniels Global paired up with 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis to deliver a webinar where we discussed just this topic and more – so we thought we’d condense it for you so you can get all the relevant insights in one place.

3 Top Tips for Negotiating Your Compensation Package

When we say compensation package, we often refer to the salary package that will be included in a contract. Some companies may ‘sweeten the deal’ with benefits such as company cars, bonus structures or private healthcare etc.

But what are some of the most important things to consider when deciding on that special figure, and how can you be confident when it comes to standing your ground?

1. Be Mindful of the Cost of Living Where You Will Be

This seems an obvious, if not simple, point. However, one that can sometimes be overlooked.

If you are relocating, how will your cost-of-living change? And how might that affect your required salary?

Remembering that ‘cost-of-living’ doesn’t just encompass your rent, mortgage or accommodation costs, but can include travel, grocery shopping, food, cost of going out, activities and anything else that upholds your quality of life.

This is particularly true in situations where there are large discrepancies in salaries. Take the example of someone relocating from the West Coast of the US to Germany. The cost of living in Germany is substantially lower than in many parts of the US, which means that salaries are generally comparatively lower too. It is therefore important to reflect on that when negotiating compensation packages, as in a case such as this, a lower salary on paper, may not translate to a ‘lower salary’ in practice. It’s just comparative to cost of life in your new town.

Researching as much as possible and estimating what your cost of living could look like, will help you to start outlining the kind of compensation package that would work for you.

2. Know Your Value

Do you know how valuable you are? Or how valuable your skillset and experiences are to the company you’re interviewing at?

What transferrable skills do you have that the company will need? And how relevant are they really to the here and now?

In this case, it’s less important to compare salaries with others at a similar level to you and more important to be able to voice and quantify the value that you will bring to the hiring company. Knowing how to turn an interview process into a conversation so that you may learn as much about what the company is looking for as well as explaining to the hiring managers how you can help them achieve that, is a skill worth practising.

If you find yourself in a position where you’ll need to prove your worth before the company is willing to increase your earnings – specifically in circumstance where your skills and experience (great as they are) may not benefit the business in the here and now – perhaps it will pay to be tactical and take a temporary salary decrease before you can expect that higher salary. But here, it is important to establish a progression plan and see that it is honoured by both parties.

This is a great point and something that is very important for building the backbone of your negotiating power – understanding how to achieve the pay grade that you are aiming for.

3. What Do You Really Need?

Benchmarks are great for understanding the general trends and movements in the industry, but you should reflect instead on what motivates you. The benchmark itself should act as a guideline, and we would therefore not recommend asking for a certain figure just because it matches an industry benchmark or is based on anecdotal evidence of what someone else might be earning in a similar position.

Be careful not to overshoot on your salary expectations, however, as this may stifle your future earning potential. If you are working at a manager level, but earning like a director, it may become difficult for you to see further salary increases when you decide to make a career move.

Remember, it is very easy to increase your cost and standard of living, but ever more challenging to decrease it. So, when deciding on your salary expectations, it is also worth thinking about where you will be able to go from this point – think for the long term too.

In Summary

An interview process is a two-way exchange. It consists of the Employer finding out about the candidate, and the candidate also learning about the business, the position and what it can offer both parties.

Negotiating a compensation package can be one of the more challenging parts of the recruitment process, especially as it requires aligning your needs with that of the business and the Hiring Manager. So, to summarise, knowing why you are asking for a certain figure and being able to back it up with reasons and logic, can help to make the negotiation process run more smoothly.

We’ve condensed it down into 3 key areas for consideration –

  • Be mindful of the cost of living where you will be (living)
  • Know your value (and what you can bring to the business)
  • What do you really need? – don’t just rely on benchmarks or anecdotes of what others are earning.

These 3 areas should help you to consider exactly what you should be asking for during a compensation package and salary negotiation.

Remembering, if you’re in doubt, reach out to specialist recruiters for advice. There are plenty that exist in the additive manufacturing space and they’ll be happy to talk to you about your opportunity.

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