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Money Matters

3 essential tips for negotiating a better salary

Considering a job offer or feel that you deserve more for your work but you are unsure of how to ask for it? While negotiating for a higher salary is generally not something people are comfortable with, it needs to be done to ensure that all parties get the most value of their working relationship. Here are 3 tips to help you negotiate for a better salary.

1. Do your research

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Do you know your market rate?  Knowing what people in your position and with your level of experience are making and comparing it to your earnings can support in your negotiations for a higher salary.

For example, according to Indeed, the average base salary for a Marketing Executive in Singapore is S$2,834 per month. If you are also a Marketing Executive and your salary is S$2,500, you can use this as a base to help you figure out the percentage increase you can negotiate for.

Online tools such as PayScale’s salary calculator or Glassdoor’s salary tool can also provide you with a guide on where you stand in terms of your salary as compared to your peers.

2. Show what you can do and have done

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Once you have identified how much you are worth, think about what your employer values and why you are an asset to the company. Be ready with the “ammunition” to present your case. It is crucial to first know how much value you have, and can, offer to your employer. To build your case, you need to prove that you are worth investing in. Once you have identified them, go all out to showcase your worth in those areas. Here are some suggestions:

a. Print out a list of your accomplishments at the company.

Get figures, images, and black and white proof to show how much you have accomplished. Speak to those whom you have worked closely with to give you their testimonials on how working with you has made tasks run more efficiently – these are best coming from your indirect managers and/or by those who are on equal or higher rank to your line manager to ensure it doesn’t seem biased.

b. Tell your manager about what you can do to bring even more value to the company.

Suggest new ways you can help to advance business goals. For example, can you help free up someone’s bandwidth? Are you able to help to strategise ways to streamline work for enhanced efficiency? Or perhaps you could propose a new idea or project that could benefit the company?

c. Come up with SMART goals

Discuss about your plans with your employer using SMART goals. This is a framework that can provide you with a clear path and plan to achieving your targets. SMART stands for:

  • Specific – Ensure your goals are clear, simple and straight to the point.
  • Measurable – Ensure your progress is quantifiable.
  • Attainable – When coming up with these numbers, be sure they are attainable within a certain timeframe.
  • Realistic – Having an attainable goal means it has to be realistic.
  • Time-bound – Set a realistic date of completion for your goal and work towards that.

An example of a SMART goal will sound like this:

“To develop two RPG mobile games by December 31, 2021 which will achieve 100,000 downloads within the first 3 months of being launched on Android and iOS, and achieving 70% retention rate over 2 months.”

3. Master the Art of Negotiation

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Practice makes perfect. To soothe any pre-negotiation nerves you may have, do rehearse what you’d like to say. Write some pointers or practice in front of a mirror or camera. You even role play with family members, friends or trusted colleagues and ask for their feedback.

Now, for Negotiation Day. You’re well prepared, so there’s nothing to worry about – lay out your facts with confidence, and you’re good to go. Here are some tips on how to present yourself, questions to ask, how to react and more.

a. Be confident, yet polite – a salary negotiation is a conversation, and not a demand. For example, as mentioned in an interview by Forbes, hiring managers do not appreciate threats such as “Company Y is offering me a better salary”.

b. Be prepared for many “why” questions – once you ask for something, the natural question is why. This is where your research preparation comes in.

c. Understand company constraints – your employer may like you, but at the same time, they have to manage limitations such as economic downturn or internal salary caps. When this happens, don’t lose heart! You may be able to work out other alternatives or job perks!

Sometimes, having a change of environment to speak about these difficult topics help as well. For instance, instead of barging into your manager’s office to speak about a salary raise, you can have a casual chat about it over coffee with your boss. Having a sense of how the conversation would be in an official setting will help you be better prepared for the actual talk.

Do be ready for your negotiation to be put on ice due to various factors. If the situation allows, offer to continue the conversation another day. You can also drop your manager an email as a recap and to send across your supporting documents – this way, you can keep the topic open for further discussion.

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Kudos on knowing your worth, and making the move to boost your income! Additionally, crediting your newly boosted salary into a JumpStart account will enable you to start earning from the first dollar. With no monthly maintenance fee or fall-below fee, you know your money is safe and growing1.

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This article is brought to you by Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. All information provided is for informational purposes only.

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