Money , Money , Money
According to ABBA money is really, really important. The lyrics to their song go “I work all night, I work all day to pay the bills I have to pay” But how important is money? Well without it life would be very difficult.
When you are looking for a new job at some point during a job interview you may be asked about your salary expectations – that is – how much money you are looking for. There are a few reasons why employers ask this question, but the main reason is to be sure your salary expectation is in tune with what the role is paying. Here is some advice on answering this very direct question without losing a potential job offer…
Have an idea of what the job is paying
If the role you are applying for did not advertise a salary you need to research the average salary paid for the position, to do this go to a national job site and search job title and location, this will give you a good idea of what it is going to pay. Never apply for a job which is not paying what you want or need to earn. Sometimes salaries are negotiable but not often. So, make sure you are not applying for jobs you can’t afford to take.
Know your worth
You know what you are earning now or what you received in your last role. Use the research you have done to ask for a realistic figure above this. Remember be realistic, no one is going to give you a 50% salary increase, 10% would be good. What you don’t want to look like in an interview is a greedy person. Calculate what you need to earn, we all have outgoings we’ve got to cover but don’t over value yourself because you will really struggle to get what you think you’d like to earn.
Don’t undervalue yourself
If you are unemployed and getting a bit desperate it is easy to just accept any old job. Some people think that accepting something is better than having nothing, but it could ruin your career. It is better to be unemployed or to do temporary work until you really find the right job. Whatever you do don’t undervalue yourself – know your worth.
Be prepared to take a drop in salary if needed
If you are changing your career, have been unemployed for some length of time or are interviewing with a Company that is structured differently from your last employer you may have to take a small salary drop – be prepared. To be honest if you have done your research beforehand you will know what the job you are applying for pays and hopefully the salary quoted won’t come as a surprise and it will work for you.
You don’t have to answer salary questions
If you are asked the question “what salary are you looking for” there is no law that says you have to answer. A good way of dealing with this is to say that you are looking for a competitive salary which reflects the responsibilities and experience required for the position. This then throws the question back to the employer and they will be obliged to tell you the salary that they had in mind.
Rather than tell a potential employer what salary you’re looking for give a salary range. Avoid giving a specific figure – why put a limit on what you would accept. Be realistic but say something like “I believe this type of role usually pays between X and Z, that’s the range I’m looking for”. If you put a figure on what you want you could miss out on being offered more, being vague is not a bad thing it can often result in an unexpected windfall.
Never try to negotiate in an interview
You may have to negotiate your salary, but never ever try to negotiate before you have been offered the role, how do you know the employer wants you? The time to negotiate if you need to is when you know they want you, but if you do have to negotiate, be realistic – the employer will have a budget in place for the position. Employers are also savvy; they will have a good idea as to what you are earning currently and it is unlikely that they will offer you a terrible salary.
Don’t fib about what you are earning
You may think that by inflating your current salary you will be offered more money, well you won’t., Fibbing is not a good way to get a job offer, starting a new job under a curtain of deceit is not the way to go. You will always be found out. A savvy employer will have a good idea of what you are currently earning and even if they don’t very often its information that is asked when a new employer contacts your old employer for a reference.
Don’t out price yourself
There is always a temptation in life to ask for the world, we all want to earn £100k per year but the reality is most of us don’t. If when asked what sort of money you are looking for you come up with a ridiculous figure, the employer will immediately dismiss you as an opportunist – not a genuine candidate – keep it real. You will have a good idea of what the job is paying, don’t think you are special enough to get more than that, you will be sorely disappointed if you do.
Don’t make money the most important thing
We spend a huge chunk of our life at work so when looking for a new job it is important that you remember this. Money isn’t everything, its important but not the most important thing. The job, your workmates, your career opportunities etc are equally important. Whatever you do don’t make it all about the money.
To finish, whilst salary is really, really important when seeking a job, it’s not always the most crucial part of a job search, we all work to earn, but we also work to enjoy what we are doing – money isn’t everything.
Happy Job Hunting!