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Salary Negotiation 101

Growing in Ghana, and on my travels, I have learnt that, negotiation comes natural to many, especially market days. Why then do most of us seem to loose that skill when negotiating for salary? Regardless if you working in field you are passionate about or doing something to just get by, money is always part of the goal even if subliminally stated. Try these steps to help get you what you deserve!


Go in knowing exactly what you are asking for and why. Research on what the average salary range for your position is in your industry. Evaluate your skills and experience and know what to request. Salary is your right, not a charity, I'm sure you do not need me to tell you that. So, ask for anything and everything when negotiating it. The right approach towards negotiation will avoid any uncertainty and will make sure you don't intimidate your employer and that you are not intimidated.

Practice makes perfect

Sometimes, asking for something can feel very uncomfortable and more so when the other party is in a more controlling situation. Rehearse your salary demanding pitch before someone, regardless of it being your first job or a salary raise, practice it to keep your nerves calm when you face the actual situation. Make your pitch controlled, conversational and non-intimidating. This actually builds your confidence!

Control the narrative

Narratives control the future. If you find yourself at crossroads but feel that the future holds promise, then consider discussing the benefits that comes with your position. Do forget, your benefits determines how flexible the organization is with regards to work life balance. Find out if some benefits can be negotiated to compensate for salary not being what you expected. A little flexibility never hurts. If the employer is willing to discuss benefits, then maybe going down a few bucks won't hurt, at least for your first year or two before. However your final offer MUST be in the range you researched.

Avoid the first offer if it doesn’t suit you

Its not a life or death situation! It's just two human beings discussing the price for your services. Learn to co-exist. If you feel that making a decision right away is hasty and you need more time, just ask for it. You can ask for a 24-48 hours window if you need to make a counteroffer. Again, having a range of salary will help you decide if this is needed. If it is outside your range and the job isn't offering what you expected, you can ask for more time. You can also ask you be onboarded as a consultant and not an employee while you decide if it's for you!

Showcase your capabilities in your negotiation

Think of it as being at the market on a market day! When you approach salary negotiation, your power to negotiate depends on what you already have.(i.e.: experience, skills, education, network), If you are already in a great position, you automatically have leverage. If it is your first job and you are coming out of unemployment, then you have reduced control of the negotiation. Regardless, you can negotiate. Discuss their benefits package and length of time needed before requesting a raise. Also inquire about employee development trainings that can help enhance your skill and knowledge.

It is best to deliver what you can bring to the organization during the salary negotiations. If you still don't get the offer you think you deserve, you can politely tell the negotiator that you just explained everything, and they should reconsider the offer too.

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