Have you ever tried to negotiate salary offers before starting your new job? As being arrogant or “mayabang” is frowned upon in our culture, Filipinos sometimes display shyness as a way to express modesty. We’re also known for our hospitality which sometimes leads to us becoming excessively people-pleasing. It’s like we’re timed to a default setting, and that is to just say YES all the time. Who can relate?
To be fair, there’s really nothing wrong with saying yes. But not all the time. As a freelancer, setting your career on the right foot is crucial. And it starts with being firm on what your goals are – particularly when you’re about to enter a freelancing contract and you will be negotiating a job offer.
So, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. The big question is – how to negotiate salary and work conditions with confidence? Well, firstly, stop beating around the bush and centre your explanation on why you deserve it by sharing overly dramatic stories. Be straightforward, professional, and objective. For other helpful tips to help you navigate the complicated world of offer negotiation, continue reading below:
- Negotiate, but don’t negotiate too hard
Whether you’re applying for a new job or asking for a pay rise, it’s important that you know when the offer negotiation is already getting a little too hard on both parties. Remember that you’re on the same side – your client is not the enemy, and at the end of the day, they will still be the one to decide on the matter.
The client might be able to provide you other forms of compensation even if they can’t give you the salary you seek. For instance, you might be able to negotiate more paid vacation days or internet allowance. Be prepared to provide alternatives if the company informs you right away that they are unable to raise the salary offer. Sometimes, they could even be more significant than the pay bump you’re asking for.
- Ask the scope for career growth
Remember that the negotiation also entails your work conditions as a freelancer. Aside from getting a good pay and flexible work schedule, it’s also crucial that you know if there will be any opportunity or scope for career growth while being part of the team.
These are some of the factors you should remember to ask when you negotiate salary offers with your new client:
- Is the company open to internal hiring?
- Do they prioritise qualified employees when hiring for managerial positions?
- Will there be training and career growth programs initiated by the company?
- What about holidays?
Who loves working on holidays, right? As much as possible, you want these merry days to be just as relaxing and work-free as they can be. However, this still depends on your work conditions – especially since you’re an independent contractor. That’s why you have to ensure this particular topic will be covered during the job negotiation.
Ask if they’re willing to compromise. For example, you can go on a holiday break if you’re able to submit all your deadlines ahead of time. Or maybe put in more hours before or after the holidays on either the work week or the weekend so you can still complete your agreed hours of work per week or month.
- Set a wiggle room for your pay
Pro tip when negotiating pay: Always set it at the bare minimum you’ll be happy with.
Giving oneself a little wiggle room by asking for a marginally higher wage is a good idea. Despite the fact that it could seem risky, it’s actually a smart approach to protect yourself from the negotiation curve.
Giving yourself some leeway will allow you to bargain and still get a good deal on the price. Working for less than your usual wage or engaging in excessive haggling are unfair. It destroys any motivation to work and is bad for long-term business partnerships.
Another pro tip: Never apply for a job that’s not even within 10% of your pay expectations. Because then, you would only end up unhappy, unproductive, and then eventually you will drop the big R – resignation. This affects your reputation as an online freelancer, a reputation you have worked so hard for to build and establish.
- Be confident
Using facts, not feelings, is the best way to negotiate salary. Avoid using the phrases “I believe” or “I think” throughout the discussion. Instead, be forceful, provide proof, and be direct by utilising statements like “It’s best if we do X because…” or “If we do X, Y will happen.”
Still be polite when making your point. Starting your sentence with “With your permission, can I explain why?” can make all the difference in making the client feel respected.
The employer must be able to see what he will get for the more money when you ask for more. Be prepared to demonstrate your worth with convincing instances from your experience.
Perhaps you have more education than most people in your industry, offer a wider range of services, or have a long record of happy customers who can speak to your professionalism. Consider the needs of the recruiting managers and explain how you can meet them.
- Be ready to walk away
Prior to negotiating salary for new job opportunities, you should always establish your own priorities.
Think of your top two non-negotiables and if you can’t have that, have the courage to walk away. Before you negotiate salary with your prospective client, make sure to identify any issues you will not compromise on. For example, you really don’t want to work on a graveyard shift or you simply cannot accept late salary remittance.
If you don’t get the salary or conditions you’re negotiating for, don’t worry. The freelancing world is filled with opportunities – you just haven’t discovered them yet. Don’t be bothered by the closed doors, because sometimes, it can mean saying yes to something more amazing and fruitful. Remember: Think abundance!