Marie Tueje's blog: short texts about all things.

Two Tips For Negotiating A Better Pay Deal

Whether changing a job or adding another one (or two), recruitment agencies and job search sites have always promoted the theory that January is a popular time to look for a new job. If that's true, then along with all the usual sprucing up your CV and showing your best side on social media stuff, a few words on pay seems pretty apt, too.

I have found the following two pointers useful and so thought others might too, particularly if you've never negotiated a better pay and/or conditions deal for yourself. Although I don't have a tremendous amount of experience in "negotiating up", as a freelance worker it's essential for me to always be thinking about terms and conditions and how they'll impact upon me.

Negotiating is not war: it's a process of ensuring that all parties are sufficiently motivated and equipped to take on the job at hand. Often it's not purely about money, but about the time and resources that will be made available, too. However, strictly on the subject of remuneration, going in with the following two principles in mind is a good starting point.

1. Reason and respect

What are the reasons governing your figure? What value will you be adding by taking the job on? You don’t have to go into specific details at the first opportunity but if, when asked, you can’t come up with one or two stonewall pointers that justify your figure to the person who’s going to be paying you, you’ll find it much harder to get your argument taken seriously.

2. Talk last

Try to get a sense of what they think the project is worth early. Then, you can judge whether they know what they’re talking about (some people really don’t have a clue) before you even start stressing about negotiating. Ask before being asked, ‘what figure did you have in mind’?

This LinkedIn post takes a more nuanced approach to the issue of pay negotiation.