Do you recollect the Bajaj Electricals ad – where the whole family gears up to present “Mama” with a gift when she is returning to work after a gap of seven years! Indeed, for a returning professional first day back in office is like a celebration! But in the midst of all this fun and laughter, did you evaluate if you are being paid what you are worth or not?
A survey done by Payscale highlights an important fact that “Women are more likely than men to state that they are uncomfortable in starting salary negotiation – 31 percent vs. 23 percent”! Payscale stats - Negotiating salary does more than just net you more money in the short-term; in the long-term, it leads to important financial advances that are hard to come by any other way. You won't just feel the impact of the extra income during your first year of employment; it will continue to be a factor in increases going forward, as many raises and bonuses are calculated based on a percentage of salary.
Negotiation is like a dance, leave room for give and take!
Do Not Be Empathetic with yourself!
“My zip code is my salary. Too bad I live in 32256 and not 90210.?Also, I lied—but only because the zip code 00000 does not exist.”
? Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE
Getting “an offer in hand” may make you feel like a teenager, you suddenly would be on Cloud Nine; the low self-esteem would be covered up with Confidence and Self-belief, but just because you see yourself wearing a rusted tag, does not mean you are perceived in a similar manner. “No company would hire you if you do not have the skills that are needed”, so respect your skills set and demand what you deserve!
No Charity Business
I have employed someone who earns money for me and does not charge anything... I call it my corpus or nest egg. It is a beautiful feeling when your corpus earns money and beats your salary.”
? Manoj Arora, From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom
You got an offer from a company and not an NGO that means they are into serious business, earning profits. So if they have rolled out an offer, it’s because they see some potential in you, or the skills set matches to what they are looking for. They are not doing any charity by offering you a role because you are a returning professional! Hence, negotiate with them if the offer is on a lower side.
Do not get PUSHY
Aruna when quit her job six years back, she was earning a bit more than her peers, as a returning professional when she got an offer as per the current market rate, she was not happy and kept pushing for a higher one, that resulted in a showdown with the employer.
The past is gone, it could be a benchmark on where to start again, but it cannot be rewritten. Negotiation should be played fair if you feel that’s what the current market rate is, accept it. Do not push the employer to offer you the highest band. Be realistic.
Do Not Get Carried Away With Employers Notes
Katie Donovan, the founder of Equal Pay Negotiations says – Most of the interviewers paint a very ugly picture of – “For this position, the salary is not negotiable” or “We are trying to give a chance to returning professionals, and this is what we can offer” stressing “This is the final verdict”. But do not fall into prey of such statements. That’s a plain lie to get you on board at a minimum package. One of the first lines that a prospective employer will give you is that the compensation package is non-negotiable—but that's likely not true. Salaries are almost always negotiable.
To conclude – Brush up your skill set, Do your homework, know your prospective employer, set realistic expectations and play professionally! You are all set to regain your financial independence…fly high up in the sky!