Knowing Your Self-Worth Before Negotiating Salary

How important is it for you to know your self-worth before negotiating salary? How does this acute awareness of your worthiness help during pay negotiations? What’s more important to remember during negotiations for a better pay raise is, you do not have to look greedy and self-serving in the eyes of the employer. Which means your negotiation should exude confidence and enthusiasm, without giving an impression to the employer that you want the job bad enough to be willing to settle for anything less. Monetary satisfaction is equally important for you to sustain and thrive in the long run.

Do not settle for less, but learn adept skills at mastering the art of negotiations. It is most likely that people step back from negotiating their self-worth owing to fear of being disliked or rejected. It takes an immense amount of self-respect to be confident about your skills, know your real value and clearly demonstrate set boundaries and standards par excellence with your work ethics.

How do you know your self-worth?

Most often we tend to underestimate our potentials by drawing silent comparisons with our idols, we adore and look up to. Talking money terms is quite a tricky issue, especially when the job market is experiencing lull and you possess expert knowledge and skills in a particular job role.

It becomes extremely difficult during such volatile conditions to convince the hiring manager of your capabilities and potentials to make them trust your abilities and ask for a suitable pay package.

Here are some tips to help you arrive at your real self-worth, without underquoting or overestimating yourself during the process.

  • Do a careful market research to understand the salaries offered for job roles across industries in a certain cadre.
  • Factor in experience, your unique skill sets and knowledge about the work. If you do possess enough experience and can handle tasks independently, without the need for training and monitoring then your worth is definitely higher. However, if an employer feels the need to invest in training you for the job, then be prepared to quote reasonably and not look pricey or overconfident.
  • Preliminary qualification and knowledge do matter to understand client specific requirements. So don’t quote yourself cheap because you have not been provided with an opportunity yet to prove your mettle. We all have been through those stages when we are looking for the right break into the industry, but this doesn’t have to be earned at the price of denting your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Watch your body language and how you speak. Use words carefully, since the receptor is paying careful attention to all you say to decipher the meaning. Stay off using colloquial terms, slangs and sentences. Work towards practising a professional tone and quality of speech, by perhaps enacting the performance in front of a mirror before you begin to apply.
  • Stop trying to be a perfectionist and learn to embrace imperfections positively. No one like to be fed with dark negative thoughts, so be positive and optimistic about workings of life and challenges. Even if you do not succeed at first for all your endeavours, you will at least be content that you did give it a try.


Learning the Art of Negotiation to Command Your Worth

Now that you have facts and figures in place based on market research and analysis, you need to master the art of negotiation to convince the employers or clients about your real worth vis-a-vis market standards.

Creative folks always face this as one major challenge to quote right in monetary terms. Since the value of a creative idea/pitch/artwork or a proposal cannot be exactly quantified. So how do you arrive at the numbers? Self-worth is an internal measure you arrive at, based on deeper understanding of your personality type, attitude, skills, knowledge and experience which can be utilised in the external world to earn profits and make a better living.


Things you should remember when quoting your self-worth are:

  1. Do not allow gender stereotypes dictate to you subconsciously your worthiness. While you will be judged by the world outside irrespective of the gender type. Both men and women do face bias in negotiating their worth with an employer in the workplace. The key is to not allow any demotivating strategies to shake your confidence, infuse fear to reduce your commanding market price.
  2. Hold your firm ground during salary negotiations, backed up with knowledgeable arguments to support your claim. Take into account regional and industry differences, the market condition such as talent shortage, skills in-demand to earn your rank.
  3. Ask questions to understand the extent and scope of responsibilities in your job role. To ace the negotiation game start by quoting the highest salary you think justifies your skills.
  4. Remain positive, polite and respectful. Do not get irked by employers passing remarks to affect the emotional sensitivity of applicants by drawing salary comparisons with other potential talents to make you fear rejections and losing the offer.
  5. Do not settle for less, if you know your skills are in-demand and the interviewer is pulling your confidence down with his strategic negotiation skills. If you think your talent is not valued and priced right, choose to walk away and deny acceptance of the offer. This action could make you sad momentarily, but in the long run, you will surely find people who understand markets, follow work ethics and, best practices to not exploit talent. It’s worth the wait!
  6. Consider the location of work before you quote. Some jobs require a lot of travelling and relocation to a new city. So, do factor in costs involved to include living expenditure, accommodation rentals, the mode of commuting to work everyday and medical expenses in a foreign country etc.


Understanding your self worthiness is the first step to valuing and respecting yourself, with all of your imperfections and flaws to embrace ‘you’ primarily and be prepared to take on the world.


Read: Top 5 Interview Blunders We All Make and Lose Out on the Offer



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