Money Talk: Should you negotiate your salary?


Are you losing tens of thousands of crowns over the course of your career? The truth is you might be if you don’t negotiate your salary when you accept a job.

Let’s face it, the idea of negotiating a salary is scary. According to studies, only between 35-39% of people always negotiate their salaries. That is an awfully small number.

The number one reason people are afraid to negotiate or ask for more than what is offered is a belief that they will hurt their chances of getting the job.

I want you to think about this: The employer has already invested their time and energy by carefully selecting CVs of applicants and has decided to invite you for an interview. They need to fill the open position with a suitable candidate and you are being considered as one.

Now the discussion comes to salary.

So the question stands. Should you negotiate?

The answer that most recruiters or HR specialists say is: Always. 100% of the time.

Don’t forget that if you get to the point of discussing your pay, the employer is already highly invested in you. You obviously would be of value to the company, so why would they decide not to hire you just because you started negotiating your pay?

The reality is quite the opposite. By negotiating your salary you show you are proactive and you know your worth.

If you are not sure how to approach it, here are few tips that might help you:

1.     Have a clear idea of what you want

This point is self-explanatory. Go to the interview with a clear idea of your salary range and also have in mind your “walk away number” -- the unacceptable salary that will force you to decline the offer.  

2.     Leave room to negotiate  

Let’s say you want to be making 60.000 CZK / month. The employer offers you 57.000 CZK/ month. Don’t be afraid to make a counteroffer of 64.000 CZK. Most employers expect you to negotiate, therefore they would never start with their best offer. They leave themselves room to negotiate. And so should you.

Also keep in mind that the number you propose will either stay or go lower. If your counteroffer is 60.000 CZK/ month, the final number will never be higher than that.

3.     Have your arguments ready

Since it is not common to negotiate your salary, you might be asked to state a reason why your salary should be higher than the initial offer.

Arguments like, “I am the best candidate you’ll ever find” or “I’ll work harder than anyone else” are unprofessional and might make the interview go south. Also, the employer is already familiar with your skills and experience from your CV; do not base your arguments solely on them.

Instead, let the employer know that there’s a discrepancy between the number they are offering and the number you need or expect for someone with your skills and experience. Invite them for a discussion.

4.     Take your time

Take a day to think the offer through. It is completely OK to give the employer 24 hours to decide whether you’ll accept the position or not.

Keep in mind that many jobs offer not only the base salary but also other non-monetary benefits. Some might be of higher value to you, some of lower. If the company offers free gym membership, and you usually spend around 1.500 CZK/ month on a gym membership, consider this as well.

Now we want to hear from you!

If you are an employee, have you negotiated your salary? Do you have other tips you wish you knew before you went for an interview and started negotiating?

Or are you an employer? Are you used to candidates negotiating their salaries or is that still an uncommon thing?

Thank you for reading and we are excited to hear what you have to say!

Jana Nagyova