Why Negotiating Your Salary Is Not A Taboo?

Published 6 MAY 2022

We all want the kind of jobs we wished we had when we were kids. The ones that made us wish that if we had this job, I would be living financially free by the age of 30. Those were the dreams that we always craved. But unfortunately, now we are under dept, living in a rented apartment with 3 friends in a 2BHK while working 9 to 5 for a job we dread waking up for in the morning.

Not everyone is living this life, but most of us are, for some it was the parental pressure of doing something they didn’t want to do and for some it was the peer pressure. And even if those things weren’t the case for some of us, it’s just not happening anymore. We are all mostly unhappy about the amount of money that we are earning, if most of us were satisfied with the amount of money we make, we would have been able to live at our expense.

So why are we not earning the money that we should? Why are we so disappointed with the kind of life we are living and why is this so common among the younger population?

One thing that we all miss doing at our job interviews is negotiating our salaries before we land a job. For some of us it seems unprofessional to ask for more money. We are usually so blinded by our desperation of finding a job in the growing economy that we don’t negotiate the salary we should be getting according to our skills. And some of us don’t want to go through the trouble of negotiations.

Is negotiating salary a taboo?

In one simple word, No. Negotiating salaries is not a taboo, employees who are earning good salaries have also negotiated for that amount. They have made sure that they get the right amount of salary for their skills, for the kind of productivity they are getting to the table. Negotiating salaries does no harm to the individual. What we fail to understand is that negotiating salaries cannot cost you your job and if it does, you shouldn’t we working for that company. Negotiations are a part of growing your value as an employee in the competitive market like India, one should actively negotiate their salaries and let the HR know what you would be bringing to the company, the kind of value your work holds for them.

Why do we think negotiating salaries is a taboo?

For most of our lives, we have been told to follow the steps of our elders and that has been embedded in our minds. This is one of the main reasons why we always go on the paths that have been created by our superiors. We don’t understand that every individual is different in their own way. An individual might have a different skill set and his fellow employee might have a different skillset, but the only common factor would be that they both would be paid the same amount of money, even though they are different in their productivity levels. Most of us are working for salaries not nearly what we wish for. Part of the reason is the world perception of India being a country for cheap labor. But why cheap? We bring best of the best skills to the world forum and yet we are considered cheap. We are part of a nation with so much skill that in order to land a job we negotiate down against our competition when, in reality, we should negotiate up. This in turn brings down the value of that position in the company and employees end up getting paid less and less every year due to the growing competition.

Why should you negotiate your salary?

  • Individual value: Working on something you are passionate about doesn’t come easy. We give our 100% into something we love doing and have the skills for, but if you don’t value those skills you don’t end up making that much money. This gradually leads you to lose interest, you listen to your peers talk about some other skills which would gain your more market value, and then you hop on to learning that skill. You forget about the passion, you forget about how valuable your skills are, and how much you could be earning, if you knew the value of yourself. Which is why you should understand yourself, have confidence in yourself and negotiate for the right amount of salary you should be getting for that project or position.

  • Salaries are carry forwarded: Even though Industry standard increments are around 30%, low level employees fail to get that sort of increments. Which makes them value their jobs less and they switch. But the only catch here is that they still don’t get a good amount of hike in their new jobs. Now why does this happen? Because that employee was not getting paid a lot initially which made the new company also lower down their expected salary range for that position.

  • Let your skills determine your worth: Before every new hiring, HRs have a salary range for different positions in the company. This is the amount of money the company has determined for that position in the company. If you tell the HR the amount you are willing to work for, you might just lose out on a good hike. So whenever you have a question “How much are you expecting from this position?” never give an exact number. You should always tell them about your accomplishments, you should tell them about your skill set and let them decide what they can give you for that position. And then you negotiate accordingly. This will give you a good boost if they offer you more than what you were expecting and if they are paying you less, you tell them about your productivity, your willingness to work. Your zeal and negotiate to the right amount of salary.

  • Its never a bad decision: Every HR expects a salary negotiation while hiring new employees. Why? Because they usually quote less in order to save company costs. Negotiating salaries is not often talked about but it should be, because this would give others around you a confidence to ask for more salaries according to their skills. You should be getting the salary that you are working for, and nobody would do that for you, but you. And in the corporate world, nobody even minds a little negotiation, they in fact understand when employees negotiate. This shows that you are really interested in the job, but you also know your worth and your confidence. Like I said before if a company is not open to negotiations, then they are not the right company for you.
Just like the right to freedom, negotiating salaries is a right as well. You should be happy with what you earn. You shouldn’t be empty handed by the end of the month. You need to have that salary for the motivation for working. Even though we deny it, but money does motivate people to work better and take initiatives in different projects. So don’t shy away and negotiate for a better life.

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Editor Aronjit Roy

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