How to obtain your ‘expected’ salary at your first job

Life is a labyrinthine system of exchange. Unorganised, and sometimes even unfair, it continues to surge ahead by way of barter, be it physical, emotional or monetary. One of the most important exchanges that will occur in your life is the remuneration you get in exchange for the time and effort you spend in the advancement of your first company. Landing a dream first job is not enough. You need to sharpen your knowledge and rhetoric to get the salary you want at your first job. After speaking to several young professionals and a few corporates who are constantly scouting for young talent, we have drawn two conclusions:

  1. There are companies that don’t mind paying an ‘expected’ amount to a deserving candidate.
  2. There are plenty of ways via which young professionals can negotiate their way towards a dream salary.
Image credits: Shutterstock
Image credits: Shutterstock

While finding the right company is as much a matter of luck as effort, whetting one’s negotiating skills for a desirable salary only comes from practice. Kristen Hamilton, CEO of Seattle-based career training and coaching company, Koru, sums up the essence of this perfectly: “How do you make a strong case for yourself when you don’t have a lot of ammunition?”

Well, here’s a sizeable supply of strategic ammunition to help you get the salary you want from your first job.

Know the company

Technology, too, thrives when exchanged. Use the fingertip convenience offered by the internet, and learn as much as you can about the company you are applying at. Understanding the company’s vision and mission will put you on a good wicket because employers often look for candidates who come with some understanding of their services or products. This is the first step towards strengthening your chances of negotiating your salary as per your desire.

Know the market

The market is a volatile organism, and it takes an actively passionate individual to stay two steps ahead of it. Simply put, knowing and understanding the market will always keep you aware of the many changes that may occur in the salary system with time. When you are aware of the present market rate, you can keep exploitation at bay.

Know your game

Margaret Neale, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business says, “Simply saying, ‘I want more’ is not as effective as giving a reason or rationale for why.” A level-headed employee scores over other candidates. Employers value a sense of self-awareness and the willingness to learn in potential employees. If you have a good portfolio and an attitude to match it, it will certainly empower your chances to demand ‘your’ price. Ramit Sethi, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the personal finance blog, succinctly says, “Don’t make yourself look exceptional, you won’t be in a good position to ask for more.”

In essence, to KNOW enables you to say NO to a salary you don’t want. Arm yourself with enough knowledge about the company, market and some effective negotiation skills to land that dream figure at your first job itself.

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