Business Matters: How much are you worth?

Negotiate your way to the top, says Martin Luise, managing director of headhunter Charles Fellowes Group
WITH news of Lord Browne's likely £5.3million pay-off in July, plus a £21.7million pension pot and millions of pounds in shares, many lesser-paid mortals are left wondering where on earth they are going wrong with their career.

Lord Browne may be a rather extreme example of salary success but if you are good at what you do, and you have mastered the right skills, you should have every right to expect a path paved with gold.

However, should is the operative word here. There is a vast amount of employees out there who believe they are undervalued and underpaid. The reason why the majority of these people miss out on the rewards they deserve comes down to one factor - the art of negotiation.

If you are considering a new job, one of the most important issues to focus on is always the strength of your negotiating position. After all, why should an employer pay more for you than he or she thinks they can get away with?

It is crucial you know your true market value and that you understand that negotiation is all about effective communication. You need to express what you want and what you can offer - but you also need to marry this up with your future employer's requirements.

Of course, recruitment consultants are always on hand to help salary discussions run smoothly and realistically. But there is also a certain amount of homework the interviewee can do to ensure that this happens.

First, talk to your recruitment consultant or do your own research to establish the market rate for the job you are after. You should also find out as much as you can about your potential employer.

When it comes to the interview, always remember to maintain an element of flexibility in your job negotiations. If you find that you are not going to receive the salary you want, think how you could make up the shortfall with other options, such as shorter hours, company pension, a better company car or a longer holiday entitlement.

Finally, remember that practice makes perfect. If you are unsure about how effective you are in arguing your worth, then we recruitment consultants make good sounding boards.
1 May 2007


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