First, a bit of history.
The word salary comes from the Latin word salarium which was the amount of money a Roman soldier was allocated to buy salt, an expensive but necessary commodity back in the day.
There have been various claims that it was the price paid to have Roman soldiers conquer salt supplies and protect the salt roads – Via Salaria – that led to Rome and even that the word soldier came from the Latin sal dare, ‘to give salt’, but both have been widely discredited as flannel.
How Much Are You Worth?
More than a few boxes of Maldon Sea Salt that’s for sure and nowadays, when candidates are going for jobs, salaries aren’t set in stone. Employers are savvy enough to know that if they want the right person, they may have to dig a little deeper to get – and crucially, keep – the best staff.
It’s a buyer’s market and with more and more people in the job market understanding and questioning their real value in the market, a marked increase in pay transparency, a far more level playing field and employers struggling to fill key jobs, it’s time to get paid what you’re really worth, not what the company decide that’s what they want to pay you.
While most of us are checking our bank accounts every fifteen seconds two weeks out from pay-day, here’s a list of the 10 highest-paid executives in the world, just to make you feel a bit sick.
It’s worth bearing in mind that these numbers (from Investopedia.com), as ridiculous as they appear, are ‘package’ figures rather than base salary numbers but still…
Elon Musk: CEO, Tesla Inc. (cars, sustainable energy research)
Made up almost entirely of stock options tied to performance goals
Brendan Kennedy: CEO & President, Tilray Inc. (cannabis research, cultivation and processing)
Base salary of $425,000 (£350,000), the rest is a pre-IPO bonus
Bob Iger: CEO & Chairman, Walt Disney Co. (theme parks, media & entertainment)
Made up of a golden handcuffs deal, salary and perks
Tim Cook: CEO, Apple Inc. (hardware and software)
Stock options, salary and cash bonus
Nikesh Arora: CEO & Chairman, Palo Alto Networks Inc. (cybersecurity)
Sign-on award, stock, options and salary
David Zaslav: CEO & President, Discovery Inc (broadcasting)
Salary, stock award, stock options, cash bonus and retention award
James Heppelmann: CEO & President, PTC Inc. (software and SaaS)
Salary and performance grant
Stephen Schwarzmann: CEO & Chairman, Blackstone Group LP (investment house)
Salary, carried interest and perks
Tony James: Executive Vice Chairman, Blackstone Group LP (investment house)
Salary, cash bonus and carried interest
Stephen Angel: CEO, Linde PLC (gas)
Pension payment, bonus, salary and stock and option awards
Alright, that’s enough.
Back to the point. It’s time you got the salary you deserve, but…
How Exactly Do You Go About It?
It’s worth noting that regardless of which side of the desk you’re sitting, no-one likes salary negotiations and there’s always compromises. They’re not fun and it’s easy to get tongue-tied but with these pointers, you’ll be able to put yourself in a position of strength.
Remember Your Value
‘In terms of negotiation strategies, I would encourage you to think about what you want, but perhaps more importantly, why you think you deserve it.’
Andy Barton, Performance Consultant
Leverage is gained by understanding your value and knowing what you bring to the company. They’re looking for a solid investment so it’s imperative that you can demonstrate how you can deliver a return on that investment.
‘Ask—and then stop talking. While it may be stressful to wait for an answer after you’ve made your pitch for a higher salary, staying quiet and confident as you wait can be more effective than nervously chattering on or following up too soon’
Pooja Parikh, Online Marketing Expert
A common mistake by inexperienced or nervous negotiators is not welcoming silence. If you’ve researched your worth and value to the business, wait. If you don’t get a follow-up in the room or by email, don’t feel the need to go in with a lower offer at the first sign of silence. He or she who speaks first, loses…
Remember the 4 Ps
‘Plan, prepare, persist and be patient. Otherwise you could be leaving money on the table…’
Chrissie Mayes, HR & Personal Development Specialist
Before you talk about your own salary, make sure you’re fully aware of what people in similar roles and geographical locations are being paid so you have a clear and objective insight. Once you’ve got an offer, persist with negotiations until you’re happy and as above, don’t take silence for disinterest and don’t let it throw you off your game.
‘Never start negotiating salary until they say they want you, and then don’t be afraid to ask high! If they have gone through their procedure and want to hire you, they are not going to dump you on the spot for asking high. At worst, you can negotiate.’
Joshua Fox, Director, Software firm
Once you hear the magic words, something akin to ‘we want you’, the ball is firmly in your court. Any offer you throw out there will be counter-offered so the trick is to start with a number higher than you’d like and settle for a number within your acceptable range. If you want £50k, start at £60k and see what happens.
Be Who They Need
‘Make yourself indispensable. Like in Godfather, make the recruiter ‘an offer he/she can’t refuse.’
Deepak Mehta, Business Professional
You need to know how to market your indispensable skillset and if you do a good job letting the person on the other side of the table know what makes you uniquely qualified for the job your leverage goes up at money chat time.
If you don’t want to have any of these conversations, buy a lottery ticket and keep your fingers crossed.
Catch you soon.