Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Demand more pay - get fired sooner

Many people used the last boom period to vastly inflate their salaries - by hard bargaining, threats, and strategically timed and frequent jumps. Today, when companies are looking to cut costs, these people stick out like white elephants and are invariably the first to get the boot.

Here is something I've been advising people for a long time. When you negotiate your salary, have a realistic idea of what you are worth to the organization and aim for that.

In order to arrive at your realistic worth, take the following into consideration:

1. Market price
Find out what people like you are generally getting. Ask around, check with your peers, class mates, and professional recruiters. Read industry reports. Don't go by heresay. The hike your friend's friend's neighbour's son is supposed to have got has no bearing on what you should realistically expect.
2. The current demand for people like you
Is there a great demand for people with your qualification and background? Is this temporary or do expect sustained demand?
3. The current supply of people like you
Are there many people like you available in the market? Are your skills easy to learn? Can people be trained quickly and inexpensively to do your job?
4. The value you will directly bring to your employer
Wherever possible, this should be in terms of direct revenue.
5. What the future holds
Does the market for people like you fluctuate in your domain? Is this a temporary phenomenon? Remember, nothing remains the same for ever.

I am not saying don't take advantage of a situation, just don't take undue advantage. I can't spell out the distinction between advantage and undue advantage, but like the Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart once said about porn, "I know it when I see it"
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