Tips to help you negotiate your way to success

Many immigrants let their excitement of being offered a job in Canada get in the way and often fall into the trap of accepting the very first offer tabled.

Career Success and Planning,Financial Planning

June 21, 2022

You aced your interview, and they offered you the job. What next? Negotiation is not only an essential skill for those who work in sales. As a candidate, you need to negotiate the best offer. Many immigrants let their excitement of being offered a job in Canada get in the way and often fall into the trap of accepting the very first offer tabled. Here are some steps to follow to make sure that you make a well-informed decision and are happy with the outcome.

Be the specialist

Many immigrants come from workforce cultures where they thrived as generalists. While this may have been a good thing in that it allowed an individual to master and complete different tasks across different teams, this may work to your disadvantage in Canada. Canada is a specialist society, meaning employees specialize in a particular area. Look at your past work experience and identify the skills you mastered and performed the most, and sell yourself as a specialist in that area.

Have your salary market research on hand

Research the renumeration for people with your education and experience in your industry. In Canada, this will differ between provinces. You may find that people in your field get paid more in another region. Do informal information interviews to get a sense of average earnings and benefits in your area and with your level of experience. You can use this information to make your case; for example, you could say, according to your research, people with the same level of education and experience as you are earning x and then justify why you feel you should get the same.

Consider opportunity

Look at the bigger picture and your career development goals. How does the position align with your career aspirations? Are you able to identify areas the organization could help you achieve this? For example, there might be a job shadow opportunity within the organization, which could sharpen some of your skills while providing an opportunity to learn new things or be mentored by some of the organization's leading experts. Consider all the possible opportunities available.

Decide what constitutes a deal-breaker

While this will vary from individual to individual, decide at what point or number you will walk away. The salary may require you to seek a second job to make ends meet or a lack of alignment in other aspects such as personal values.

Be reasonable

What is the economic or industry climate? Is there a recession or, as we are currently experiencing, a pandemic? Make it clear that you are willing to discuss a reasonable offer factoring in things that are beyond the potential employer's control. This approach will demonstrate that intention in working for them; you're not just after the money. It will also show that you are practical and consider other outside factors in decision-making.

Find strategies to negotiate apart from money

You can arrange benefits, vacation time and flexible working hours, too.

Don't take too long to accept the offer formally

Do not threaten to walk away or take too long to consider an offer. Walking away may imply that you were in it for the money. Remember, if you shine during the interview process, chances are they will try their best to accommodate you to have you become a part of their team.

Be confident

Look sharp and speak clearly, maintaining eye contact if negotiating in person. Do an exercise that boosts your confidence before having the conversation. Such as listening to your favorite song, meditating, exercising, affirming yourself in the mirror – whatever makes you feel like you can conquer anything, because no matter the circumstance, you have what it takes to succeed.

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