Lakiasiantuntija, asiakas, lakipalvelu, toimisto

Price yourself right

9.9.2022
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Blog post

Agreeing on a lowball salary is not a smart move for the employer either: it does not motivate high performance or ensure commitment, but instead the employee will be constantly looking for a new job.

Can under- or overstating your salary expectation prevent you from being selected for a job? This is a question we sometimes discuss with members who contact TEK’s salary advice service. Setting your salary expectations can be surprisingly difficult. How do you set your expectations when you don’t want to undersell your skills, but don’t want to price yourself out of a job either?

When you are thinking about your desired salary, you should do some research and find out the typical salaries in your field – they provide useful background information. TEK members have access to versatile salary statistics and the Salary Surveyor. In addition, members can also receive personal salary advice related to their particular situation.

The salary request is usually the starting point for negotiations.

However, everyone must ultimately decide their salary request themselves. Before making the decision, you should consider the job requirements, your skills and experience and, naturally, your current salary level if you are employed. You should also think about the salary for which you would be willing to change jobs.

Setting your desired salary way too low can be a sign that you do not value your skills or that you are unfamiliar with the job requirements. You may also later regret setting your salary request too low: why did I agree to do this job for that amount of money? Making up the difference in salary can be hard later on.

Agreeing on a lowball salary is not a smart move for the employer either: it does not motivate high performance or ensure commitment to the job or the employer, but instead the employee will be constantly looking for a new job. If your salary is low at the start of your career, it will often affect your entire career. Your salary will remain low in comparison and, over time, you will see the concrete effects of this in the amount of pension you are left with at the end of your career.

Many are concerned that setting their salary request too high can prevent them from even being invited to an interview to talk about their skills. We would argue that this is rarely the case, unless your requested salary is way off the mark, thousands of euros too high. A salary request that is much too high – or too low – can also be a sign that you have not researched the position at all or that you do not know its requirements. You should not expect the salary of a CEO if you are applying for a specialist role – and vice versa.

A salary request that is much too high – or too low – can also be a sign that you have not researched the position at all.

You should therefore not be shy to state your salary request, and you should also keep in mind that the salary request is usually the starting point for negotiations. It is not a take-it-or-leave-it situation, but rather a conversation starter. The qualification of an academic engineer or architect and education in mathematics and science in general also has monetary value. The advanced technical knowledge you have gained in your studies is and will be needed now and in the future in numerous innovative solutions and in larger and smaller complex technical applications – in building a future for us all.

For these reasons, at least, talent should get paid according to talent, and negotiating your salary is always worth it.