Always overcommit when negotiating your salary. Photo:

New Delhi, India (BBN) – At the end of the day, you’re an asset. And you need to know how to pitch yourself.

Firstly, let us get this out of the way – YES, you can negotiate your first salary. I negotiated it but I could have done a better job, reports NDTV.

Women usually don’t negotiate salaries. So you can imagine why I was a stuttering fool when I asked for a higher first salary – I didn’t know what to say other than, ‘could the figure be a bit higher?’


Here’s some advice from five female hiring managers who’ve been on both sides of the table:
1. ‘Do not hesitate in asking for your worth. And have a plan to prove your worth.’
2. ‘Keep your discussions absolutely focused on WORK and not on anything personal (avoid family situations, dependents, flexible work hours, etc.)’
3. ‘Stress upon the experience and exposure you’ve had as a result of your education and internships. Justify the figure you’re asking for.’
4. ‘Avoid comparisons with anyone (male/female) and keep the focus only on how you understand the salary should be commensurate with the efforts put in and results achieved.’
5. ‘Overcommit.’
At the end of the day, you’re an asset. And you need to know how to pitch yourself. Your qualifications, your internship experience (even if it was only a month long) – it all adds to your value.
People from a sales background find it easier to negotiate their salaries. But…doesn’t every woman have that trait? We’ve even seen our parents bargain, right? Not just with street vendors, but even in a car showroom. Bargaining is just another type of negotiation.
When you’re buying any commodity that doesn’t have a fixed price, the first price a salesperson quotes is always much higher than the final price. If the cost is 1,000 and the minimum profit they want to make of the product is 200, they’ll ask you for 1,500.
Similarly, you need to know three numbers when you go into a salary negotiation.
The figure you want. (I wanted 28,000 a month.)
The higher figure you should quote. (I should have quoted 30,000 a month.)
The lower figure at which you would say no. (For me, if it was anything lower than 22,000 – since I had another offer closer to home, for 18,000 – I would have said no.)
They made an offer for the first number – 28,000 – along with a performance-based appraisal at the end of three months. Because I took on extra responsibilities soon after I started, the appraisal I got was 25%. Now, I’m talking about a startup, which is why I thought this was all possible – but another friend of mine had a similar experience in a 20-year-old company. She was hired at 20,000 (even though she tried negotiating for a higher salary) and raised to 35,000 in six months.
Basically, there is no harm is asking. There’s also no harm in accepting a much lower offer than what your ask was if you think the job is going to benefit you. If it’s a company and a role that will help you learn and grow, take it. Nobody will think any less of you for it!