Ace That Salary Negotiation & Earn What You Really Deserve

Our event last week was about a much dreaded yet very relatable topic – Salary negotiations! Haven’t we all experienced that strange uncomfortable feeling in our stomach as the date for an annual review approaches? I know I have. This topic is such a universally ‘frightening’ yet important one that I know many of us (including me) were making sure we took extremely detailed notes. There were approx. 35 of us who attended the event and we even had two lovely gentlemen in the room (on zoom) which is always great!

We were lucky to have two super-experts in recruitment discuss this sensitive topic with us – Andrew Notter and Agnieska Parisse, who are both from recruitment firm Anderson Wise. The firm was set up last year and has more than 125 years of recruitment experience across the team. Andrew has over 15 years of international recruitment experience, including time in both Brussels and London and Agnieska, who has worked with Andrew for several years, is originally from Poland but has been working in recruitment in Luxembourg since 2008. They both confirmed that Luxembourg is a tricky market for candidates and since their experience here has given them unique insights about how best to navigate situations here, we are very glad they took out time to talk to us.

Agnieska started by sharing some of her research on the topic. She told us how 31% of women candidates (as compared to 23% of male candidates) are extremely uncomfortable with the process of negotiating their salary and men are 4 times as likely to negotiate! She also told us about a very cool book by Linda Babcock, who is a Professor of Economics and former dean at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, called “Women Don’t Ask”. According to her research, only 7% of women attempted a salary negotiation when compared to 57% of men! Us women clearly need to try something new to fight for that well-deserved salary raise! We talked about how one of the most difficult parts of salary negotiation (whether for an existing job or a new one) is benchmarking our salary and deciding what the ‘right’ package for a particular role is. We learnt about some things to watch out for and some common mistakes we all make when trying to arrive at that magic number, like thinking Google is a good place to start!

Andrew talked to us about how the job market in Luxembourg has been very active over the last 5 years, but retention has been a big problem for teams and organizations. Almost 80% of hiring managers struggle to find the ‘right’ candidates and just like us, companies often face problems benchmarking salaries. While tools like ‘Payscale’ and ‘Glassdoor exist’, these can often be misleading, causing companies to announce roles with inappropriate salary packages. He also talked about the importance of negotiating your salary with the right decision maker in an organization.

To help us ask Andrew and Agnieska the most important questions, we were all split into groups to share our own experiences of negotiating salaries and what we found most difficult. Then we had the opportunity to come back and share this discussion with the larger group and ask the most interesting questions that came up in each group. It was absolutely fascinating to hear about some of the stories from other group members and to try and solve them together.

Andrew and Agnieska then responded to all our questions by sharing some very cool tips and tricks on how to prepare for an approaching review. For example, ‘The Brag Sheet’ which is something we need to update and add to constantly, and not just the day before a review. We learnt about the importance of being visible at the workplace and how it can impact future negotiations. We talked about the pros and cons of negotiating a salary in the same organization VS changing jobs. Most interestingly, we learnt how to keep a positive attitude throughout this process, how to choose the right time to have the salary chat and how to change a NO from our managers into other benefits or even a YES!

The event definitely left us all better equipped for that difficult conversation but more than anything else, it made me realize that we are all in the same boat and we all find salary negotiations equally stressful, if not totally terrifying!

Now that you are ready to negotiate that salary, we want to help you invest it better! Our next event is all about helping you make smarter financial decisions based on your own specific goals and targets. Get your ticket here and we will see you there!

blog post by member Supriya Sodhi, entrepreneur and founder of DogStays