Talking about money and your salary can be uncomfortable in any situation, let alone in front of a prospective employer that is eager to find out what your expectations are. In a perfect world, a firm’s offer would match what you desire, but unfortunately you will likely need to negotiate in order to earn a figure in line with your expectations.

After a long job search the easy thing can be to settle for what you are offered, or to lower your expectations. However you still every right to discuss what you would like to earn. The important thing is to understand where you stand – doing some research can give you a great idea of what similar positions may be offering.

Think about what your qualifications, education and previous experience mean in the industry you want to work in; a recent graduate can expect to earn more initially than someone who is looking for a job straight out of school for example.

Better to be honest

As with anything, being honest and upfront is going to stand you in much better stead than if you decide not to say anything. After all, if you agree to take what is on offer, it is more than likely going to be at least a couple of months before a company will consider increasing your salary.

If the salary is below your minimum expectation, explain that the offer is below what you were expecting and prepare to back it up with why you think you should be earning more. If you cannot think of a reason why and are unable to articulate it, then it is probably the case that your expectations are little high.

Understand the whole package

Most companies now offer a number of benefits alongside a salary, which can be worth a lot of money, making it important to take everything into account before making a snap decision. For example, an organisation may cover travel expenses, which depending on your commute could add up to a significant sum.

Employers will be much more likely to negotiate when it comes to benefits than actual salary too, so it is important to be open-minded and flexible. They may not be able to cover all of your travel expenses, but may be able to offer the opportunity to work from home occasionally, while even a perk such as a gym membership can free up funds for other things.

If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help get you started