With the rising cost of living, it’s no surprise that salary is on the top of our minds. There are two main scenarios where salary negotiation in Singapore would be important.
Firstly, you may be looking to negotiate your salary after receiving a new job offer. Secondly, you are not looking for a new role but wish to raise your salary in your current job.
Although it has been reported that Singapore’s salaries are set to rise by 3% in 2020, one of the highest in the regions, you might be wondering if this will apply to you. If you’re considering a pay negotiation, then you are on the perfect page to find out how you can do so. Although this might be a difficult topic to approach, it can be made less nerve-racking with these best tricks for your salary negotiation in Singapore.
1. Do Adequate Research on Market Salaries
Find out your worth
Before you enter into a salary negotiation in Singapore, you must know the value of your services in your local market, based on your skill set and years of working experience. This adds to the level of expertise and knowledge that you can bring to the company and can be used in pay negotiation.
However, even with experience, humans are always competing with ever-advancing technology. Many skills are soon outdated or defunct in workplaces. As such, it is emphasised that constantly upskilling and remaining relevant in the marketplace is highly important. Skills which were valuable in the marketplace just 5 years ago may not hold the same value now.
With a wide range of data available on the Internet, you can expect your potential employer or current boss to have done adequate research on the value of your position. It is important that you know your worth so that you are not given a lowball offer. At the same time, you do not want to propose an amount which might seem too demanding. Job portals and websites in Singapore can churn out personalised reports for you, so you can understand the wages better. Before you start negotiating on your salary in Singapore, having the contextual knowledge of wages in the local marketplace will be more than useful.
2. Presenting your Case for a Higher Salary well
Know how to do a salary negotiation in Singapore’s competitive workplace
After you have done all of the above points, now it is time for you to convince your employer. Think of this conversation as a pitch. You need to sell yourself well and confidently. Make sure you are well prepared to answer questions on why your employer should offer you a higher salary. It shouldn’t be an issue to negotiate a salary increase when you switch jobs.
To go about pitching this idea on raising your salary, you can include these 3 major components in your pitch.
Firstly, numbers. Businesses revolve around money-making and numbers. Use statistics as direct proof of your contributions to the company. Pitching a win-win situation to your company can involve proving that you have earned greater revenues or reduced costs for your company in the past. E.g. “In the past 3 months, I have brought 4 new clients to my company, resulting in a total increase in company sales by 124%.”
On top of that, talk about how you have been willing to improve yourself even outside of work. This will reflect well on your character, as well as your desire to do better for the company.
Lastly, peer reviews. It is beneficial to get feedback from your current colleagues, to better understand where your performance. Positive feedback definitely affirms your role as a good team player. Not only that, you can include these recommendations while talking to your employer.
3. Be Ready to Walk Away
In a society which is generally not vocal, negotiating your pay in Singapore may take lots of courage. However, do not feel disheartened if your employer says no to you. If you have given your best pitch and the company is not convinced, find out the reasons for this. It may be a case where the company would only give you your expected pay if you had more working experience. It may even be the case that the company simply doesn’t have the budget to offer you that level of salary.
Being able to handle rejection well and gracefully speaks volumes about your character. Do not take it personally. Instead, take it as constructive feedback and improve yourself (to the extent possible).
If your unsuccessful salary negotiation happened in your current job, you can ask for future opportunities which might help in your career advancement or skills upgrading. Be open and genuine with your boss; ask if there are any specific skills he is looking for, or if there are any new responsibilities you can try taking up.
However, of course, some bosses who are simply not willing to give you the pay you deserve. In that case, know your worth and be ready to walk away from such situations.
4. Improve Your Skills and Abilities
Of course, it is crucial to demonstrate your skills and abilities in a salary negotiation in Singapore. In order to do this, you need to have the appropriate education, expertise and experience. You know yourself best; if you feel that you might be lacking in one of these E’s, then it is time for you to do something about it.
Use free and online resources
You can start by focusing on investing in seminars, courses and workshops. All you need to do is to be committed to searching for resources available, and you will find that there is a rich repertoire of accessible content available for employees looking to upskill. Best part? Many of these resources are free!
In the comfort of your own home, there are online courses on platforms such as Udemy which allow you to attain Google and Microsoft certificates. Instead of spending 1 or 2 hours mindlessly scrolling through social media pages, you can put your time to better use. As they always say, time is money.
Physical workshops are useful too
If you are looking for physical workshops to attend, keep your eyes peeled for Facebook Events. Don’t be fooled by the myth that Facebook is outdated! Based on your interests, you can receive prompts regarding all the upcoming events. A key highlight of physical events is that you get to meet people with similar interests and mindsets. Take this chance to network and learn from people of similar industries.
In the modern-day and age we are in, employers are constantly looking for employees who have skill sets other than that of their niche. With more skillsets under your belt, you will naturally be able to do more for the company. Meeting the demands of a wider variety of skill sets gives you a better chance at succeeding in your pay negotiation in Singapore.
5. Put Yourself in Your Company’s Shoes
Numbers are the core of most businesses. Spending that additional sum of money on your salary could go into investing in a campaign or product development. Before you enter into a salary negotiation in Singapore, you have to first be critical and honest with yourself.
Are you deserving of the company spending additional money investing in you?
As an employee, you will always have to think about your company’s point of view. When you raise this topic to your potential employer or current boss, the first question he might ask you is– Why? If you want to be able to successfully negotiate for a higher salary in Singapore, you must establish how you have been benefiting your company. Bosses appreciate employees who are not only able to deliver excellent results but also individuals who embody admirable qualities.
Looking from your company’s perspective
Here are some ways you can look at your current performance through the eyes of your employer:
First, value-adding. You can measure the value you bring to your company by considering how replaceable (or irreplaceable) you have been. In today’s day and age where Artificial Intelligence robots are taking over routine work or low-skilled jobs, you need to be able to prove in some way that you are capable of bringing in value. This could be in your ability to consistently exceed targets, or your extraordinary peoples skill in being able to inspire trust with clients.
Second, work ethics. A good employee is one who makes a reliable and trustable team player. It all boils down to whether you have a positive working attitude. If you are confident that you have been going additional miles to produce efficient results for the company, chances are your case will be an easier one to fight.
If you’re negotiating pay with your current company, remember to share about how you plan to continue contributing to the firm. When negotiating for a win-win situation between you and your boss, think of your contributions to your company both quantitatively and qualitatively.
6. Show That You Have Initiative
How do you stand out from other job applicants or your colleagues?
If you’re in a salary negotiation after getting a job offer, do note that your potential employer probably has other candidates to select from. How to prevent them from stopping pay negotiations with you and offering the role to someone else?
One key way to do this is by showing you have initiative. Every employer likes an employee who takes initiative. It is not just about asking for more work to do. Initiative extends to how well and willing you can take on responsibilities for greater roles. You can talk about the ways in which you have taken initiative in your previous companies. You can also be proactive during the job application process by taking small but telling steps thanking your interviewer post-interview.
If you wish to negotiate your wages with your current company, start being an active team player during meetings. Be sure to provide constructive suggestions as to how you can approach a certain problem. This will show that you are not just sitting in, but thinking with intention. Problem-solving skills are highly appreciated in the workplace too, as it demonstrates being self-reliant and an independent thinker. Being proactive in communication may not be the Asian culture, but this initiative is a sure tip on how you can negotiate your pay in Singapore.
If you are confident enough, perhaps you can also consider mentoring someone at work- perhaps an intern. Doing so is a good way to practice your leadership skills. This will come into good use when you share with your boss about how you have gone beyond merely your responsibilities.
Now that you have asked for a salary negotiation in Singapore and we have answered, it is time for you to prepare your pitch. A pay negotiation is almost like preparing for a battle; there is a right time, a right place and a right way to do it. No one goes into the battlefield empty-handed.
Although it might be nerve-racking, be confident of your work and your worth. There must be a reason why you think you deserve your expected salary. Remember, if you do not ask, you will never know.
Also check out our career tips in Singapore to help you succeed faster in your professional career!