May 24, 2012 • In web :: Features
The art of negotiation
Tips and tools to negotiate fair compensation for your labour.
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If you find yourself scraping by, then evaluate how your current or potential employer fulfills the following questions:
- How will this opportunity contribute to my career growth?
- Does the contract state the role as I understand it, or are vague terms used?
- If applicable, does the company accommodate those with mobility issues?
- Is the company tough on things like homophobic harassment in the workplace or gender-based harassment?
- Can I get a sense of the overall company culture?
- When will I be eligible for a raise?
- Is there a set bonus structure?
- Am I comfortable with the average income in the profession I have chosen?
- Will I be fulfilled in this profession?
Starting at a small shop or a start-up is often a good idea. Although salaries may be lower here, the all-hands-on-deck atmosphere will usually pay for itself in terms of experience gained. It’s also important to be realistic about initial salary expectations. As a junior-level employee, you’re likely not going to be making a large sum right off the bat, but wages should generally increase as you gain skills and accumulate years in the workforce.
If there are times that wages do not increase, or climb at a snail’s pace, it’s important to think about who is usually left behind and why, or if opportunities and access are present at all. Who climbs the societal ladder is not random. Systemic racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and colonialism intersect and collide with one another in our day-to-day interactions—like job interviews—to create specific, exclusive ideals. With this in mind, it’s essential that we continue to identify and confront our own privilege and assumptions when it comes to access to education, career growth, and wages.