Lesson 6 – Salary & Contract Negotiations


This will be the last lesson of the Job Search Catalyser course and I am glad to see you are still here. This is why I fist want to ask you to fill in the evaluation form belonging to this course. It will definitely help me to improve this course and adjust it to your needs further. I am looking forward to seeing your response.

Please find the evaluation form over here.

Now let’s move on to the important stuff…….

Before you read further, please watch the video belonging to this lesson. In the video, I will explain the basics you need to know about salary and contract negotiations. Please find the video in the video section of the course.

I know some people perceive this step as something “They will get to once it arrives” to end up in a job interview and have no idea what to answer if the “Salary Question” pops-up. Sometimes even during the first interview round. You better come prepared I would say. In this section, you will find some additional information about salary and contract negotiations. Some tactics and phrases to defer the salary question and how to start the negotiations.

I didn’t know I could negotiate my salary

This is a phrase I hear often. Negotiating your salary and/or contract is not only part of the process, but it is also expected of you. Yes, you read it right, it is expected of you. This means you should do your preparation on this subject.

You can use Glassdoor.com or LinkedIn to do your research. Please be aware that those websites are only valid instruments if you are applying for bigger and more corporate companies. If you end up in salary negotiations in sectors like healthcare, for a parttime opportunity or at a Start-Up company, LinkedIn and Glassdoor don’t count as useful resources. For the Netherlands, I think the nationale beroepengids is a great instrument to use for research purposes.

What to do if the salary question pops up

Well, the best way to act is to redirect the question and say: “What do you think I am worth?” It takes courage and confidence to do it this way. Let me share some other phrases you can use to defer this question.

  • “I am sure we can come to terms when the time comes.”
  • “I am comfortable with compensation within the competitive range.”
  • EXCEPTION: If a headhunter working outside the company asks for your salary history, give him/her the details. An outside headhunter has an incentive for you to get the best salary package you can.

The company is ready to make you an offer

YASS! The company called you and mentioned they want to make you an offer. Please find below some phrases you can use to let them know you are looking forward to receiving the offer on paper and have an answer ready to start the conversation with.

Phrases you can use when the opportunity is offered to you:

  • “I am really thrilled about this opportunity.”
  • “I am so excited to get started.”

Phrases you can use when the time has come to start the negotiations when asked:

  • “A competitive range for this position seems to be (insert the lowest salary you will accept) to (insert the highest salary that is within reason based on your research).”
  • “I know that the base salary is only one part of the compensation package.”
  • “I am curious about paid time off. At XYZ Company, I received four weeks. That seems fair.”
  • “Let’s discuss incentive pay [or the other compensation elements].”

During the process, timing is important. Like knowing what to ask. In the video, I explained a bit more about this. Once you received the contract, it is always good to ask someone to read against. Someone who knows about the labour laws, rules and regulations of the country you are applying in. It would be a pity if you sign a contract to receive your first salary slip/payment and find out you are disappointed about the outcome of the salary negotiations.

This lesson is also the end of the Job Search Catalyser course. Don’t forget to fill in the evaluation form, you can find it here.