Man about town

Salary negotiations having a toll on me


The checking of emails and glancing at my phone if it may ring will be on for a while. I am now deeply involved in salary negotiations with my prospective employer and I have been nervous about it.

About two weeks ago, I received a call from the recruiter congratulating me, saying ‘‘They want you!” I was in the middle of some spreadsheets, so I did not instantly grasp what he was saying.

“Who wants me?” I asked. That is when he proceeded to get all official, informing that the company was impressed by my competences and experiences and wanted to hire me subject to agreement on terms and conditions.

I had to resist the urge to pump in the air since I was at my desk. I tried to sound calm, asking what the next steps were.

He said: “Someone from the rewards department of the company will call and tell you what the package is.” And added: “Once you get that big package, you can buy me a drink.”

The next day I received a call from some lady from South Africa who asked me to send her details of my pay package and copies of my payslip. I was tempted to ‘doctor’ my payslip to look a bit healthier to improve my starting point. A former colleague did it and got a better salary. In fact, I wanted to call him and ask him how he did it but realised this might result in information leak that may work against me.

So, I decided to work with what I earn. I also had to use Google to find templates for the best emails for salary negotiations, making sure that I did not sound too eager or carefree.

Two days later the South African lady called and found out that her name is Alanda.

She took me through what she thought was a “great offer.” To be honest, I was disappointed by the offer because it translated to a 10 percent increment, yet I wanted something in the range of 30 percent.

I did not want to sound too hurried, so I told Alanda to “let me look at it and revert.” She seemed to be in a hurry to conclude this matter, asking me: “Can I expect your response by end of day? We are keen to have you join us?”

When I got home, I tried to work the numbers but found they did not give me enough reason to make a move.

I felt bad that I could not share my dilemma with Shiro or with anyone since I had said I wanted to deal with this on my own.

The next day I sent Alanda an email, telling her that though I was interested in the opportunity I felt that the “offer was not significantly different/improved from my current one”( I learnt that line from Google).

About half an hour later, she called me, and I could tell she was disappointed about my failure to take up the offer first time.

We spent half an hour on the phone as I told her about what I was considering.

She ended by saying, “Let me take this back to the hiring manager since this is outside the range I had been instructed to look at.”

I have not heard from Alanda since and I am getting nervous since I need to decide which direction my life is going to take. How I wish she would call!