Tips for negotiating your salary in a new country...

Published on 2019-10-14 at 13:00 by Magdalena Grdanoska
You've managed to land the job of your dreams in the country of your dreams. Just one more step before (potentially) saying yes: negotiating your salary and accompanying benefits. But you're not quite sure how to go about this. It is a different country, with a different professional etiquette. While there will be country-specific tips, here a few things to keep in mind if you ever find yourself in this situation.

Someone said “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This is often true as work and satisfaction need to come hand in hand to boost productivity. For expats, the sense of fulfillment often comes with the excitement that the new environment brings. Nevertheless being paid for the labor is equally important, and even more so in a new country where especially in the beginning, money can be an issue. Statistics show that only 39% of the people are ready to negotiate their salary and benefits, among which a much larger percent is men. This happens due to helplessness, fear of losing the job or of not meeting certain standards, but is wrong as it blocks the chances of getting the salary you deserve or in some cases a needed raise. For a newcomer unfair conditions change a lot and often make or break the life in the new place.

Before accepting a job, it is very important to check thoroughly what it offers in terms of the country, to be able to manage expectations and to raise the possibilities of getting a proper remuneration. The first and main step is to have a good and open communication with the recruiters. Discussing the salary options, benefits, and the working requirements is essential and one should never feel uncomfortable to do so. 

Additionally it is important to understand whether the company is fully ready to support its workers with issues such as visa and settling with a family. These factors need to be established before the acceptance of the contract because otherwise they can lead to frustration, loss of productivity or even leaving the job.

Here are some things you should do before accepting a salary:

  • Understand the standard and the average pay for a specific profession in the country of interest
  • Check the conditions of contract, the health insurance benefits, and the difference between net and gross salary in the country
  • Understand the policies of the company through platforms like Glassdoor or LinkedIn
  • Ensure you communicate transparently with the recruiter
  • Being ready to dedicate fully, but in case of refusal for a raise to (politely) decline the job offer
  • Prepare thoroughly for the interaction to boost confidence.

Information is everything and knowing the overall conditions in the most attractive countries in the world can help with understanding which path to choose and how to communicate effectively. While negotiation is needed everywhere the benefits differ, so in some countries it is easier to get more in terms of salary, some have more enjoyable lifestyle and some have the best of both worlds (with the exception of weather probably). Nevertheless every place is a new adventure and if done right it can bring many enjoyable experiences.