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How Are Nigerians Negotiating For Higher Pay?

A survey by Salary.com revealed that only 37% of people always negotiate their salaries — while an astounding 18% never do. Even worse, 44% of respondents claim to have never discussed a salary raise during their performance reviews. 

But while salary negotiation can make you feel like a fish out of water, it is completely learnable. Certain professionals have mastered it and now know how (and when) to demand their worth. 

This is why we asked 6 Nigerian professionals to share their salary negotiation successes and tips. Hopefully, you can learn from them and never spend another day feeling underpaid.

“I increased my salary from $1100 to $2000” — Izu, Growth Lead

I had always shied away from discussing salary raises in my company’s annual performance review. However, I took a detour last year by demanding a raise from $1100 to $2500. Management offered $2000 instead, but it was worth the try. 

Tips:

  • Hit your KPIs consistently before asking for a salary increase.
  • Ask for more than you want. The worst that can happen if you give a high number is that the other party will counteroffer. But if you don’t push for a high amount, you get nothing at all. 

“I negotiated my offer from 200,000 to 350,000” — Chibueze, Social Media Strategist

While interviewing for a role, the recruiters asked for my salary expectations. I told them ₦350,000, as I was earning ₦250,000 at my job then. To my surprise, they offered ₦200,000. In response, I sent an email summarising my professional achievements, current salary and why I deserved a salary within the range of ₦300,000-350,000. Two days later, I received an offer of ₦350,000. 

Tips:

  • Always ask questions. Don’t just assume. 
  • Don’t be desperate. Instead, be confident in your ability and demand your worth. No one’s doing you a favour by employing you.  

“I negotiated my offer from ₦450,000 to ₦520,000” — Niyi, Marketing Manager

After scaling through three interview rounds, the hiring manager assured me of the job and said my salary would be ₦450,000. I rejected the offer, saying ₦550,000 or nothing. After two weeks of back and forth, he succumbed and offered ₦520,000.

Tips:

  • Know your stuff. Then charge what it’s worth. 
  • Never give a range. Don’t use the word “between” when negotiating with employers. 
  • Have a walkaway point — a final offer that’s so low that you have to turn it down.

“I negotiated my offer from ₦210,000 to ₦300,000” — Seyi, Marketing and Communication Executive

I was working a job where I was paid ₦210,000 when I got an offer from another company. They offered ₦250,000. But this didn’t appeal to me, as it wasn’t any different from my earning at the time. 

So I wrote a well-structured email to HR appreciating the offer, stating why I cannot accept the proposed salary, the value I bring on board, the industry average and why I’m willing to settle for ₦350,000. This made them offer me ₦300,000 with the promise of equity. 

Tips:

  • Know what your industry peers’ salaries are and ask for the same or more. 
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Walk away if the company isn’t open to negotiation. It means they don’t value you enough. 
  • During the negotiation, ensure your prices are logical. 
  • Mostly, the hiring manager has more to lose as they will likely not want to restart the recruitment process. Leverage this to your advantage.  

“I negotiated my offer from ₦250,000 to ₦350,000” — Bryan, Senior HR Manager

While trying to transition from a job paying me ₦250,000, I interviewed with a company offering ₦300,000. I turned the offer down as the offer was a mere ₦50,000 bump. Interestingly, the company returned with an upgraded offer of ₦330,000. I rejected this too. Eventually, they promised to increase the offer to ₦350,000 when my probation period expires. 

Tips:

  • Know exactly what you want in terms of a bump from your current pay
  • Be flexible with your demands if the company is worth it and the role is a promotion from your current role. 
  • If they negotiate the first time you make a request, that’s your cue to negotiate further. They have either gone to some other candidate who also turned them down, or they have found you to be the best fit for the role and don’t won’t want to pass on you.

“I negotiated my offer from ₦75,000 to ₦100,000” — Olanrewaju, Social Media Manager

A company once offered me a job with the starting salary of ₦75,000. I rejected the offer as it was below my expectation, citing the peculiarities of the role and the cost involved. This compelled them to increase their offer to ₦100,000.

Tips: 

  • Consider if the pay is commensurate with the time and skillset required for the job
  • Don’t be afraid to counter your employer. For instance, you can say this: “I understand where you’re coming from, and just want to reiterate my enthusiasm for the position and working with you and the team. I think my skills are perfectly suited for this position, and are worth [insert your worth].”
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