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Portrettbilde av Anam Khalid, jurist i Tekna
Anam Khalid explains how you should prepare yourself for a salary negotiation. Photo: Mikkel Moe

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Don’t even think about doing any of these seven things during a salary negotiation

Written by Sondre Tallaksrud, Tekna Magasinet Nov. 16 2020

If you’re earning a below-average salary, it might be time to do something about it – but there are certain things you should absolutely not do, either.

If your salary’s statistically below average, there are certain steps you should take to move over to «the right side.»

– The average salary gives you a good indication. But if you have specific skills or experience that are especially relevant for your job, you should be looking at the numbers at the upper level of the pay scale for your graduation year, says Anam Khalid, an attorney at Tekna.

Your long education should be rewarded!

Our salary statistics are your most reliable source for evaluating your own salary, and we can help you during salary negotiations. In addition, we provide you with legal assistance, professional courses and networks over the entire country as well as one of its best bank and insurance deals.

Find out where you’re at

Tekna’s statistics are meant to serve as a guide, so companies’ salary policies and levels should also be considered. To find out information about local salary levels, you can contact the company’s Tekna representative. They can give you information about company salaries for employees who have similar education levels and experience, which will give you an indication of what the room for negotiation is in reality.

– If you’re comfortable doing it, you can also speak with colleagues who have work tasks similar to yours about what their salaries are, says Khalid.

Once you get these numbers, you have to think through the kind of arguments you’ll use during your salary discussion with your employer.

– Focus on how your position and performance have grown throughout the past year – for example, if you’ve been given more responsibility or demanding tasks or can show good results, now can be a good time to mention this.

The timing should be right for both yourself and your organization.

Is the business going really well? 

If so, you can continue on to the next step in good conscience.  

Prepare yourself for your salary negotiation

A salary discussion is a talk you have with your supervisor about your current salary and if there’s a good balance between your work performance and salary.

In Norway, it’s common to have one salary discussion per year. While it’s also common that this discussion appears in either an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, you can ask your employer for a salary discussion outside of these parameters.

It can be a good idea to inform your employer about the concrete points you’d like to take up before your meeting. At this stage you should be well prepared for the arguments you’re thinking of using.

– You can also contact Tekna’s head office if you have any questions about a salary discussion or if you want to discuss the various arguments you’ve been considering, says Khalid.

The salary discussion

A salary discussion follows a standard pattern whether you work in the private or public sector. That being said, a supervisor in the local public sector might have less room to reward an individual employee within their pay scale than would be possible in the private sector, since their wage settlements are often set at the national level – a situation which Tekna is against.

Khalid explains that it can be beneficial to ask for concrete amounts or percentages during your discussion – but not without first thinking it over.

– You have to consider this point carefully as it depends on the information you’ve gotten from your representative.

Please note: Even though this discussion is a salary evaluation, your supervisor cannot decide at any point during it that your salary will be reduced.

This is because a contractual salary is the result of an employment contract plus annual adjustments. Its starting point is that any reduction in salary requires the employee’s consent. If an employer wants to reduce an employee’s salary, termination rules must normally be followed.

What are you earning compared to others?

Are you wondering how your salary compares to others working at your same level? 

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