When attending a job interview, most people always think of what to say to blow the interviewer away, just so we get the job. In your mind, you become a high flyer when it’s time to sell yourself to the panel of the HR specialist and Top Management Team conducting the interview, you start reeling out your best rehearsed achievements in your field of specialization.
When attending an interview, apart from researching about the company, you also need to research on the internal structure and staff welfare package of the company. These, will guide you better if asked the almighty question about salary expectation. Because this question could either make you settle for less or make you scream Hallelujah!
In most cases, while Mr. B’s answer seems very apt, in reality it is not any better from Mr. A’s response. You want to know why? I will tell you why from my own personal experiences over the years.
So you nailed the interview and you also got them to pay you within the salary range you requested for, let’s say maybe N1M (One Milion Nigerian Naira) Per Annum. You dress nicely to pick up your employment letter, which states all the additional benefits, like housing, utility, entertainment, transportation, bonus etc., and then your heart is beating so fast with joy and you can’t wait for the resumption day to come, so that you can prove to your employer they made the right choice. Fast forward to one month after the job, and you get that first credit alert you have been waiting for, then the true reality sets in. Pension deducted 8% that is employee, tax deducted between 10%-20% of monthly gross (you are on your own is the company is tax compliant), Bonus of 3% to be paid at the end of the financial year. Congrats Mr. B, your take home has now become your nightmare because you negotiated your Annual Gross Income only.
The scenario above has happened to practically everyone I know living in Nigeria, especially within the Lagos Metropolis. I know you are nodding your head now in agreement to this scenario. So what is the solution and way out of this reoccurring event that has played out in most of our lives?
You are welcome to the new Nigeria, where you have to always dot your i’s and cross your t’s at every given opportunity. When next you are asked that very important life defining question at an interview, all you need to do is to be very specific and in clear terms negotiate your take home, that is your Net after all deductions. The Gross they arrive at, is the company’s cup of tea and not yours. Whatever deductions on taxes pension or just name it is their cross, as long as they are able to pay for what you have requested for on a monthly basis, and then both parties are fine. In most cases we like the sound of the Gross pay, because it’s round and bogus and sounds pleasing to the heart and soul, but in reality, the shock that comes with it, will leave you speechless for the next couple of months, and instead of you to settle into your new job, employees begin to plan the next move.
Don’t get caught up in those fancy packages, they are mostly deducted from your Gross pay, the next time you are asked the salary expectation question, remember to talk about your take home(Net earnings) in clear terms.