When someone approaches you for a job and seems interested in your services, they seek how you can benefit them and fulfill their requirements. And that’s the reason why career counselors pay emphasis focusing more on the client, their needs, and their expectations from the job when you indulge in a conversation with them.
However, it’s equally important to finding out if a client or an employer is going to pay for your hard work. After all, getting paid is the key factor to knowing whether a job is worth taking up and making all that effort or not.
So how can you politely ask if a job is paid?
First, you should understand your job as well as possible and, based on that, research the usual compensation for it. In the decisive discussion, you should focus on your added value and, as a side note, ask about the intended compensation.
Perform an In-Depth Research
Having adequate knowledge about the topic is imperative to ask a question about payments associated with a job. And this calls for doing in-depth research on the same. Being aware of the same will help you put forward specific inquiries while having an honest and well-informed conversation with a potential client or interviewer.
You can kick-start your research by going through Google, Comparably, or Glassdoor to get an idea of the salary range suited for a specific job. Another option is to connect with other people doing similar tasks on LinkedIn.
You can find out salaries for a job title or gig on the internet and figure out how much you should be getting paid.
Apart from that, you must also have a clear idea of the company website (if any) and the job description you are being offered. This will make sure you have all the necessary information to avoid having an awkward conversation.
You can also inform the client about the same by saying:
“My research shows a certain industry average for this job, and I am sure that you’ll be glad about how much my work can contribute to your vision.”
Make sure to be confident while you deliver this message, while not worrying about the response. A genuine offer is least likely to be rescinded simply because a person is negotiating.
Also, the worst-case scenario may have the client or employer saying no to compensation. At least, you would avoid working for no benefits, while also being crisp about your expectations beforehand.
Know your Worth
The foremost thing about taking up a job is to be aware of the fact that you deserve to be paid for all the effort and time you are going to put into a task. You must know your worth, and then expect a payment that would be determined by the kind of services you provide and the time it takes to complete the job.
Your skills, experience, and market competition play a key role in calculating your worth.
The number of years you have spent in a specific field of work also influences your worth. Speaking of your expertise level, keep the current industry rates in consideration.
Lastly, perform a careful assessment of what your competitors are offering and what makes you stand out for them. This plays a major role in setting competitive rates, which makes you even more confident in inquiring about money matters.
Use a Strategic Approach
It’s crucial to use a strategic approach when talking about payment matters. You simply can’t divert the conversation and ask whether you are going to get money for the job, as well as how much will you be paid. Instead, you need to put some finesse and cleverness to good use when approaching these topics.
It sometimes gets tricky in a job discussion or interview, and you may be left wondering when the subject of compensation will pop up.
Make sure to wait for the client or the employer to talk about the same.
However, if you notice that there’s no chance of money matters being mentioned, you can always bring up the topic and discuss payments.
Don’t be Hesitant
It surely isn’t easy to ask for money, but make sure you don’t feel embarrassed about asking for what you deserve.
All you need to do is to be confident, respectful, and polite.
Everyone performs a job to be paid and asking for compensation doesn’t make you rude.
Be Clear and Direct
Make sure to communicate clearly when talking about your needs to a client or an employer. The key is to not beat around the bush, instead go for statements like these:
“I love that you appreciate my work and are interested in hiring my services. I’d like to get a better idea about the next step and we can discuss my work hours and pay, and your vision about the same.”
You can also choose to ask the same question in a different style, as the whole idea behind the same is to follow an approach that seems comfortable to the concerned person. Choose your phrasing and words carefully when trying to learn what your client thinks about the same.
It’s amazing how using certain words can alter the message of a statement.
If you’re asking whether you are getting a paid job, go for words like ‘compensation’ rather than terms like ‘payment’.
Also, try asking for a range rather than a fixed amount of money.
Pay Attention to the Timing
Any kind of benefits or compensations that a client offers for a job, including benefits, bonuses, commissions, and salary are some of the most important subjects to take into consideration. And that’s why they call for the right timing.
When you are first asked about your expectations, it’s okay to take some time to answer. Below are a few responses that will help you take the conversation forward:
“I’m seeking a good offer that includes well-deserved compensation, but before that, I would like to know more about the job and your requirements from same first.”
“I would be glad to learn more about what this job entails as well as the benefits it may offer.”
There’s a right time to ask about payments associated with a job, which is usually after you’ve grabbed the interest of the client by showing them you are a great choice for the job.
Pay more emphasis on selling your services and let the right moment slide in to ask about money.
Before you approach the topic of payment, look for certain signs of interest from the client. Phrases like “When can we start with the project?”, or “How soon can you collaborate?” imply that an offer may follow. These signs determine the right moment to extract more information from the client about payments.
Inquiring When You Get the Job Offer
If a client makes an offer, and payments are not discussed, you can bring up the same part of your response to the offer.
Make sure to mention that you would like to talk about compensation.
You can say something like:
“Surely, I appreciate your wonderful offer and the fact that you are expressing some faith in me, also I am interested in the job. But before we move forward, can we discuss a few things about compensation?”
“Thank you so much for the great opportunity, I would say yes and get started with the project, but I think we should probably discuss whether I would be compensated for the same before I make any commitment.”
“I’m all set to get started right away, as long as we can agree upon some compensation that motivates me to give my best.”
Remember that making professional discussions about payments calls for not making it the chief topic of your discussion. The key is to showcase your interest in the role, and how you can add value to the client’s requirements and vision.
Jumping to topics around money too soon can make the client think that you’re only interested in monetary gains.
Go for a Conversational Ask
If you are positive about a certain job based on the first conversation, you can also choose to wait to bring up the topic of payment until the next conversation.
Generally, a second interview showcases that the client is interested in working with you, mostly ending up in offers and in-depth discussions about things.
If the client or the employer doesn’t talk about how you are going to be paid, mention the same during the wrap-up moment of the conversation.
“Actually, could you let me know about the benefits and compensation that are being offered for this job?”
“It would be great if you could share the details of the payments that come with this offer.”
“May I ask if this would be the right time to discuss the salaries for this work?”
“If we decide to collaborate or work together, I’m sure we would settle on a pay-scale that matches the value my work brings to your organization. Can I get a rough estimate of what you are budgeting for this job?”
Going for such conversation tones for your questions makes you sound much more welcoming and open about the work process, compensations, and other benefits.
In a nutshell, having proper knowledge of the current trends, knowing what you deserve, asking what your client seeks from you, as well as being clear yet polite is the key to taking a conversation exactly in the direction you want. Focus on a payment range instead of a fixed number, while paying attention to what matters to the client as well as you at the same time!
Katie Holmes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.