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Bespoke Careers

29 September 2023

29 September 2023

How to Negotiate Salary for your Next Architecture / Interior Design Job

Salary negotiation is a crucial part of the job search process, yet it's often the aspect that job seekers fear the most. Professionals in the field of architecture and interior design are experts at showcasing their skills and portfolio, but for many people, negotiating compensation can be an intimidating and awkward prospect. 

As experts in the global job market, specialising in connecting architecture and interior design professionals with their dream jobs, we’ve overseen thousands of salary negotiations over the years. 

Drawing from our experience, here’s our list of essential strategies for mastering the art of negotiating salary.

1. Understand your priorities

Before you even start your job search, it's essential to understand your own priorities. Reflect on what you're looking for both financially and professionally. Consider your career goals, the cost of living in your desired location, and your financial needs. Research industry standards for architecture jobs and interior design jobs in your region to establish realistic expectations. You can request a copy of our salary guide here.

2. Don’t disclose your previous salary

Avoid getting on to the subject of your previous earnings. What you earned in your previous role should have no bearing on your compensation in your next job. In many places, including many US states, it's against the law for an employer to ask for your salary history. Instead, redirect the conversation to focus on your qualifications and the value you can bring to the new role.

3. Consider the whole package

Salary negotiation isn't just about the base pay; it's about the entire compensation package. Consider the value of benefits, perks, flexibility, responsibilities, and career growth opportunities. Sometimes, a job with a slightly lower salary but excellent benefits can be better in the long run. Don't fixate solely on the money - think about your overall job satisfaction and quality of life.

4. Negotiate once

If you want to negotiate on different aspects of the offer, do it all at once. Drawing out the negotiation process by going back and forth can be counterproductive and might give the impression that you are indecisive or difficult to work with. Be efficient and clear in your communication.

5. Be polite and professional

Remember that the person on the other side of the negotiation table is working within their own constraints. They're not your adversary but a partner in your career transition. Approach negotiations with politeness and professionalism. Avoid coming across as greedy or unsympathetic to the company's needs. Demonstrating that you can work collaboratively and respectfully can leave a positive impression.

By following these five rules, you can navigate the salary negotiation process with confidence. Remember that salary negotiation is a two-way street, and finding a mutually beneficial solution is the key to a successful transition in your career.

Take the hassle out of your next salary negotiation by speaking to one of our friendly consultants. It's our job to talk directly to the hiring firm on your behalf to make sure you get the best deal. 

Author: Alastair Wallace, Managing Director, Bespoke Careers

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