Read the offer document carefully before accepting

Okay I must admit that I totally suck when it comes to negotiating salary. Twice before I have been tricked into a low salary and complex salary structure. As a normal job hungry guy, I would quote a CTC and I was almost always fooled. (PS: For the sake of my self esteem, I must tell you that till date 14 companies have offered me a job at various positions. I’m in my fourth job right now…anyway). I never knew that HR guys are smart enough to add Employers contribution of PF to the salary. Whoa! Good thinking, which actually ends up reducing my salary. There are many such things, and you actually end up earning almost 25-30% lesser salary than what you anticipate.

So since I have enough experience of handling (read tumbling into) such situations, let me give you some tips.

  1. Read the document first. Check the components, there must be a basic salary, HR, Medical and other allowances such as telephone, vehicle, etc. Ask the HR which are all reimbursable and how do you do that (its normally by submitting bills).
  2. Most of the companies allow you to decide the break up, so ask for this. In case you are confident of producing bills, ask them to keep your basic salary to the minimum for your post and increase the billable allowances (Mobile, HR, Vehicle etc.). Do the vice versa if you can’t produce bills.
  3. Opt for food coupons. They are good.
  4. Most of us are not aware that taking PF is not compulsory. You can opt out of it is you have other better investment instruments (ELSS funds, Fixed deposits, PPF, Interest on home+education loans etc.)
  5. LTA is not compulsory too, but as most of us travel to a distant location at least once a year, leave it as it is.
  6. Make sure you keep the variable component to minimum. Also ask a procedure for disbursement of such amount, cross check with some one you know in the company.
  7. DO NOT fall prey to assured bonuses and service agreements (bond). I would say a firm no. By the way these bonds are one sided. They can only take you to the arbitrator. You can not be sued or jailed. No one can even force you to pay the money too.
  8. Most important: If you think you are worth X, quote X+3 and negotiate hard so that you get at least X+1. Always look for 50% rise, so that even if it comes down by half, you have a good bet.

I have fallen prey to every thing above. So now a days I have started asking the net take home component of the salary. Sadly, people think I ask too much  😀

Thinking is such a waste of time

This was a punch line in one of the Hero Honda CBZ advertisement. Although I don’t believe in that line at all, I found the attitude of the male model who acted very addicting. I think it was about little more than a year before that this ad had featured on television. I used to drive a Honda scooter that time (Honda Dio to be specific.) Still I liked to flaunt the attitude, despite being opposite. I think too much.

Anyway, the punch line I believe, came from somebody’s brain who has a keen sense of observation. Because thinking indeed is a waste of time for lot of people around us. They distributed the appraisal letters in my company today. As expected, 99% of my colleagues were unhappy. (PS: I escaped the appraisal this year because I left my earlier company on the brink of financial year ending and didn’t join another one till the start of new financial year). This is absolutely normal, considering 15% average appraisal is ‘low’. So I asked the guys if they were enjoying the work. The common answer was, yes but salary is very low. So I asked what was the reason for joining, or for that matter working in this field? They said their friends were getting paid higher elsewhere and they wanted to join them too. My next question to them: What motivates you, money , brand name, designation or profile? People had distributed answer… when I asked why or why not? They had NO answer. Then came my or any body’s nonpareil question… the one, ‘What is your aim in life? OR Have you thought about a career path and do you know how to achieve it?’ You wouldn’t believe, most of them said who cares… I want big salary, posh office, plush apartment, and I want to enjoy my life. Excuse me! How on earth do you think you can enjoy? Forget enjoyment, how are you planning to achieve it? Why do you people not think?

My wife gets surprised when I reject new job offers. One company had offered me double the salary I’m earning right now. I said no, because it didn’t allow me to reach where I want to go. I don’t THINK thinking is a waste of time. There is more to it, but I’m too eager to push for the weekend. :lazy:

PS: We recently interviewed Mr. Subu Goparaju, VP and Head SET labs, INFOSYS on Crazyengineers. Click here to read it.