How to Negotiate a Salary in China

Negotiating a new wage is something I fear since I'm a very sensitive person who avoids conflict at all costs and was taught as a child not to bring up the subject of money. Last year, I was compelled to negotiate with a new firm I had just joined in China, which only added to my fear.

Since I had previously lived and worked in China, I didn't experience any cultural shock upon returning. With over 5,000 years of history, the Chinese way of life might be intimidating to those of us reared in the West.

Even with a basic grasp of the language and culture, I was unable to grasp the complexities of living in China, which is a nation where ancient traditions clash with pop culture and consumerism.

As a wage negotiator, I've learned a few things regarding pay negotiations that I'd want to pass along to you:

Understanding the Chinese way of doing things.

Pay talks in China may last weeks or even months, so it's critical that you have a clear aim in mind when you embark into them. While in meetings, I take notes on paper to remember what was said. Because of the conditions and the language barrier that exist in China, this may appear out of the ordinary to those who have never done it before.

Employers in China are required to pay social insurance taxes on the earnings of their workers. As a result of this tax, a company's salary bill might rise by 40%. When it comes to Chinese New Year, it is also worth noting that your salary will be increased by a month, bringing your total compensation to a full year's worth. No? So there you have it! The more you know, the more powerful you are.

Be aware of Chinese etiquette and customs.

There are two characters in the Chinese word for "negotiation": "talk" and "judge."

Most of us in the West see negotiation as a contest with a victor and a loser, but in China, it is a process of establishing trust and achieving an agreement that benefits both parties.

It's critical to keep in mind the Chinese idea of "preserving face." It's understandable that employers don't want to seem constrained, but they'd be appalled if they were seen as disrespectful or demeaning to you.

Negotiating a salary takes time and energy, and it might be more personal than you expect. Even a few cringeworthy moments are possible. To get through it, my best advice is to keep an open mind and a good sense of humor.

Organize a Group.

For a moment, I was certain that I was going to be fired the first time I entered my new boss's office and saw a group of happy faces. What I didn't realize is that pay and job contract talks in China sometimes involve many parties.

Make it simpler on yourself by focusing your discussion on the person who has the final say. Be aware that it is quite appropriate to bring a team of individuals into discussions, such as a translator and a confidence boosting colleague.

Get to know people.

Personal ties are at the heart of the esoteric idea of guanxi.

Guanxi is often misunderstood by non-Chinese as a kind of networking or belonging to the proper organizations and associations.

Guanxi is a kind of status that is determined by your position in your social circle, including friends, family, and acquaintances. Having good guanxi isn't simple to come by, and maintaining it is much more difficult.

The idea is that favors will be reciprocated, although this does not always happen right away. You need to be willing to put in the time and effort to build solid guanxi.

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