It does not matter if you’re an aspiring big cheese or already a C-suite executive; it is never too early to familiarise with the complicated art of negotiating for your executive compensation. The major difference for C-suite jobs is that you become eligible for various benefits and perks. You also get access to data and data sources that other employees find very hard to get. However, how do you get to know how much your C-suite job is worth, since compensation varies between the different job entities at the top?
You first need to be aware of the type of job you’re doing or expect to be doing soon. This is one of the determinants of your remuneration. Basically, a chief manager and CEO are both c-suite level jobs but their salaries will vary. As such, once you know the task(s) ahead, try to find as much information about the salary as you can. Help can come from the internet since people post and hunt for jobs there every day. You can get a rough estimate of how much you should be worth.
Second, be aware that the market will pay what you are worth yourself. In short, your pay will be determined by what the employer offers for a particular set of experiences and skills as well as what you have to bring to the table. Therefore, find out all the skills that you have which are directly tied to your aspiring position and highlight them. You will use them to gauge your worth during the salary negotiation. If you have options, go for the employer willing to pay the most for your abilities.
It is very important that you identify the benefits and perks associated with the job you have or will have. Remember, we said that while the c-suite salaries might differ from one employer to the other, all other aspects are the same. In that case, find out all the basic compensation bouquets which include perquisites, benefits, base pay as well as long and short-term incentives. Some employers will not provide this information if you do not have it. If you end up with a not-so-straight employer, they might rob you of such compensation which you are entitled. In short, you will not be compensated for what you are worth.
Finally, and very important, realise that your worth as a c-suite employee does not stop at the money. You should be part and parcel of major organisational developments such as restructuring and/or mergers. These are moves that can lead to financial hardships and eventual layoffs of employees, you included! As such, put measures in place to protect your back in the event that one of such occurrences led to negative consequences. You can be insured (by the company or yourself) in the event that your job is terminated due to factors beyond you. Unlike average employees, c-suite workers find it hard adjusting to termination of work.
Now that you’re up there, be sure to take care of your golden parachute!