How to Negotiate a Higher Salary as a Kenyan Employee

Kenyan Employees need to know how to negotiate for a better salary. This article will give you the best tips of how to do this

Carson O.
10 Min Read
Salary Negotiation Skills COURTESY —

Salary negotiations can be intimidating, but they are a key opportunity for Kenyan professionals to earn the compensation they deserve. With proper preparation and strategic negotiation, Kenyan employees can successfully negotiate higher pay. This expert guide will provide research-backed tips to help you get the salary you want.

Understand Your Value

The first step is to understand your true market value. Conduct extensive research to determine the typical salary range for someone with your skills, experience, education, and location in Kenya. Some helpful resources include:

  • Job sites like BrighterMonday and MyJobMag that list salary ranges in job postings
  • Salary comparison tools like and PayScale
  • Speaking with recruiters and colleagues in your field
  • Checking industry associations for salary surveys

Make note of the typical salary and benefits for your role in Nairobi vs Mombasa vs Kisumu. Understanding your value will give you confidence to negotiate and help you set realistic goals.

Calculate Your Minimum Threshold

Once you know your market worth, determine the minimum salary you need to accept. Factor in your current income, required expenses, and career goals. Be sure to account for the cost of living based on your location. This number is your lowest acceptable salary that still allows you to meet your financial needs.

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Some tips for calculating your threshold:

  • Build in a buffer so you don’t end up underpaid. Add 10-20% to your minimum.
  • Consider that salaries are often paid monthly in Kenya. Calculate your annual earnings.
  • Account for expected yearly salary increments of 5-10%

Knowing your minimum gives you a strong starting point in negotiations.

Time Your Negotiation Strategically

Timing is critical when asking for a raise. Avoid negotiating:

  • Right when you are hired or start a new role
  • During company budget cuts or downsizing
  • When management seems dissatisfied with your work
  • Before you have proven yourself in the role

The best times to negotiate include:

  • Your annual performance review
  • After completing an impressive project
  • When you earn a work achievement, award or certification
  • When being promoted to a higher position
  • After receiving a job offer from another company

Pick your moment for maximum negotiating power.

Research Negotiation Strategies

Educate yourself on effective negotiation techniques to employ when discussing your salary:

  • Make the first offer. Anchoring the conversation just slightly above your goal gives you an advantage.
  • Support your request. Demonstrate how you add value and why you deserve higher pay through metrics, awards, and milestones.
  • Ask about the salary range. This reveals the top end you could possibly earn in your position.
  • Use your other offer(s). Competing job offers give you leverage to get a counter-offer and improved pay. But don’t threaten to walk away unless you’re willing to leave.
  • Remain positive. Do not get combative or complain. Focus on the value you add.
  • Practice. Rehearse your case with a friend so you can confidently convey why you deserve more.

With the right strategies, you can present a compelling case for higher compensation.

Consider Non-Salary Perks

In addition to salary, negotiate for other perks that provide value like:

  • Increased annual leave
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Professional development funds
  • Transportation allowance
  • Equity offers like shares or options
  • Bonuses or profit sharing

Some of these perks can add significantly to your overall compensation package.

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Get It in Writing

Once an agreement is reached, get all the details of your updated salary and perks added to your employment contract. This protects you and ensures you actually receive every component you negotiated.

Following these tips will set you up to successfully negotiate an increased salary that recognizes your contributions as a Kenyan professional. Make sure to conduct extensive research, know your minimum number, use strategic timing, employ proven tactics, and get the final deal in writing. With preparation and confidence, you can earn the higher pay you deserve.

See how to achieve work-life balance here.

Know When to Walk Away

If an employer is unable or unwilling to meet your minimum requirements, be prepared to walk away. Sometimes rejecting an offer is the best path. Before withdrawing from negotiations:

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  • Consider if you can compromise. If the offer is close to your needs, review areas to find flexibility.
  • Re-confirm your value. Politely share evidence you are worth the salary you are requesting.
  • Ask about future increases. A timeline for achieving higher pay may influence your decision.
  • Request time to evaluate. Ask for a day or two to fully weigh the offer. This also displays that you are seriously assessing it.

But if the employer will not budge, do not accept a salary you know is inadequate. Declining forces a company to re-evaluate to attract talent. Leaving money on the table sets a precedent for future underpayment.

Try Again Later

If an initial negotiation is unsuccessful, you can revisit salary discussions in the future once you have a longer track record with the company. Ways to negotiate later:

  • At your next review: Demonstrate your value through your work product over the next 6-12 months. Come prepared with documentation.
  • After a promotion: New responsibilities merit re-evaluating your compensation.
  • Upon receiving a counteroffer: Outside offers are leverage, even if you end up staying put.
  • When the company is doing well: Profitable years mean more salary negotiation power.

Continuing to build your case over time can lead to a pay boost, even if negotiations stall at first.

Negotiate Each Time You Change Roles

Every new job opportunity, whether at your current company or a new employer, opens the door to salary discussions. Prepare to negotiate each time you:

  • Move up the career ladder through promotions or job changes
  • Transition from contract employment to permanent employment
  • Accept a new job with another organization
  • Expand your responsibilities and are asked to lead new initiatives

The more experience you gain, the more you can command in compensation. Approach each change as a fresh chance to negotiate.

Try a Salary Negotiation Letter

If uncomfortable negotiating face-to-face, try putting your request in writing. A salary negotiation letter has multiple benefits:

  • It allows you to make a clear case with time to compose your thoughts.
  • You can provide extensive documentation on your value.
  • It takes emotions and reactivity out of the equation.
  • There is a paper trail showing your efforts to get fair pay.

Follow up a verbal negotiation with a letter, or initiate the discussion with a letter if you prefer written communication. Just be sure to send it confidently and politely.

When to Get Outside Help

If you feel stuck or need guidance, do not hesitate to enlist outside support around salary negotiations, such as:

  • Recruiters: They know what companies pay for certain roles and can coach you on acceptable ranges.
  • Career coach: An expert can help you articulate your value and practice negotiating.
  • Mentors: Executives can advise you on positioning based on their experience.
  • Employment lawyer: Get legal counsel if you feel discriminated against or retaliated against.

You do not have to negotiate alone. Seek assistance to strengthen your case.

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Conclusion – Don’t Give Up

Job offers, promotions, and review cycles come around frequently throughout your career. Even if one negotiation does not succeed, stay determined to earn what you deserve long term. With each opportunity, gain more knowledge and improve your tactics. Refine your negotiation skills over time.

Do not settle for less or get discouraged. Persistence and courage in asking for fair salary pays off in the end. Keep striving to get paid what you are worth as a professional.

By researching salaries, recognizing your value, employing negotiation strategies, and seeking help when needed, Kenyan professionals can successfully negotiate higher pay. Preparation and practice are key – do not avoid salary discussions. With the right approach, you can earn the higher salary your skills, contributions, and experience merit.

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I am a multi-faceted professional with a strong foundation in Business and Finance, honed since 2020. Additionally, I possess a deep passion for automobiles, serving as an avid car enthusiast. In parallel to my diverse interests, I am also a dedicated student pursuing a career in the medical field.
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