Why Canadians should be more like Americans when it comes to their jobs

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Canadians are famous for being nice, almost to a fault. A new report from recruitment firm Robert Half shows we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by not being as aggressive as our U.S. counterparts when it comes to pay.

Only 36 per cent of Canadians surveyed tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer. More than half (59 per cent) said it was because they were satisfied with what they were offered, while 19 per cent said they were uncomfortable negotiating.

A separate Robert Half report found U.S. employees were more aggressive when negotiating salary. 

More than half (54 per cent) of Americans surveyed said they tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer. Those who didn’t (55 per cent) said it was because they were happy with their offer. Others (18 per cent) said they didn’t negotiate because they felt uncomfortable or worried it would cost them the job. 

Canadian Higher-income earners making more than $100,000 per year (41 per cent) were more likely to ask for more money than lower-income earners. Men were also more likely to speak up (40 per cent) compared to women (31 per cent).

In the U.S., higher-income earners making $100,000 or more per year were also more likely (64 per cent) to negotiate. And men (66 per cent) were more likely to than woman (46 per cent).

It might be wise to start the negotiation right out of the gate, because the survey also found managers were most likely (39 per cent) to discuss salary during the first interview. 

U.S managers were also most open (35 per cent) to talk pay during the first interview. 

“Any successful compensation discussion requires research and practice beforehand,” said David King, senior district president of Robert Half, in the report.

“Look into local compensation trends in your industry, identify which perks or benefits outside of salary are most important to you, and even run through potential scenarios ahead of time; the better prepared you are, the more confident you will feel navigating the conversation.”

Job seekers from sunny Miami, Los Angeles and Phoenix were most likely to ask for more money.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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