The Do’s and Don’ts of Salary Negotiation
Negotiating your salary can be stressful. You want to get what you deserve, but you don’t want to risk angering your current employer or the hiring manager in a new job. To increase your odds of succeeding, know what your skills and talents are worth and use our valuable negotiating tools below.
Do your homework
Research the salaries for positions comparable to yours. Know the high, median and low salaries for workers with your level of experience, skills and education. Also figure out salary ranges for similar positions at this particular company.
Be respectful with your salary expectation—don’t be overly aggressive. If you’re gracious and reasonable, your potential employer will be more willing to work with you. Try a figure in the mid to high range of the numbers you researched. Agree to take on more responsibility if your boss is generous, and vice versa: don’t take on more responsibility without additional compensation.
Sell yourself! Confidence is essential to being a strong negotiator. Make a strong case for yourself. Don’t hesitate to remind them how qualified you are and what your strengths and achievements are. Prove to them you’re a perfect match for this position!
Thank the employer
Focus on making a good impression and building relationships, not necessarily on a target number. Show them you’re courteous, respectful and easy to work with. Don’t counteroffer right away. Wait a few days and then continue the negotiation. This shows you’re contemplative and you’ve carefully considered their offer and you’re still interested in the job.
Know your bottom line
You know how much you need to survive and what other benefits and perks are important to your lifestyle. Don’t compromise your happiness by settling for less.
Don’t be the first to bring up salary
Timing is everything, and whoever brings up money first usually loses. A preoccupation with salary takes away from the case you’re trying to build as an enthusiastic, conscientious employee.
Don’t accept the first offer
Most companies make initial offers at the bottom of the range, building in a little wiggle room and expecting you to negotiate. If you’ve already done your research, then you should know what salary is possible and what numbers are reasonable to aim for.
Don’t inflate your current earnings
This is dishonest and your potential employer may have ways of confirming this information. Don’t get caught in a lie!
Don’t forget the other perks
Most companies allocate for your health insurance, paid leave, educational reimbursements and travel allowances. These benefits can translate into more money for you, so remember to ask for them. Or if you already have health insurance through your spouse’s employer, consider asking for that designated amount in additional salary.
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