Have you ever been so excited about a potential job offer but then suddenly confused when it came to compensation? Do you ever just take whatever they offer because you’re afraid to ask for more? It is a job after all. And what if they rescind the offer?!
Fear not! We are here to tell you it is OK to negotiate your salary. In 2018, the job market for employers has been fierce. Many industries have proclaimed a War for Talent and have put their best foot forward when trying to land a candidate. Likewise, when it comes to the longer term plans of advancing your career, negotiating for a higher salary and proving your worth is an important step in that process.
Companies and organizations are not always just looking for a way to control costs, when it comes to salaries. From the business perspective, many of them will start with the low-end so they have “room to negotiate.” What happens in many cases is there ends up being no negotiation and the employee just accepts the first number.
So how can you go into your negotiation session and leave with the number you really want? With tact and grace.
Do Your Research
While you probably have an idea of what you’d actually like to be making in your career, we still recommend starting with a bit of research to understand what type of salaries are common for the job you’ll be negotiating. This will allow you to go into these discussions with a more realistic idea of not only what you want out of a position, but what a company should truly be offering. Using a tool such as Glassdoor’s Company Salary research page will help you understand what you can expect.
While you should shoot for the stars in many cases, you need to be realistic on your value in the market when you start the negotiation process. Adding 20% to what you want just to “cushion” for then they counter offer might price you out altogether. Give a realistic number that you would be happy with if they accept, and definitely give yourself a mental range of what you’re willing to fall in between.
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Consider Total Compensation
So what if they don’t budge on salary? Well there is good news! Salary is only one part of a total compensation package. Consider the healthcare premiums, company retirement plans matches or stock options, vehicle allowances, sign on or retention bonuses and flexible working hours. And yes – believe it or not for some people (and companies) flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely is a very valuable bargaining chip!
It’s important to consider all of the non-salary benefits that you care most about as well. Think about your own goals and general life habits, and list out exactly what additional benefits would be extremely helpful for you in your new position.
Show Them Your Value
Now that you’ve established what to ask for, you need to consider how you approach the subject. If you’re going to ask for more, you may have to walk them through the value. While this may seem intimidating, it is much like the interview in terms of discussing how he value you will add to the role and ultimately the organization.
Be fully prepared to answer the question, “Why do you deserve this salary?” if you’re asking for more money. By adding this question to your list of interview preparations, you’ll be able to handle negotiations with ease and confidence!
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Give Yourself Time
If you’ve been job hunting for some time or really just can’t wait to get started with a new company, we always suggest taking your time when considering a job offer. This is especially true if the number they originally offered to you isn’t sitting well, and you know you deserve more.
Ask for time to consider the offer, even if it’s just a few days. What this allows you to do is to establish your best way to handle the negotiation, rather than just relying on instinct. You’ll be able to present your case carefully and react with logic instead of just emotion. Plus, just like with any other interview question or process, taking the time to practice what you’re going to say and how you’re going to present it will allow you to stand out professionally.
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Remember To Do It Again
Just because you negotiated for what you wanted this time around, doesn’t mean you may not have to go to bat for yourself again. Your job may become harder, you may start taking on more responsibilities, or company dynamics could easily shift. Be aware of what you negotiated for, what those expectations were for your current position, and stand your ground if things start to adjust.
There is so much that can happen within a position even in just 1 to 2 years, so always do your research and check to make sure you’re getting paid and compensated for what you deserve.
P.S: Want to become the expert at negotiating salaries? We definitely suggest checking out How to Negotiate a Killer Job Offer for some additional reading!