This isn’t a topic that has come up often during the Great Recession. Many of us have felt it necessary to take what we could get and be grateful for it.
Times, thankfully, are changing, even if it appears to be at a snail’s pace. Hiring is up and employees are feeling more confident in the job market. They’re producing more so they want more. However, there is an art to salary negotiations.
You Need to Be Prepared
According to the Salary.com article What March Madness Can Teach Us About Salary Negotiation:
This will be a stressful time. However, it’s important that you don’t become overwhelmed, and according to the old adage – never let them see you sweat.
Preparation is the key. If you have no idea what you’re worth, don’t count on the hiring manager to let you know. You’ll receive a low ball figure. You need to check out salary.com to learn what others in your industry – and at your level – are making.
Make certain you’re worth what you claim. It’s not enough to go into a salary negotiation and say “Eighty percent of professionals in my field and at my career level make nearly $100,000.” While your statistics may be true, the hiring manager won’t be impressed. You need to let that individual know what your achievements were, quantified with money saved your company or earned for your company.
Don’t go in cold, thinking you can wing it. Practice, practice, practice. Ask your spouse, significant other or a friend to help you prepare. Have them pitch you hard questions about why you deserve so much money. Only by preparing for the worst (eg: ‘we can’t possibly pay you that much’) can you give an adequate argument as to why it’s in the company’s best interest to do so.
Use salary.com’s Salary Wizard. Again, preparation is the key.
You Also Need to do What’s Right for You
Let’s say you’ve done all your prepping and you’re ready for the negotiation. However, you still have qualms about how well you’ll perform, or if you should even bother to negotiate given your particular circumstances. Perhaps you’ve been unemployed for awhile and are eager to get back to work. Perhaps you’re afraid your age or skill set will keep you from your goal.
In those instances, and when an employer asks for salary expectations you can do one of two things:
- If you really want the job, or really need it, then you can simply say that salary is negotiable, then accept the offer made.
- You can give a range of salary expectations that are higher than you’d expect. Given that the hiring manager will go for the lower figure, you’ll still come out ahead.
Only You Can Know What’s Best for You
Everyone’s circumstances and needs are different. However, if you do decide to take what’s offered, make certain that it’s the only avenue available to you. If you do it out of necessity, that’s one thing. If you do it out of fear of being told ‘no’, you may well regret it.
Other sources on salary negotiation:
- Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You
- Secrets of Power Salary Negotiating: Inside Secrets from a Master Negotiator
- Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People
- Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
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