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Very few people genuinely look forward to the process of salary negotiation. Unfortunately however, the process is very much a requirement if you want to end up with a reasonable salary, and one that is in line with what you deserve. You by no means need to be an expert negotiator to leave the meeting with a smile on your face. As I will now outline, it’s all about being well prepared and not being afraid to ask for what you deserve.
Know What You’re Worth
Before you even consider discussing salary figures with a potential employer, you need to understand exactly what you are worth to the company. You should research your market value via one of the many salary calculators available online. Although such calculators are useful, it also certainly doesn’t do any harm to discuss the matter with other people in your field. If you have any contacts in human resources, now is a very good time to call in a favor.
Be Able to Prove It
When you enter salary negotiations for a new job, you can’t just throw out a figure without anything to back it up. You should write down both what you are looking for and how much you were paid by your previous employers. You should also explain how you came to the figure that you are proposing. If you will be making any contributions to the company that can be directly translated into increased profits, those contributions should also be discussed.
Although most people are primarily looking for more money when they enter salary negotiations, the more flexible you are, the better. If the company wants you to work for them, but they cannot afford to pay you the salary that you are looking for, they may offer you better benefits such as a company car or an expense allowance. Stock options are also an interesting alternative for those with long term views. Although cash in the bank is always preferable, it’s not the only thing that a company can offer you.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for More
Although being arrogant is not going to get you anywhere, you cannot be a push over either. Some people feel a tinge of embarrassment when they attempt to make salary demands but what is there to be embarrassed about? There is nothing rude about asking for a reasonable salary. It’s important to remember that those who are afraid to ask for more money generally end up getting paid less than they are worth. Remember, your employer is not going to be embarrassed about offering you less than you deserve.
Salary negotiations are one of the many areas of career advancement in which it is important to balance ambition with realism. Of course, you would love to be earning twice what you were making at your last job, but unless you were grossly underpaid by your previous employer, chances are it simply isn’t going to happen. When you start salary negotiations on the wrong foot by requesting a ridiculous figure, you really aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Don’t Rush Them
Although being willing to turn down the job if you don’t get what you want is certainly a strong position to be in, it’s important to remember that in many instances, the person you are negotiating with will not be able to give you an immediate answer. Attempting to play hard ball won’t benefit you as it is not unusual for them to have to consult those above them before accepting or declining any counter offer. You should let them know that they don’t need to decide immediately.
Dress Like You Deserve It
If you have gotten yourself to the salary negotiation stage, chances are you looked pretty good during the interview process. You were probably clean shaven and dressed in a sharp suit. Some people seem to take the fact that they have now been offered the job however as a reason to dress a little more casually. This is a poor decision to make. If anything, you should be dressed even better during the salary negotiation stage. In many ways, you are now being looked at significantly closer.
Don’t Mention Your Mortgage
A surprisingly common tactic when it comes to salary negotiation is to explain why you need more money. Doing so however is not only tactless and completely unprofessional, it also makes you appear pretty desperate. It doesn’t matter if you just bought a new house, a new car or a new boat, your personal life has got nothing to do with how much you are worth to the company. If the wife of the company’s owner gets pregnant, are you going to accept a pay cut?
When it comes to salary negotiation, there are a number of phrases that always seem to pop up on the employers side. How you respond to these objections can have a significant effect on how much you end up walking away with. It’s therefore well worth your time coming up with the right things to say. These objections include:
- You’re not qualified enough.
- You’re asking for two much.
- Why should we hire you when we can get someone else cheaper?
Finally, the last thing that you want to do when negotiating your salary is to lose your cool. If possible, you shouldn’t even show disappointment. It’s important to remember that just because you don’t get the salary that you want when you first start at a company, that does not mean that you won’t get it next year. Salary negotiation is an ongoing process for those who are serious about their careers. It’s all about delivering more than you promise and using that fact to your advantage the next time that you negotiate. Unfortunately, if you lose your temper, there probably won’t be a next time.
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