There are many milestones you have to pass when going from job seeker to job holder – filling out applications, smiling through phone screens, selling yourself during in-person interviews and, eventually, talking about compensation.
Upon receiving a job offer, you may be tempted to immediately say yes, shake hands and ask when do I start. Slow down, take a breath and tell them you need a day or so to make a decision.
Then start thinking about your worth. Most employers expect you to negotiate compensation – in fact, they may be lowballing you a bit to leave wiggle room for negotiation. So don’t feel greedy or ungrateful for speaking up about wanting more. But remember: Wanting more doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Skillful negotiation, however, will get you closer to the compensation you deserve.
Here are some tips for getting to where you want to be.
1. Build Rapport
Begin laying the foundation for a fruitful salary negotiation long before the topic is ever broached. From your first interactions with a hiring manager (and anyone else you may meet at the company), start to build rapport.
You’re not just trying to get top dollar for your skills and experience – you’re also selling yourself. If the person you’re negotiating with really likes you, she’ll be more open to be persuaded that you’re worth what you say you are. It’s the old catch more flies with honey thing. Be the honey!
2. Do Your Research
Before you start tossing numbers around you need to have a good idea about what others in the area are getting paid for the same kind of work. Lucky for you, salary information is easily available via the magical thing we call the Internet.
CareerBliss, for instance, has a database of millions of salaries for all types of jobs across all industries and locations. So do your research and come to the negotiation with data to back up your salary desires.
3. Articulate Your Value
In addition to having salary data, you’ll need to be able to articulate why you are worth the compensation you are requesting. Talk about successes in past jobs, and provide a concrete plan for what you are going to do in your new position to further the company’s goals. The idea is to give them a good idea of that they are paying for.
If you’re new to the professional workforce and the employer won’t budge, consider agreeing to the salary offered on condition that your performance is reevaluated after 90 days and, if you have reached agreed upon goals, your salary is increased at that time.