Whether you are new to the job market or have been around the block a few times, you need to know the importance of negotiating your salary. Research shows that men are four to eight times more likely to negotiate for a higher salary than women. Since quite a few of my friends have recently received new job offers (and have been afraid to negotiate) I thought this topic was timely.
As you probably know, if you’re not negotiating, you’re missing out on hundreds of thousands in lost wages over the course of your career. Many women are still afraid to negotiate salary because they think it will cost them the job. But companies always leave room for negotiation in their initial offer, even if they say it’s their final. A well thought out negotiation can make you look like a stronger candidate and potentially better employee. And if you don’t believe you’re worth the money, the employer probably won’t either.
So the next time you find yourself accepting a new job, take a deep breath, be brave, and incorporate these five tips into your salary negotiations.
1. Timing Is Everything
When you’re interviewing for a new job, resist the urge to bring up compensation right away. This is the time to focus on selling yourself and securing that offer. Postpone those salary negotiations until you have been offered the job. First make them fall in love with you, then talk about money.
2. Don’t Take The Lead
It’s standard for employers to ask about your “salary expectations” especially now that some states prohibit employers from asking about your current salary. Make every reasonable effort to avoid throwing out a number. If you are asked, you can say that you are open to any reasonable offer based on the position and overall compensation package. You can also sidestep the question by saying that you would like to know more about the responsibilities and challenges of the job prior to discussing salary.
If you state your expected salary, you will be anchoring yourself to that number. Since you are probably making less than what you deserve already, that's not going to get you very far. Let them make the first offer and then go from there.
3. Know Your Worth
It is vital to do some research before you begin the interview process. You should go in knowing the average salary range that the market pays for the same type of job you are applying for. It is also wise to do some research on the company to determine their ability and willingness to pay.
If you’ve played your cards right, you should now have an offer on the table. Counter that offer with a researched response that considers fair market value for your position as well as what you have to offer based on your experience. Sometimes the employer will reject your first request but be persistent and justify your proposed salary by explaining how the company will benefit from having you on board.
4. Always Ask For More
As discussed above, don’t ever settle on the first number proposed. Shoot for the stars, and you’ll land in the clouds.
Once you agree to an amount that you are happy with, take the deal and then deal some more. Now that you have agreed on a salary, negotiate the additional benefits such as healthcare packages, vacation days, office space, a company car, moving expenses, day care and any other perks that will make your life easier and in turn make you a better employee. Don’t be afraid to ask for things that the company hasn’t even thought of yet, this is not a one-size-fits-all.
5. Know Your Worth Again
Sometimes it takes a great offer from another company to realize how much your current company is undervaluing you. But sometimes that's not on purpose. They'd pay you more, but you've never asked! If you don't really want to leave your current job, use your new-found knowledge to negotiate a raise where you are. Often, your current company will match or exceed your outside offer to keep you.
Don’t settle for any less than you deserve. Even though it seems difficult in the moment, it is well worth it in the long-run. Use these five tips, and you will negotiate your next salary like a pro. Good luck!
Do you have the courage to negotiate your next salary?