How to negotiate your salary?
Whether you are starting a new job or are looking for a raise, it’s essential to feel confident in your negotiation skills. You want your compensation to reflect the value of your work rightfully. If you feel you’re being underpaid, it’s time to negotiate your salary. However, negotiating is scary. On the one hand, you want to be appropriately compensated, but on the other, there is a fear of seeming greedy. No one wants to burn bridges with current or potential employers, and it doesn’t have to happen. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Negotiating your offer can demonstrate your commitment and your long-term plans with the company. And in the end, a well-compensated employee will feel more motivated to work hard, making it a benefit to you and your employer.
Why should you negotiate your salary?
Negotiating a salary is one of the many steps in advancing your career. If you are a loyal and long-term employee, consider asking for a raise. Your salary is how your company shows their appreciation. A good salary shows that your company wants to support you as you balance your work and personal life.
The following guide will cover tips on how you can feel empowered to negotiate your salary.
Before the salary negotiation, be prepared
Be sure you’re ready
Before you begin the negotiation process, ask yourself what makes you worth getting a raise in salary. Or, if you have received an official job offer, what can you offer that will justify asking for a higher salary. For example, are there specific qualifications you have? Have you taken on new responsibilities at work?
Research job and location salaries
Once you know you are ready to negotiate, you need to know what you are worth. What kind of salary are you expecting? Many online sites such as Glassdoor or PayScale can help you calculate the average salary of a job with your location. You can also ask fellow industry professionals to get an approximate range. You don’t want to go in blind with random numbers you created. Show you have done some research, and you will be taken more seriously.
Factor in perks and benefits
Once you researched your market value, think about what extra benefits you will be or are currently receiving. Hypothetically, if you received a job offer with a lower salary than your current job, are there any benefits that will support you taking a lower pay? Maybe you will receive better health benefits, or perhaps this new job will have a quicker commute. Think about how these added perks alter what you are looking for in terms of salary.
Practice your pitch
Whether you practice in a mirror or with a friend will help you get in the mindset and make you more comfortable negotiating. You don’t want to wing it on the day of your meeting and leave unhappy with an offer you weren’t wanting.
What you should be aware during salary negotiation
Be confident and be positive
It’s okay to be nervous, but make sure you build your confidence. This will come from rehearsing and preparing to negotiate ahead of time. Then, when you enter your meeting, stand tall and be positive. Positivity is infectious, and hopefully, some of it will rub off on our opponent.
Make the first offer
It is a wise choice to make the first offer. How the rest of the discussion plays out will be based on the first number that is said. This number will serve as the anchor and predict the outcome of the negotiation. If the first number starts too low, you probably won’t end with a fair number. This is why you must be knowledgeable about what your market value is.
Ask questions to get an understanding of the needs and concerns of your employer. Knowing their priorities and constraints can help you better negotiate your offer. Asking diagnostic questions can also help find a middle ground where each party can reach a satisfying agreement that benefits them.
Avoid accepting first offer
Don’t just accept the first offer because you want to avoid confrontation. If you find this offer is acceptable, then negotiation is unnecessary in the first place. If needed, request time to evaluate the offer so you can think of your counter-offer. Ultimately, knowing when you should and shouldn’t negotiate is key to being an effective negotiator.
Pick the top of your range
Just as you are trying to negotiate, so is your employer. Starting with the top of your range can allow room for negotiation so you can still end up with an equally pleasing compromise. Don’t be afraid to ask for more. The worst that will happen is you receive a counter-offer.
Focus on the professional, not the personal
Avoid using personal expenses as a reason for a better salary. Chances are other employees are also in similar circumstances. Instead, focus your reasoning on how you as an employee need to be better compensated. Think about how your performance has benefited the company.
Prepare a brag sheet
To get a higher salary, you have to prove your value. Make a list of concrete examples of any of your accomplishments past and present. How have you gone above and beyond that would warrant a raise in salary? If you are negotiating for a new job, highlight any certifications you have and/or are in the process of completing.
Remember, the goal is to start or keep working with this person. Don’t make threats if you aren’t able to get precisely the offer you want. The last thing you want to do is go burning bridges.
Look to other options
If there is no room to budge on salary, consider alternative benefits you can negotiate over. This could be an increase in vacation time, additional paid sick days, or even flexible work hours.
Know when to walk away
Sometimes you might not ever come to a compromise. Before going in to negotiate know your limit is and when you need to walk away. This doesn’t mean you are bad at negotiating. It just means you and the company aren’t a good fit for each other.
Get the offer in writing
When you have finally come down to an agreement, be sure to get the offer in writing and signed by both you and your employer. This document should include the exact salary amount and any other benefits included. Again, a written agreement will avoid any confusion down the line and will leave no room for further debate.
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