If you work hard and you prepare well, you will eventually find the right job. Sometimes the right job doesn’t have everything you want. Perhaps the right job didn’t come with the right salary offer.
Typically, salary negotiations are the last hurdle to employment. You’re negotiating with a company that has decided you’re the person who can get the job done. You’re convinced this is the job you want. All that needs to happen is an agreement on your pay. The more smoothly the process of salary negotiation goes, the better the prospect of a mutually beneficial and enjoyable working relationship for years to come.
You should arm yourself with knowledge about your industry, location, and position. These, along with the supply and demand of qualified individuals for the position, should be the indicating factors of what you’re worth in the marketplace. If you need additional information about salaries in your industry, location, and position, consult with resources such as your state’s labor department, professional associations, federal labor statistics, and job centers.
As always, the Internet may turn out to be your simplest and most comprehensive source of information. However, if you use the Internet, it will be up to you to sift through a lot of information and narrow it down to what applies to your salary negotiation. If you consider the wrong factors or come up with a number that is far from reality, negotiations may become very tense and could fall apart.
Make salary negotiation a matter of creating a working relationship that will be mutually beneficial throughout your term of employment. Since you now know what you’re worth, if the company has a similar conception of your worth, the negotiation will be over a narrow range. You may not get the top dollar in your market, but you should be able to get enough to live comfortably and to know that you’re valued by the company. Your salary should at the same time be low enough that the company feels like you contribute more to the bottom line than you take away.
The first rule of negotiating over money is that it is just business. There is nothing personal about the offers you give and receive. They’re all about the bottom line, which is a mutually beneficial financial relationship. So keep everything tactful. Focus on persuasive facts. Find points of agreement and work around them. Know what is most important to you and be willing to exchange some less important details for what is most important. Consider carefully the give and take between salary and benefits. Persevere. Continue to build until you come up with what it is you believe can benefit both parties. Frame the benefits to both parties as you wrap up negotiations.
The clearer your understanding of your market value to a company, the better prepared you’ll be to work with that company to come up with a mutually beneficial salary. If you behave appropriately and come together on a deal that works for both sides, salary negotiation can actually boost your professional image inside the company.