Negotiating your salary is one of the most important parts of the job hunting. If you have found the right job, and you have an offer from the employer, the only thing that can break the deal is the salary. If the employer offers you a low salary, you won’t accept the position. If you ask for too much money, the employer will choose somebody else for the position. So how do you know what is the right salary, when to ask for more and when it’s time to accept the employer’s offer? The answer lies in mastering your salary negotiation skills.
There are several things you can do to enhance your salary negotiation power. Lets have a look at them.
• Prepare before the salary negotiation
You must be well prepared before entering into a salary negotiation with potential employers. In order to prepare you need to research the average rates paid for professionals with your skills, education and experience. You can do the research online, and you can ask friends and colleagues working in the same business. Knowing the job markets rates will greatly increase your negotiating power.
In most cases you’ll sound very convincing if you state that the salary you are asking for is within the range that other employers are paying in the same industry for people with similar skills and experience. In some cases this alone will be enough for the employer to reconsider his offer.
The good news is that usually you will have time to prepare before negotiating your future pay.
• Listen to the employer
If you want to be successful when negotiating your salary, then you need to understand your future employer’s needs. In order to do that you have to listen to the employer and ask the right questions. For example the job description you have seen before the interview, might not have been complete. If you try to understand what exactly the employer is looking for, you may find out that you can offer more to them (skill, experience and education wise) than previously thought. This will give you more leverage when negotiating your salary.
• Money is not everything
Money is not the only thing you can ask for when negotiating your salary. If the employer will not give you what you want money wise, then ask for more yearly paid vacation, or ask if you can work from home 1 or more days a week. Some employers on a tight budget might be willing to give you more paid vacation, allow you to work remotely, and offer you health care benefits as long as you agree on the salary they offer.
• Know your price
It’s very important to know what you are worth and not to accept low-ball offers. This doesn’t mean you have to be arrogant; on the contrary you have to be polite, but firm. If the employer offers something way below the minimum you have decided as acceptable, simply tell them that you cannot accept this salary and if they are willing to reconsider they may contact you. If the employer is offering a little less than your acceptable salary minimum, then tell them that a little increase in the salary they offer will close the deal. Don’t chase a job for the sake of it, there are plenty of jobs out there and sometimes is better to stay unemployed for a while, but get better salary, instead of jumping on the first job offer you get.