How To Negotiate The Salary You Deserve

When accepting a new job, it’s important to not do so blindly. Everything is open for negotiation, whether it’s your work hours, vacation days, or salary. Establishing yourself as a good negotiator is key to making demands in the future. Therefore, it is crucial to consider if there is room for an increase in your starting salary to ensure that future raises are an improvement on your initial worth, not just an increase from low to average. Keep in mind that whatever your starting salary is, that will be the basis for raises down the line. For example, if you’re able to negotiate a starting salary of $5,000 to 10,000 more per year, not only will you be enjoying more financial solvency your first year, but your future raises will increase your personal well-being.

The following tips should prepare you to enter into any contract negotiation with some leverage:

Do Your Homework

“If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you’re at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager,” says Ramit Sethi, a personal finance advisor, and entrepreneur according to ArtofManliness.com. Your starting salary should take into account your experience, as well as the job position, industry, and geographical area. Sites like GlassDoor and PayScale can orient you on what a starting salary should be for the job you’re applying for, and you should always use that information as leverage in a negotiation. Also, you should always feel comfortable rounding that number up.

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Don’t Overshare

In the past, it was common for hiring managers to ask about a candidate’s salary history and expectations. Now, some states and cities have prohibited managers from asking about salary histories during interviews. The fact is that each position has its own unique responsibilities, so you shouldn’t be content with simply keeping your salary in line with what you were earning before. A new job is a stepping stone and the salary should reflect that. Make sure the pay is in accordance with the position and that it represents a positive step forward for you. If a hiring manager insists on asking, feel free to answer that you’ll be happy to discuss compensation details further once you’ve learned more about the position, or, simply respond that you rather not discuss your previous salary, but rather focus on the new position and the opportunity it affords. When it comes to specifics, just say that you will consider a reasonable offer as well as the benefits, but refuse to give a range.

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Don’t Say Yes To The First Offer

All companies are looking out for their financial interests, not yours. Once you’ve received an offer, let them know that you’ll need a day or two to consider it. Then take your time looking at all the benefits and the salary, and ask yourself if they meet your expectations and reflect the market. Though many companies have tight budgets, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a bit more or simply to request additional vacation days. Committing half-heartedly to a job means cheating yourself out of long-term satisfaction. A happy worker is a dedicated worker. Most companies will understand that.

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Negotiating A Higher Salary

A basic rule of thumb in negotiating a salary is to ask for 10 to 25 percent more than what was offered, which is manageable for most companies. However, if the offer falls far below what you were expecting, consider that perhaps the position is not for you. For example, if you were expecting to make $60,000 per year, but are offered $50,000, make a counteroffer of $65,000, hoping the employer will meet you halfway. There is more room to negotiate the more experience you have. You’ll have little wiggle room when negotiating a salary for an entry-level position, but never be afraid to ask for a bit more. Again, asking for an extra week of vacation or more telecommuting days is also a way to improve a job offer.

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Explain Your Counteroffer

When explaining your counteroffer never resort to talking about your financial responsibilities, rather justify your expectations by noting the added value you will bring to the company. For example, say that while you appreciate the offer, you believe that your management experience is unique and would be a valuable asset to the company. Add that you think your worth would be better reflected in a salary along the lines of (the amount you expect).

Make A Final Decision

If your counteroffer is accepted, great. If not, consider your options. Can you comfortably walk away? Sometimes a company may reconsider and meet your demands, but don’t count on that. If you do accept, don’t be afraid to say that you would like a salary review in six months time, once you’ve proven your worth to the company. Let the company know that your acceptance of the offer is not your end game. They should be aware that you expect to be rewarded for your work in the future and that you’re willing to accept their offer because you know they will recognize your value and compensate you accordingly.

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