It’s a choice you may well face at one point in your career: Whether it’s your first job and you have an offer or you jump to another company that’s trying to seduce you with a fatter paycheck and better perks.
You can also use the job offer as leverage to push your current boss into producing a package that would make it worthwhile for you to stay.
Here are 5 important steps to consider when thinking of negotiating your salary…
1. Know the going rate.
Interviewers keep salary information close to them. So unless you have a spy on the inside, you aren’t likely to know exactly what’s on the table. There are salary sites that you can Google for that give you a better idea of what to ask for. Sites such as salary.com and payscale.com can be useful before an interview so that you are well informed on the position and what the average pay scale is for it.
2. Understand what they’re buying.
What are you bringing to the table that merits a pay increase? The key is to make yourself invaluable. How do you do this? Well, by creating opportunities for your self. On a previous post, one person left a comment about being lucky to succeed. Non-sense! Although you may be at the right place and the right time, it’s up to you to identify that opportunity and be able to take advantage of it. How many people do you know that have said “I should have started that project…now that guy is making all the money.”
4. Don’t make the first move.
This primarily relates to an interview. Don’t be first to bring up money. I can’t emphasize this enough! All serious interviews eventually get around to, “how much are you looking to make?” First you want to ask what the job pays. If that doesn’t get an answer, give your preferred salary range. Try your best not to play hardball at this level, but at the same time don’t be a pushover either. Once you’ve got a number, remain positive about the position.
5. Ask, don’t demand.
No one wants to hear you need more money to take vacations in Jamaica. If you merit the pay, there will be no need to be demanding. The organization will know what an important role you play in it and will reward you for that. It’s sad to say, but in some companies, they won’t reward you unless you ask for it. They are not in the business of increasing their expenses. But the good organizations that realize they have talent and the company succeeds, those are the ones that treat their employees the best. Rewarding them and making sure they are happy.
If you are with an organization that you hate working for, over worked or under appreciated and underpaid, then look for new opportunities elsewhere. If you are a student who is graduating and are negotiating your first job, don’t be too hard headed and hold out for more. Realize that you are coming in at an entry level position that many people can fill if you don’t accept. But if you can nail the interview and have the exact skill set and experience they are looking for, name your price (well, kind of).