These are suggestions to help you prepare for successful negotiating…
Research– Get as much factual information you can to make your case strong. Find comparible salary ranges for positions similar to yours or positions that have similar responsibilities. What are they getting paid? Also look into their health plan, dental plan, retirement package and your schedule.
Psychological Preparation– Since you will most likely not know the person you will be negotiating with, it will be a little intimidating at first. Find your style! How will you psyche yourself up to feel confident enough to ask for what you want? How will you respond to counteroffers? What are your alternatives? In short, plan your strategy.
Be sure you know exactly what you want. This doesn’t mean you’ll get it, but having a clear picture will help you determine what you are willing to concede. Clarity improves communication, which automatically contributes to an effective negotiation.
Practice– Practice, practice, practice…Rehearse the presentation in advance using a friend as the employer. If you make mistakes during your rehearsal, you probably won’t be making those same mistakes during the actual negotiations. A friend can help you critique your reasoning and help you prepare for questions.
Dollars and Sense– Always begin by expressing genuine interest in the position and the company, emphasizing the areas of agreement but allowing some flexability to compromise. Be prepared to support your points of disagreement, outlining the parts you would like to alter. Also be prepared to back up your reasons for wanting to change their offer with meaningful, skills, knowldege and expereinces you bring to the table. Having a high GPA or being a quick learner are not justifiable reasons. Meaningful work expereince or internships that have grown, tailored and diplayed your professional skills will make an employer stop and take notice.
Don’t rush the process because you’re uncomfortable. Encourage the employer to take a day or two at which time you will discuss the details of the proposal with him/her. The employer might be counting on your discomfort to use it against you. This is a pretty low move, I know…but believe me, they do it.
At the end of your negotiations and after you have both found a “win-win” situation make sure to put your interpretation of the agreement in writing.
Money Isn’t Everything– There are many other things that are negotiable other than salary. For example, benefits can add up to 30% of your salary to the compensation packedge. Benefits can range from paid personal leave to discount’s on company items. If you are interested in getting certified in a specialization, you want to get liscenced in something, or you are just interested in improving yourself and your skills with professional development, those are all negotiating variables. Some organizations offer investment and stock options as well as relocation reinbursement and tuition credits for continued education.
What ever you are negotiating for, keep these variables in mind as you begin your job search.
Rich Dad Says: “Practice makes perfect.”