The Do's and Don'ts of Negotiating Salaries
Negotiating salaries is intimidating. Whether it is negotiating for a new job's salary or a raise at your current job, people become weary when talking about money. Research shows that the majority of individuals never negotiate salaries- women more so than men.
Here are 9 tips of what you need to know the next time you’re walking into your negotiating opportunity.
- Know your worth in the industry. Make sure to do research surrounding your position (or soon to be position) in your field. Check out websites like Glassdoor, Salary, and Payscale for the market rate. Call a recruiter- we know what people with your experience typically make. Continue to talk to other people in your industry (male and female). Think about the average and how you compare based on your experience, location, and size of the company.
- Ask for more than the number you want. It is recommended to pad the actual amount you want to be paid by a little. If the company counters with a lower offer, you still have room to get the pay you actually want.
- Walk in with a minimum salary in mind. Know what you can afford to take. Most minimums are usually 10-20% lower than your desired paid. If you accept a lower amount, think about setting contingencies around it.
- Be flexible. If the company can’t match what you are asking, maybe they can match you with different benefits. in your counter offer, ask for extra vacation days, transit passes, better health insurance, performance bonuses, etc. Furthermore, you can make your salary acceptance contingent on having 60 or 90 day performance reviews with raises attached.
- Keep it business- not personal. In American culture, people tend to bring their family to work with them by hanging up pictures and discussing their lives with co-workers. Sometimes, it is easier to fall into a conversation about his/her personal circumstances for needing a raise. If the manager has to present your request to a higher up manager to expand budgets, the higher up manager wants to know how you better the company. When you walk into the negotiation, present hard facts about what you bring to the table.
- Bringing the hard facts. Discuss the value that you bring (or will bring) to the company. Have some bullet points ready to go of things that you’ve accomplished and how they have been beneficial. Avoid statements like “I work harder than most people” and “If you hire me I’ll be an amazing employee.” Instead, try “based on the changes I’ve made here and here your return of investment has increased __%” and “Since starting, I have brought in __ number of clients which is __% over the average.” Be specific in how you’ve advanced the company. Sell yourself.
- Attitude is everything. Remain poised, enthusiastic, and gracious (whether or not you are screaming and panicking on the inside.) If the offer isn't what you want, let them know you’re excited about the position, you believe you’ll be the right fit for the company, and you appreciate the offer of ___ amount but can you can discuss a salary of __ instead.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Write it down in advance. Stand in front of the mirror. Have a mock conversation. Just practice.
- Take your time. Although you should not take too long, you do not need to accept or reject an offer immediately. Ask to take till the end of the day or the next 24 hours if you need to. On the flip side, your boss might need to run it by HR, their boss, or accounting to discuss the range they are able to work with. Be patient.
Negotiating salaries is an art form. It takes practice, failures, and successions. Don’t miss out on career opportunities due to the fear of being told no.