The negotiation of a new or better salary is something that you may need or want to do at various points throughout your career. If you have a new job offer, you’ll want to negotiate the best compensation package possible for yourself.
You may get a promotion or be assigned new duties and want to negotiate an adequate raise. Whatever your situation, this negotiation can determine your immediate future, so consider seriously how to proceed.
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Be Prepared and Do Your Homework
Every employment opportunity has a range of compensation. Do your research in advance and find out what that range is for the position or promotion you’re offered within the company you’re hoping to work for or currently working for. Don’t be afraid to attempt to ask for more. If a company wants to employ or promote you, they obviously think you’re worth hiring or promoting.
Be Forthcoming about Your Needs
A survey taken by the global staffing company Robert Half in 2019 found that seventy per cent of hiring executives did not expect candidates to accept their first salary offer. If you have specific salary needs, be upfront with your employer. Any company looking to hire or promote the best candidate for a position needs to know what you are about.
If both sides have expectations that aren’t met, the relationship is destined to go sour. Better to honestly make your case, however, don’t stress that you have debts to pay. Everyone has debts to pay. Always focus on the value you will bring to the firm.
If the position or promotion doesn’t pan out, a better opportunity may be just around the corner. Avoid volunteering information about your current compensation. You want your compensation to be based on the added value to bring to the hiring company, not on what you earn now.
Consider Making the First Offer
While the traditional advice suggests to never name a figure before the employer because it may be lower than what they may offer, realistically most companies will attempt to pay as little as possible. Once the employer has made a low offer, it may be difficult to substantially increase that number with your request.
Don’t Give Ultimatums
Just the fact that you are negotiating a salary offer implies that you are interested and that someone in a powerful position likes you. If you are negotiating your first salary or asking for a raise, when making a request, never ever present it as a demand or ultimatum. You don’t want to ruin any goodwill coming in your direction.
If you are negotiating for a raise, begin by expressing appreciation for your company and for the opportunities you’ve had to date. Briefly summarize and highlight your most important accomplishments within the company and how you have contributed to the company’s success. When your employer agrees with you on these points, proceed by telling him what you’d like to receive in terms of compensation.
Never apologize for asking for a higher salary. If you have another job offer from another firm, you might mention it, but stress that the job you are negotiating a salary for might just be a better fit for you.
Invest in Your Future Over a Period of Time
You may not get the salary or the raise that you want immediately. If that’s the case, ask your boss or your new employer what specifically it would take for you to earn that salary or raise at a future date. Ask for specific tasks that you can deliver and attempt to establish a time frame.
Make note of what you discuss and let your employer see that you are jotting down his or her suggestions or requests. Draft something in writing that you both can agree upon. Afterwards, report your progress at regular intervals.
Once you have accomplished your agreed upon objectives, return to your boss. It will be difficult for an employer not to give you the requested raise or for a boss or department head not to further a request on your behalf.
Try Not to Leave a Negotiation Empty Handed
When negotiating a salary, remember it’s not only about the numbers. There are many other things to consider when entering into a negotiation. There are literally dozens of benefits and perks that employers use to lure new employees into the fold.
You may want to consider training or education opportunities, the reimbursement of tuition for continuing your education, tuition opportunities for any children you have, reimbursement for club memberships, relocation costs, temporary housing, travel benefits on the job, the accrual of vacation time or even a better work schedule.
If a problem still remains with the numbers and the company maintains that it cannot meet your salary request, inquire as to what it would take to earn the number that you’ve requested. And in any case, if the company can’t give you the number you want, consider attempting to negotiate the other items.
If the employer cites a lack of experience or something easily adjusted, speak about what you intend to do to grow in the job. Also, provide any pertinent examples of how you have overcome challenges or resolved problems to date and how this could be advantageous to the employer.
Provisions in Case of Termination
While this may seem to counterproductive when negotiating a job offer, this type of provision can be particularly important, if not decisive, if the prospective employer is a startup company, in an industry where mergers and/or acquisitions are common, or an employer with some rocky history.
Since most employers can terminate you whenever they want, it is good thinking to ask for a termination provision when negotiating a salary or compensation package. Try to include a severance package in your negotiation but remember to stress that your long term objective is to remain with the company.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
You are the best salesman of yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. If you are being considered for or promoted to a management position, strive for a competitive salary package that you will be satisfied with. Good employers will respect this attitude, especially in consideration of leadership positions.