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Savvy Salary Negotiating


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Article on business issues, protocol, and best practices for The Monitor

Published in: Career
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Savvy Salary Negotiating

  1. 1. MONITOR ARTICLE $ Salary Savoir-faire By Chelse Benham “Passion Persuades.” – Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop Salary aptitude may best be described as one’s ability to acquire the most salary for a given job or job offer. Do you have that “salary savoir-faire?” Information on salary negotiations is prolific and with good reason. Bottom line: money, how much or how little of it, for many people determines their quality of life. If lack of knowledge at how to negotiate your salary could mean a difference of thousands of dollars, doesn’t it behoove you to go into negotiations well informed when it comes time to talk money? “Research is the most important piece of advice I can tell a student about the salary process. They can find out what to expect to be paid by a number of sources like the Census Bureau,” said Lourdes Servantes, placement specialist at The University of Texas-Pan American’s Career Placement Services Office. “Interested students can log onto and go to the personnel site and find classification and pay scale for just about any job that they are interested in. Or they can come to our offices.” At Web four steps are outlined to help manage the salary issue. 1. Know what the job is worth. Information can be found at, a comprehensive salary assessment site. 2. Know what your work is worth. Visit - a salary site offering salaries, benefits and cost of living information for 30,000 positions in more than 45,000 locations. 3. Know the critical ingredients for salary discussions. a. Evaluate your professional skills. b. Consider your interpersonal or people skills. c. Scrutinize your work ethic. This is perhaps your most valuable asset. Are you at work on time? Do you stay late? Do you have a positive attitude? Are you self-motivated and maintenance free? 4. Arm your self with assertive, non-aggressive, salary negotiating skills. “I always tell students never bring up salary in the first interview,” Servantes said. “That is not the time to address salary issues. Be open to the negotiating process, don’t push.” So when do you address the issue? At QuintessentialCareers. com they give 20 firm negotiating strategies and a few are listed here.
  2. 2. • Delay salary and benefit negotiations for as long as possible in the interview process. • The greatest negotiation leverage is the time between the offer being made and the when you accept or decline it. • Don’t negotiate at the time the initial offer is made. Always say you’ll think about it. • Do your research. It should be clear by now to research, research, research! • Be willing to negotiate. • Always ask for a higher salary. • Remember that even if all the salary issues are “off the table,” there are still numerous other benefits you can negotiate, such as paid vacation, personal days, professional training and much more. The other elements or perks that contribute to job negotiation satisfaction are the benefits. They are another important facet of the negotiating process and they identified in four different categories: • Non-salary compensation: signing bonus, performance bonus, profit sharing and severance packages • Relocation expenses: house hunting, temporary living allowance, closing costs, travel expenses • Benefits: vacation, personal days, sick leave, professional training courses, conference attendance, continuing education, professional memberships, athletic club memberships, product discounts, clothing allowance • Job specific criteria: frequency of performance reviews, job title/role/authority/duties, work hours, starting date, standards and goals If you are about to negotiate salary do you feel confident that you are well prepared? To find out take the free quiz, “Salary Negotiation, Compensation and Job offer Quiz” found at QuintessentialCareers. com. Identifying your negotiation weaknesses can become your strengths. Kathy L. Sims, director of the University of California at Las Angeles Career Center said,”Make certain they know how excited you feel about the new job. Your purpose in negotiations is to position yourself on the same side as the employer. The focus should be on a win-win scenario not adversarial situation.” “Do the research and go in knowing what the job pays and what you are worth,” said Servantes, placement specialist at The University of Texas-Pan American’s Career Placement Services Office. “Employers have their best interests at heart and they may short-change your salary if you’re not prepared and you appear likely to take less.”
  3. 3. Jack Chapman’s “Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute” offers this advice; never discuss salary until you have a clear, unambiguous indication that they want to hire you. Then let your employer bring up the issue of salary and state the range first. According to Chapman, he suggests you pause before reiterating the highest number quoted and wait silently, “It’s amazing. People often increase their offer.” At QuintessentialCareers. com it warns that once the employer agrees to your compensation requests, the negotiations are over. You cannot ask for anything more – or risk appearing immature or greedy and that could cause you to loose the offer entirely. Provided that the offer is agreed to by both parties, the most important piece of advice is always getting your final offer in writing. Be extremely wary of companies that are not willing to do so. One strategic maneuver is to write an acceptance letter reiterating the terms of the offer in it to use to your advantage. Being paid what you’re worth and being happy with the negotiations bolsters your out look towards the company and you job. Fair and adequate compensation for your services instills a sense of mutual respect between employee and employer. “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli, (1804-81) Known as a dandy, a novelist, a brilliant debater and England's first and only Jewish prime minister