Do You Know the Art of
Tips to Help You Come Out On Top
Tips to Help You Come Out On Top
Few experiences in your professional life are likely to be
as rewarding and exciting as the satisfaction that your
first pay check at a new job brings with it. But before you
feel the same sense of triumph, you have to learn the art
of “Salary Negotiations” skills through a process that can
make sense into the hearts and minds of jobseekers
everywhere. So you've decided to move on from your
current position and are about to start out on the jobs
market. You've sent in your CV. You've had your
interview and the job is yours. Now all you need to do is
agree on the remuneration you will receive.
Annual reviews are also vital to career development.
Too many professionals ignore the opportunity the
annual review offers to improve their job. While the
current economy might make salary changes difficult to
come by, you can still win concessions in other
important areas like training and new projects.
Most entry-level positions have set salaries that leave
room for little negotiation. Mid-level positions typically
have salary ranges of between 10 and 20 percent (i.e.,
a job paying €30,000 a year might have a salary range
between €27,000 and €33,000.)
Employers will negotiate within the range, but will rarely
exceed it unless you are an exceptional candidate. Let's say
you are offered a position as Systems Analyst at a firm in
the city centre. You have a good indication that other
companies offer €40,000 per year. So you know that you
will be looking for a salary at this range, as a minimum. So
let's say for example they come back with €40,000 as a
figure. You could say quot;Well the figure you proposed to me
has come in way lower than what I was thinking about.quot;
They could ask quot;What range were you thinking of?quot; At this
point I would look to say quot;Somewhere near the high €40K
mark, around €48-49,000quot;.
Now they have an indication as to what sort of salary
you are looking for. At this point they may counter back
at €42,000. Say to them quot;Thanks for the offer.
Unfortunately I don't think I can commit to moving
across for €42,000. I will have to speak with my
spouse/partner/brother about this and see where we
are with it. Can I get back tomorrow?quot; You are buying
yourself sometime here with the negotiating. If you
stay there, salary negotiation decisions will solely be
on you and you alone. They can zone in on you making
decisions. Referring to your spouse gives you a chance
to think about it.
Next day, call them back. Explain you talked it over with
your partner, but really can't come anywhere near
€42,000. €46,000 is the best you can come toquot;. They more
likely will counter with €45,000. Now you can try to
negotiate for better bonuses, more holidays and even
health insurance. quot;I may be able to accept the €45,000 but
to be able to do this; I would need an extra three days
holiday added to my entitlements, and health coverquot;.
They may see your demands as too much here, but the
reason for adding two extra things here is that they are
more likely to give you one, rather than had you gone to
them with just the one extra you were looking for.
Now, more than ever, successful negotiation requires careful
planning and tactful skills to help you create a win-win situation
for your prospective boss, as well as for yourself. The following tips
will help ensure you don’t leave anything on the table.
For most of us, the interview process itself is already associated
with tension and anxiety. The idea of addressing the potentially
sensitive issue of compensation just adds an additional layer of
complexity into the mix. Because of this, many jobseekers tend to
put off the process of preparing for salary negotiations, choosing
instead to focus their efforts on general interview groundwork and
practice. As a result, the salary questions that hiring managers
pose can often catch jobseekers off-guard and un-prepared.
Expect the Unexpected
Because jobseekers are often so focused on landing the
position for which they are interviewing, it may seem
premature to think about salary negotiations beforehand.
In addition, most interview advice books and columns
caution jobseekers to let the hiring manager make the first
move when it comes to talking about money.
Although this advice is absolutely correct, you should still
come into the interview fully prepared to discuss the issue
of salary if the interviewer chooses to bring it up.
Jobseekers who fail to prepare for the salary negotiation
process are much more likely to undervalue themselves or
to accept the first lowball figure that the interviewer
offers up. So how can you avoid this all-too-common
interview pitfall? I think jobseekers can easily
overcome these obstacles with a bit of advance
planning, practice, and preparation. Use these simple
salary negotiation tips to set yourself on a course for
competitive compensation throughout your entire
The old saying quot;Knowledge is powerquot; definitely holds
true when it comes to preparing for salary negotiations.
With a firm base of factual details about typical salaries
in your industry and region at your fingertips, you'll feel
much more confident when you embark upon the
process of negotiation your own starting wage. Sources
to check include industry websites, government labour
data, and help-wanted ads from competitor companies.
Online salary calculators and anecdotal evidence from
your colleagues, friends, and co-workers can also be
helpful, although it is important to take these findings
with a grain of salt.
Learn all you can about your prospective employer’s
goals. Then try to determine--as specifically as
possible--the results you can produce. Remember, your
new employer is seeking opportunities through a
suitable match. By being able to clearly articulate the
value you can offer, you put yourself in the best
possible position for negotiations.
When entering the office of your interviewer, pick out
something unusual and comment on it. It makes a good
icebreaker. A positive comment from you will build
goodwill and help overcome any adverse negotiation
Is it money only?
Today’s two-earner and single-parent families bring
other compensation issues to the table besides money.
For many, quality-of-life benefits outweigh monetary
compensation. If this is the case, ask about the
availability of flextime, childcare, or telecommuting.
Define exactly what you want, remembering that your
prospective employer can be very creative in meeting
Plan and rehearse
There’s an adage in negotiating that the person who
speaks first loses. When asked about your salary
requirements, do not specify a single-salary figure.
Instead summarize the needs of the position as you
understand them, and then ask the interviewer for the
normal salary range in the company for that type of
position. Should you be presented with a range,
remember that while this sets salary boundaries, it
does not preclude bargaining on quality-of-life
Don’t settle on an unrealistic
After you've developed a clearer understanding of the salary
ranges that are prevalent in your industry, it's time to develop
a general range that you feel comfortable with. Consider your
salary history and current rate of compensation, and make
sure that the upper end of your stated range is slightly higher
than what you actually expect to receive. That way, you'll
leave a bit of wiggle room for the negotiation process. If you
are asked the question, what are your salary expectations?
Your answer should be like this, quot;Well, obviously I would like
to be on a top salary for the role as I see myself bringing great
value and experience to the company, as well as
determination and commitment. What do you think is a fair
salary for what I hope to bring to your company?quot;
Write it down
As you reach agreements on terms of employment, put
them in writing so there isn’t any backtracking later in
the process. If an agreement is on paper, neither party
should be able to contest it. Bite your tongue.
Never let yourself become angry or frustrated. It’s
better to excuse yourself from the interview for a few
moments than to get hostile and alienate a potential
boss. Playing quot;hardballquot; with a new boss won’t score
points. Negotiations that go negative will damage a
relationship before you begin the job.
Build a persuasive case for
Master the kind of evidence you'll need to prove that
you're well worth the salary you're requesting. To
refresh your memory and sharpen your argument,
compile proof of your salary history, a list of your major
qualifications and accomplishments, and evidence of
the ways in which you've helped your past employers
save money, increase earnings, or improve efficiency.
Hone your pitch and map
out potential responses
Try to anticipate the counterarguments that the
interviewer is likely to put forth after you've named
your desired salary range. Create and get comfortable
delivering a one-minute quot;elevator pitchquot; that sums up
your qualifications, experience, salary history, and
potential value. Cast a critical eye on your argument
and look for any loopholes or inconsistencies that the
hiring manager may pounce on.
Focus on Issues
If your interviewer has come as far as making a job
offer, and you reach an impasse in negotiations, stick to
the issue important to you. You obviously have
perceived value. One divisive issue will most likely not
keep the negotiation from resulting in a mutual
agreement. Remember, a negotiation is a series of give-
and-take issues. Your prospective employer doesn’t
expect to win every one.
Sit on it
Don’t prematurely discuss salary before acquiring
information about the job or before communicating
your qualifications. When the time comes and you are
presented with a first offer, use timing effectively as
part of establishing your value in the eyes of your
prospective boss. Don’t be too quick to accept the first
offer and don't worry that the employer will change his
or her mind because you ask for more. If you’ve
interviewed well, you’re already the front runner.
These days, many companies are operating under strict
budget constraints that may limit their negotiating
power when it comes to setting new-hire starting
salaries. Brainstorm a few other bonuses, benefits, and
non-salary perks that you might accept in lieu of
compensation. Possibilities include schedule flexibility,
personal leave, profit sharing, reduced-cost benefits,
and professional development opportunities. Just
make sure to get the total package value in writing
before you tender your response.
One key point to remember about successful salary
negotiation: the deal must be a win-win situation for
you and for your employer. Think in terms of the whole
pie, not just your slice of the pie. The bigger the pie,
the more everyone gets. And isn’t that the best way to
start a new job?
With a little advance planning and preparation, you can
take some of the stress and guesswork out of the salary
negotiations process. Armed with these strategies, you
could be experiencing that first-pay check thrill in no
time at all!
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