Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Salary Negotiations

Salary Negotiations

By: Keisha White

It is necessary to be prepared to negotiate a salary at a job interview. Job seekers need to spend time researching salaries in their industry in order to successfully negotiate the maximum salary for the job offered.

Researching Salaries

Salary.com has a "salary wizard" that permits users to enter a job category and match it to a zip code. The wizard then generates a salary report with wage, bonus, and benefits information. If relocation is an option, spend some time researching what your current or potential salary is worth in a new location. Move.com has a "salary calculator" tool where users can enter a salary, then obtain a report on how much they will need to earn in a new location. The cost-of-living varies widely from city to city so be mindful of that. Therefore, it's important to know the power of your paycheck.

It's important to note that the employer is paying you for your skills and qualifications and for the job you will perform. With that in mind you will need to be able to support your negotiations with information on what the job is worth at a market rate with consideration of your salary history. They aren't going to be willing to pay you more just because you are you.

Be Tolerant

Now that you are armed with the facts, make sure to be patient. When interviewing for a new position it is important not to bring up compensation until the employer brings it up first or makes a job offer. Let the employer make the first move! If you are asked what your salary requirements are, say that they are flexible, based upon the position and the total compensation package including benefits. Another option is to tell the employer you'd like to know more about the job responsibilities before discussing salary. Another alternative is to give the employer a salary range based upon salary research you've completed. In this case, make sure to cite the research you have done.

It’s good to keep in mind that there may not be much flexibility when it comes to salary. If the employer has a budget or an established salary configuration, the best you might get is the top of the range for that certain position. In that case, don't limit yourself to salary alone. If the employer can't afford to pay more, ask about the possibility of salary reviews, extra vacation, or even a bonus based on performance.

Be Discreet

Be discreet; never let an employer know you need money. That may cause you to appear to be somewhat desperate. However, always be honest about your past salary history and other job offers that are on the table. Lies have a bizarre way of coming back to irk the person who didn't tell the legitimacy.

Once you've received the offer, plan on taking some time to think about it. There is no need to accept or reject it right away if you don’t have to. A simple "I need to think it over" may get you an increase in the original offer. It is important to fully know what your bottom line is for each position you apply for. If the salary isn't enough for you to live on be prepared to pass on the opportunity.

Stay Optimistic

Regardless of whatever stage of negotiations you may be in remember to remain positive, optimistic, and continue to reiterate your interest in the position. Let the employer know that the only issue is the salary and you are really ecstatic about the job and the company. Then, if the position does sound like the perfect job, consider whether the company culture, including the benefits and flexibility, as well as the job itself is worth it, regardless of the salary. If they are, it might just be worth accepting the opportunity and taking a chance hoping that the salary increases will follow.

Have questions regarding salary negotiations? Please contact Keisha White at keisha.white@antonllicollege.edu.

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