Whether you’ve just started your job search or are in the midst of interviews, there are many steps to the hiring process that you have to worry about. For many, the most dreaded one is also the most necessary one – salary negotiations.
Preparing yourself for this important discussion is important. After all, it’s a two-way street: Businesses want to find experienced professionals and you want to ensure that you’re being properly compensated for your skills and expertise. Of course, this can be a daunting conversation to have – you’re pushing a prospective employer to pay you more and hoping that it’s not a deal-breaker.
Don’t underestimate your value
The most important part of preparing yourself for this chat is reminding yourself of how much you’re going to bring to the company. When a prospective employer offers you a job, he or she obviously recognizes your talent and promise. However, the salary that he or she first proposes may not be fitting.
This isn’t because he or she doesn’t recognize your potential – clearly the hiring manager does. It’s most likely due to the company’s budget. Companies will almost always try to save money when they can, and salaries aren’t exempt from this practice. Therefore, showing initiative and a vested interest in your possible future with the company only shows your commitment and confidence.
Prepare yourself accordingly
Regardless of whether you’re reentering your old professional industry or exploring a new one, it’s essential to do your research to ensure that you’re asking for fair compensation.
Here are four tips on salary negotiations to keep in mind as you continue your job hunt.
- Research: Figure out your skill level and how much you should be making as a result. For example, if you’re starting out in a new field but are asking for the salary of someone who’s been in the industry for a decade, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Knowing what you can make and asking for it shows that you’ve done your research and are ready for your new job.
- Be confident: It may feel as if your prospective employer has the upper hand. After all, you haven’t officially been hired yet. Though a verbal offer is unofficial, realize that it’d be incredibly unprofessional for a company to rescind the offer. Additionally, consider this: The hiring manager doesn’t want to keep interviewing any more than you want to keep job hunting. Working out a solution is in the interest of both parties.
- It doesn’t hurt to go higher: This isn’t to say that you should shoot for the impossible, but bumping up your asking salary by a little bit doesn’t hurt. The worst that the hiring manager can say is no or lower it to the average salary. This is also applicable to benefits such as vacation time. Additionally, if the employer doesn’t have company-wide flexibility options, now is the perfect time to bring it up. Not only will securing this benefit you personally, but it’ll also show the company that flexibility is viable, easy and healthy for all of its employees.
- Have the conversation end on your terms: A hiring manager expects people to negotiate their starting salaries. It’s not at all an uncommon practice. You can rest easy knowing that you’re not scaring him or her off by asking for more. He or she may try to prevent the conversation from happening by phrasing the offered salary as a closed case. Figure out tactful and professional ways around this and don’t let the conversation end until you’re satisfied.
Finally, don’t enter the conversation as the person with the most to lose. You’re well worth the employer’s time and the company has a vested interest and stakes in your employment.