If you dread salary negotiations, you are not alone. Negotiating a salary is something that most women I work with dread. Here are a few of the most common mistakes I see professional women make over and over again:
“Well…first I will submit my resume and give a great interview. Then, I will prepare for the salary negotiation.”
“I will wait until my boss gives me a raise. I trust my company to reward me for what I am worth.
“My boss knows how hard I have been working.”
“The economy is pretty bad right now so I know that I probably will only get a 1-2% raise.”
If you have ever had any of these thoughts, you will never get paid what you are worth. Here are five things you need to understand during salary negotiations:
5 Ways to Get What You Deserve During Salary Negotiations
1) Understand Benchmarking
Benchmarking helps you understand how your organization compares with similar organizations. It is the process of determining who is the best, who sets the standards, and what that standard is. Your ability to understanding benchmarking is important because you don’t want to be in a company that is never going to pay you what you’re worth.
Understand how employers decide the salary level in your industry and adjust your job search accordingly. There are a variety of benchmarking tools you can find, but they all include comparing pay rates with the following:
Average pay at other companies in the industry
Average pay for professionals with your level of experience and education
Average pay for professionals in your field in your area of the country
Keep in mind, you can’t expect to negotiate for significantly higher pay than the normal, even if you are qualified.
2) Don’t Get Too Excited…Wait for it
You don’t want to send the signal that you only care how much you can get, and not that you are a good fit for the company’s culture.
Therefore, always wait for the employer to make an offer and never be the one to start the discussion about salary. In the same way, if the recruiter brings up money right away, see if you can push or delay the salary discussion until you’ve secured the position and proven yourself valuable to the company.
3) Negotiate Performance
Some companies who want to hire you but have limited resources might give you an excuse like “This is what we can afford right now.” If you really want the job, you can ask if they would be open to discussing a performance-based bonus.
Talk about the specific, measurable results that would improve your bottom line and increase your earnings. Getting any incentive pay agreements in writing during the hiring stage is a good strategy so your employer will be committed to follow through.
4) Don’t Talk Only Cash
Don’t forget that your salary discussion should be about total compensation. Ask about the benefits package the company is offering. Always negotiate for non-cash perks that might bridge the gap between your asking price and the employer’s offer. For example, you might negotiate for work from home days or additional PTO.
5) Train Yourself
One great way is to pick a friend or family member to help you prepare for the salary negotiation through role playing. Through this, you’ll gain more confidence to talk money with a potential employer. Confidence is EXTREMELY important during this conversation, so you want to make sure you are as fully prepared.
Salary discussions might be awkward and uncomfortable, but realize that counteroffers and negotiations are just part of the process. Do not be ashamed for asking for what you truly deserve. You should be strong, confident and professional.
Recruiters expect it and many actually look down on a candidate if they don’t negotiate!
How do you prepare for salary negotiations?
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