A Practical Guide to Salary Negotiations
Enjoy this sneak peek inside our Practical Guide to Job Search Success!
If you dread negotiating your salary, you are not alone.  Negotiating salary is something that most people dread.  Here are a couple of the most common mindset mistakes that women make over and over again when it comes to negotiating their salary:
1) “Well…first I will submit my resume and give a great interview. Then, I will prepare for the salary negotiation.”
2) “I will wait until my boss gives me a raise. I trust my company to reward me for what I am worth.”
3) “My boss knows how hard I have been working.”
4) “The economy is pretty bad right now so I know that I probably will only get a 1-2% raise.”
If you have ever thought any of these thoughts, you will never get paid what you are worth.

Here are five things you need to understand to get paid what you are worth 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 for salary negotiations 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 these 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 not to expect that you can 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 a signal that you only care how much you can get and not giving an impression 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 increasing you 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 salary negotiations 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.

5) Train yourself

One great way to practice salary negotiations 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 without being afraid. Confidence is EXTREMELY important during this conversation so you want to make sure you are as fully prepared as you can be.
Salary discussions might be awkward and uncomfortable, but realize that counteroffers and negotiations are just another routine 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!

Hi, I'm Anna!

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