There comes a time when you’ll have the following questions in mind: Should I tell them my salary range? Will they think I’m asking for too much? What if that scared them away?
These are often the most common questions job seekers ask themselves during salary negotiations, especially those that are still fresh on the market. If you ever want to earn what you deserve, it is essential to learn how to do it the right way.
These dos and don’ts of negotiating job offers and raises will help you get the best salary possible:
So what should you DO?
Do your research – Carry out in-depth research into salaries for positions comparable to yours before you attend an interview. Be prepared to know the average starting salary for your position; in your specific location, and for someone with your experience level. Look into the range of salaries in that organization if possible; check online, check reviews, ask questions. Be realistic, though. Your bargaining power will be limited until you become more experienced in your field.
Do point out your value – During interviews or conversations about salary increment, always talk about what you’re bringing to the table. What skills do you have and how will they be of value to the organization? Before spending your hard-earned money on a product or service, you always analyze the value it will bring to you, the same goes for the job market. It’s a marketplace; an exchange of services for a fee. How valuable are you and how much do you deserve?
Not knowing your value could result in the company undervaluing and underpaying you. Once you know your value, be confident in your negotiation. If you are negotiating a job offer with a potential employer, discuss what you will do to earn the salary you are asking for, using examples of accomplishments in prior jobs. When presenting your case for getting a raise from your current employer, highlight any accomplishments that contributed to growing your employer’s bottom line, this will help solidify your case.
Do consider the entire package – Does the company have any other benefits to offer you? Are they worth taking into consideration? Salary is just one factor in the total compensation package, so don’t just get caught up in the number. Inquire about paid training, bonuses, days off, extra expenses, and so on. When all is said and done, the things that make your life easier, increase your skillset or save you time actually translate into more money.
Do give a range – When negotiating for a new role, it’s a best practice to give a range of what you’re willing to receive as salary. This will give room for even more negotiation than sticking with one figure alone. Before beginning, decide how much you are willing to compromise and what you will do if your employer or potential employer doesn’t offer a totally acceptable salary. Maybe request for additional benefits, such as additional vacation time, data allowance, one day off a week or even early closure once a week. Be flexible in your negotiation.
Do ask for advice – Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from older or more experienced colleagues. Reach out to someone you trust before the interview or salary review and ask for advice on what your range should be or how you should go about it. Doing this will allow you to gain some valuable advice about who to approach and how to make your case, as well as some possible history on precedents for negotiating in your role.”
What are the DON’Ts?
Don’t look at how much your friends are making – It is very wrong and unprofessional to compare your salary with that of your friends or colleagues when negotiating. Make your case for yourself and only use YOUR accomplishments as justification for your salary request. You may be envious of your friends and acquaintances who have higher salaries, but many factors make it hard to compare. Do they work in the same company? Do you have the same job description? Do they take up more work than you do? Do they have more impact? These are questions you should ask yourself before comparing and answer honestly.
Don’t be afraid – Be confident when negotiating, as long as you know what you’re bringing to the table then why not? Don’t be afraid to ask about other benefits the company can provide, as well as future raises and bonuses. Do try to obtain other concessions (shorter review time, better title, better workspace) or benefits (bonuses, vacation time) if you aren’t successful at negotiating a salary you want.
Don’t rush the conversation – You’re not required to accept, reject or counter a job offer on the spot. When asked the question “What is your salary expectation?” take a few seconds or even minutes to think about it. When giving your answer, say “Considering the Job description and workload…..” This will positively influence your offer and give room for negotiation. If you’re given an offer on the spot, don’t rush to accept, It’s perfectly okay to thank the hiring manager, and then let him/her know you’d like some time (not more than 24 hours) to consider the offer and get back to her with either your acceptance or negotiation requests. Just make sure you respond in a timely fashion, or you might lose the offer.
Don’t talk about your expenses – When negotiating salary with a potential employer or current employer, don’t tell the story of your life, don’t list out personal expenses as justification for your request – this doesn’t cut it. While these concerns are all valid reasons for needing more money and may have even been the motivation for trying to negotiate your salary in the first place, it is irrelevant to the employer. Focus on points that actually matter – your skills, your accomplishments, your plans and projections.
Don’t be a dictator – It’s a conversation/negotiation, don’t drop a figure and say “that’s that”. Money is a sensitive subject, but you should never let a company have full control over your worth. Be both knowledgeable and understanding when discussing a salary negotiation. Information is power, once you have all your facts right and your value in check, you can then easily navigate through the negotiation process.
It is also important to remain respectful, even if the offer is well below what you think you deserve or are willing to accept. Don’t make threats during a salary negotiation. Threatening to quit your job will never get you the raise you want, and is extremely unprofessional.
Need more salary negotiation resources? Click here to download an email template to help guide your next salary increment conversation.