Contrary to popular belief, nailing an interview and getting a job offer is not end to your career hunt. Being prepared to properly negotiate salary and benefits is just as important as any other step in securing a new position. Starting salary and benefits directly impact your career trajectory, and a discussion about them should never be taken lightly.There are several ways to get the perks that you deserve before signing on the dotted line.
Know your Worth
Research what candidates in your field with similar experience are earning and cross reference it with your personal salary history. This gives you a good idea of what they should be asking for vs. just throwing out a number. Also, be sure to factor in the size of the company when narrowing down an acceptable salary range.
Avoid Round Numbers
When discussing salary, avoid round numbers. Round numbers come across as a broad and not well thought out. The first number presented is powerful and it also sets the tone for negotiations. For example, instead of asking for $80,000 annually, ask for $87,200. This number shows that research has been done and that you are serious about your starting salary.
Remember that you’re negotiating with a person, not a faceless organization, so be approachable and someone they’d want to work with. Arrive on time, be polite, listen intently and answer honestly. Point our areas where organzations could be improved in a fair manner, without sounding petty or pushy. A good way to prepare yourself is to conduct practice interviews with friends.
Negotiate More than Money
When companies hire several people at one time (this is often referred to as a starting class), salary is not negotiable. In those instances, candidates should negotiate other benefits like tuition reimbursement, vacation time, stock options, and remote work flexibility, among other examples.
Prepare for the Future
When a potential company says that they cannot budge on starting salary at the moment, present the idea of future bonuses and compensation. If they are agreeable to it, then discuss key metrics and always get the details in writing. Once everything is agreed upon, it gives you extra motivation to meet those metrics.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush into a decision. Before accepting a job offer, take the time to mull it over. Most employers will give you the time to think about an offer. It certainly makes more sense to do so vs. getting into a situation and leaving because salary and benefits are not to your liking.
Don’t Over Negotiate
Don’t negotiate just because you feel you are a great negotiator. If the offer has all of the elements that you want in place already, then take it. Haggling over miniscule details makes a candidate undesirable in the eyes of a potential employer. This is a negotiation, not a dictatorship: Both sides should get something they desire out of the deal.
Negotiating is like a dance. Learn all the steps with help from the following expert guides:
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