Once you have completed the interview gauntlet–and an offer is on the table–you will have an important decision to make! If you accept less than you feel you are worth–there will be a tendency to build resentment over time and it may effect the quality of your work. So, be mindful before you accept the offer and ask yourself, ‘Does this salary adequately represent my worth?’ Therefore, keep these tips/suggestions in mind as you negotiate your salary!
1) Know Your Market Value. Research is essential in knowing national, regional and local markets, as well as the cost of living. If you are relocating, be sure to research what the salary ranges are for the market where you will be working! A tool for research is www.Salary.com.
2) Remember That Confidence Sells. There is a huge difference between confidence and arrogance. So, don’t cross that line–or you could loose the offer altogether. Set a ‘confident tone’ when negotiating your compensation package.
3) Make it a Conversation, not a Debate. Your employer is not an adversary, so you don’t want your salary negotiations to escalate to a heated debate. If the temperature is rising–remember to change your tone and talk s-l-o-w-e-r and l-o-w-e-r to regain control.
4) The Entire Package is Negotiable. Each aspect of the ‘offer’ is negotiable. If you are not happy with the salary offer–then suggest an increase in benefits such as quarterly or an annual bonus, company car, expense account, vacation, etc.
5) Stipulation to Prove Your Value. Certainly, there are instances when you may need to take a salary cut–maybe even several thousand dollars for the opportunity to ‘get started’ with a company. Suggest a timeline or strategy allowing you to receive a raise to get back to the salary level which you previously earned. This needs to be based on tangible results and, of course, be sure to get this agreement in writing and have it part of your permanent employee records. Make sure you receive a copy, too!
6) Don’t Mark Yourself Down. If you are staying in the same industry and are offered half of what you previously earned, you really need to question the employer’s motives for extending such an offer. You have not forgotten what you know and you are not leaving your wisdom back with your previous employers–so don’t let an employer ‘mark you down.’ Stand your ground, as accepting such a ‘discounted’ offer diminishes the chances that this will be a long and fruitful employment situation. It may be a wiser choice to reject the offer and move along.
Stay tuned next week–as we discuss ‘How To Show Up During Your First 90-Days’