The old saying goes – you never have a second chance to make a first impression and the same can be said for negotiating your salary. Whether it’s a new job with a new company, or simply a salary review with your current manager, negotiating your way to a higher salary can mean the difference between a good paying job and a great one.
Unfortunately, many people (particularly women) are simply afraid or even unwilling to negotiate salary but the fact is, in order to maximize your worth you need to negotiate and be armed with the tools to do it effectively. What follows are a few things that will help you take on that next salary negotiation and ultimately help you lock up that higher salary:
Don’t be the first to bring up salary- This is a common bit of advice because it’s a generally a good one. The first party to bring up salary usually puts themselves at a disadvantage and if pressed to do so try to put the onus back on the company to give you a range for the position.
Know your number- Have an exact number in mind you want to get to and start HIGHER. Our experience has shown that employers are usually willing to negotiate and as long as the number is reasonable, a higher start will help you achieve your final number.
Know your market and where you stand in it- There are a number of resources available to benchmarksalary and you should be utilizing those resources to be prepared when the time comes to negotiate. A good recruiter can help you refine your salary expectations as well.
Be prepared- You should be able to support your position with facts. Did you nail that large project, have you created efficiencies for the organization, are your performance reviews exceptional? Be prepared with the right ammunition to support your position.
Be confident- Have you ever bought something from a salesperson who had no confidence in their product? Probably not. You’re selling yourself in the negotiation and a confident sales person is a successful salesperson. Be sure however not to cross the line to arrogance!
Don’t forget the extras- Make sure you negotiate variable comp as well. Perks such as bonus percentages, vacation, expense accounts, professional dues and even work schedule are all items that are increasingly becoming negotiable with companies.
Negotiating salary and benefits is very common and almost all companies expect to negotiate salaries and will do it. So, the next time you find yourself with a job offer or in the midst of an annual review, keep the above tips in mind, use them to your advantage and don’t be afraid to negotiate. The money you may leave on the table by not doing so may never be recovered.