After acing an interview, you must also ace the intimidating, though necessary, next step – negotiating your salary. Do you reveal your last salary? And if you do, will a recruiter think you want too little? Or, maybe you want too much? Although these questions have no easy answers, you must answer them before entering negotiation. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when negotiating or renegotiating your salary.
Do Your Homework
Do you know the pay scale of the job you’re applying for? This seems like an easy question until you remember that the cost of living varies across the country, as do salaries. So, before asking for a salary, do your homework. You could check out a website like Salary Site to know how much jobs pay, depending on your location.
Recruiters will likely press you to reveal your salary range before they make an offer. Don’t. They know that whoever gives out their number first loses the advantage. For instance, if you start with a low figure, you can’t demand a higher one later. Likewise, a recruiter who makes a high offer can’t lower it later. So, don’t rush if you’re to outsmart the recruiter.
Do Know Your Worth
To know how much jobs in your area pay is one thing but to know how much the jobs should pay you is another. And, as you’ve likely guessed by now, the latter is the more important of the two. Which brings us to the question: how do you estimate your worth? Your education level, skills, and experience should point you in the right direction. So, make sure to let the recruiter know what you’re bringing to the company.
Don’t Undersell Yourself
Remember what we said about knowing your worth? Worth here means more than just a good salary. Negotiate for benefits as well, including sick leave, stock options, vacations, medical benefits, and retirement benefits. And don’t stop there. If you dream of going back to school, negotiate for educational assistance.
Similarly, if you must relocate because of a new job, ask the company to help you relocate. Most organizations today offer relocation assistance but ask about it all the same. Remember, these perks add up quickly, even when the salary is average.
This sounds obvious, but most people lack the confidence to negotiate to their advantage. But if you’re convinced of your value, then asking for a raise is completely natural. Employers will expect some of their employees to move forward and won’t reward those who don’t.
Don’t be Stubborn
There’s a difference between negotiating and being stubborn. Stubbornness is pushing for an unrealistic salary or too many benefits, even though your employer cannot afford it or you’re undeserving. The goal of any negotiation is to reach a fair, realistic deal that pleases both you and the recruiter. However, if you cannot reach a compromise, nothing stops you from walking away.
As intimidating as it is, negotiating your way into a good salary range is possible. That is if you know what to do and what not to do.