Negotiation is often seen as a bad word among job seekers. Many times potential employees pass up massive amounts of compensation at the outset of their career with a company. This also devalues you in front of your potential new boss. Often, employers lowball at the outset of offering a salary because they want to test how much a new employee will self-advocate.
Self-advocacy is desired by potential employers because if the employee will speak up for their needs and wants, it stands to reason they’ll be just as passionate about stepping up regarding the company’s needs and wants. This is vitally important, and negotiation doesn’t need to be contentious or nerve-wracking. All you’re doing is assigning a value to your efforts–something you do every day when you decide to get up and go to work.
These three steps may not guarantee that you get the salary you want, but they put you in a great position to maximize your value to a potential employer.
- Never Accept the First Offer –The first offer is meant to be a preliminary introduction. It’s a dance. If you accept the first offer, then you are appearing desperate and willing to do anything for the job. Remember this in a few months when your boss asks you to stay late again and you miss an important family function. By not accepting the first offer you’ve communicated to a potential employer that you have great value and understand that value.
- Research Your Value –The key is understanding the right number for your marketplace and experience. Once you understand this information, you’re armed with the knowledge that your skills and experience have a specific value. Sometimes, your employer will meet or exceed this value. In that case, also understand the benefits such as insurance and retirement.
- Prepare a Counteroffer –Have a figure and the benefits you’d like in mind. Because you’ve researched your value, you know exactly what you’re worth. Perhaps you may not get this salary figure along with the benefits you’d like, but have two counteroffers. One that’s ideal (this is the one to use if your employer proposes something higher than you anticipated) and one that you can live with (use this if your employer doesn’t appear like they’ll match your ideal).
Negotiation is a key factor to obtaining the right amount of salary and benefits to secure your future. The key is research and determination. If an offer is completely beyond what you’re willing accept, it’s ok to walk away. The most important thing is knowing your worth and respectfully advocating for it. Use these tips and you’ll be amazed at how your value and confidence increases.