Have you heard the expression, “If you do not have the salary you deserve, you get what you’ve been able to negotiate”? Mind you, this could be true.
Negotiating for the salary you want is daunting. That is why in a job offer negotiation, it is tempting to say “yes” immediately. And then, unfortunately… regret later.
It is easier to say “yes” because we are anxious that the employer isn’t willing to negotiate, or that we might end up getting a “no” instead.
Worry not, here are the dos and don’ts of salary negotiations that will increase your chance of getting what you deserve.
1. Do your homework.
research salaries for positions similar and comparable to yours. Familiarize yourself with the high, median, and low salaries for someone with your skills, experience, and education.
Don’t assume that salary and benefits aren’t negotiable. They are. In fact, a survey by The Creative Group shows that 63 percent of marketing and advertising executives said they are willing to negotiate compensation with competent candidates.
2. Strive to impress.
Do make a positive impression on your first meeting. Make it your goal to get to know each other better and build a good relationship.
Don’t start the interview asking about salary and benefits. Show your interest in the job and the organization first. It is not good to make an impression that you are only after the money.
3. Determine your value.
Do decide ahead of time what your value is. Figure out what the lowest salary you are willing to accept.
Don’t say yes immediately. Do not accept less. Doing so can set you back significantly. You might feel less motivated to work and find your job painfully exhausting.
4. Make your value known.
Do talk about what you can contribute to the company and how. Talk about concrete ways in which you can contribute to the company’s bottom line. This will justify the salary you want.
Don’t make it all about you and your wants. Do not babble about what you want and what you don’t want. Also, leave your personal predicaments at home.
4. Sell yourself.
Do promote your personal brand. Sell yourself. Let your prospective employer know what you can bring to the table and how fit you are to their culture.
Don’t ask for a raise making your case for it. In other words, make sure you deserve the amount you are asking for.
5. Look beyond the money.
Do consider other things aside from your basic pay. Consider educational reimbursements, vacation time, and other allowances.
Don’t focus on money alone. Benefits that give you more time to do other stuff other than work can be used to improve your skill set. At the end of the day, improved skills means more money.
6. Be reasonable.
Do ask for a reasonable salary. While doing your research, figure out the median pay for your position.
Don’t ask for too much at the onset and hope they’ll negotiate down to the figure you really want. Negotiations are risky. Do it with tact. Asking for too much might cost you the offer itself.
7. Counter if you must.
Do counter an offer if you have a sound reason to do so. If your research shows you deserve better, share your findings.
Don’t be afraid to share your research with the interviewer. While asking for more is difficult, citing facts and figures will show them that you know what you are talking about and you’ve done your homework.
8. Always keep it professional.
Do maintain professionalism. Always be respectful, especially when the offer is well below what you are willing to accept or when you get a “no” as a response to your bid.
Don’t make threats. After getting a “no”, don’t make threats that you’ll refuse to accept the offer or quit your job (if you are negotiating for a raise) just because you did not get what you wanted.
9. Always be patient.
Do bring patience and persistence with you. You will need them not just here, but for the rest of your career.
Don’t give up too quickly. A “no” is not an end. In a negotiation, a “no” is, in fact, just the beginning.
Take Home Message
Negotiation is an art. But it is a risky art, for in all negotiations, risk is a constant. Indeed, tact is a key. Remember, however, that a negotiation is not a table battle where one should emerge as a winner, and the other, a loser. The best negotiations are those where both parties emerge feeling like winners.
To sum it up, the first thing to do is research. Figure out what’s the fair salary for you and arm yourself with everything else there is to know about the job you are vying for.