Tips for negotiating salary
An important part of getting a promotion or new job is earning a pay raise to go with it. Despite depressed economies, it is important to request a salary you are qualified for and supports your standard of living. Millennials especially are guilty of being passive when it comes to negotiating salary. They often make the mistake of not asking for a higher compensation in early positions, a critical piece in setting up for long-term financial wellbeing.
Discussing salary requirements is quite simple and equally painless. Everyone wants more money, so there is no shame in asking. In fact, employers expect negotiation to take place during the hiring process. Here’s how to effectively negotiate salary for your next employment opportunity.
Understand that a negotiation is not an ultimatum.
You’re not going to scare the employer into not hiring you. They already want you, which is why you were offered the job! Employers intentionally offer lower salaries than they can budget. It is not personal, it is just business. By entering into a negotiation, you are showing the employer that you believe your qualifications are worth more than is being offered. Remember, you’ll never get what you don’t ask for.
Calculate your previous compensation package… not your salary.
There’s a lot more to earnings than just what’s written on your paycheck. Therefore, it’s doubly important to analyze your whole compensation package. Did your previous employer cover your cell phone cost? Did the company you worked for expense travel costs? What about health insurance, meals and other benefits? While these may not end up on your income statements, all of these factor in to your “compensation package,” something to keep in mind when negotiating your next salary.
Know what others are making in similar positions.
What are other professionals with similar job titles or positions earning? If you know colleagues in similar situations, reach out to them to get an idea of a solid figure you should be asking. Do a bit of homework to get an idea of what earners make in a particular region. There are a variety of online tools to help with this, such as Glassdoor and Vault. Don’t approach your negotiation with only one set of information. Take a variety of supporting facts when negotiating your salary.
Think about where you’re moving.
Moving to the outskirts of a small town and moving to New York City are two completely different situations. With that, make sure your salary will help you live comfortably to where you are moving. Spend time determining what your financial obligations will be; you won’t want to settle for a lower salary if rent is going to be through the roof. These are legitimate concerns, and your employer should understand that.
Word the negotiation carefully.
It’s best to keep your negotiation simple while remaining firm at the same time. A short email could go something like this:
Greetings [employer name], and thank you for the offer! This is an exciting opportunity and I’m very interested in joining your team.
With the market being more expensive than where I currently live, I was expecting the starting salary to be more. My current compensation package is $XX. Is the salary you’re proposing negotiable?
Again, I’m highly interested in the position and bringing my skills to [company name].
Remember, you have more than just a foot in the door: you are already in. You have been chosen because you are the best candidate for that position. Don’t settle for compensation that doesn’t meet your requirements or needs. We rarely receive the things we don’t ask for, so have confidence and be persistent when entering into a salary negotiation.
Do you have any tips for negotiating salary? Tell us!