Salary Negotiations: Be Prepared!

November 16th, 2012

You’ve made it through the first round of a challenging application process, and as you walk out of your interview, your confidence levels are high. You’re pretty sure this job is yours, if you’re willing to accept the conditions of the offer and the salary that comes with it. But be ready: Your hiring manager may not provide a clear number, and may instead ask you to propose a potential salary and open the floor to negotiation. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare.

1. Know your market value inside and out. Research average salaries for this position in your area, average salaries with competing companies, and salaries for similar jobs with companies in other industries.

2. Once you know the averages, determine where you stand in relation to “average”. What’s the monetary value of your specific experience, accomplishments, and training?

3. Stand your ground. You don’t know your new employer very well, so you won’t be able to read his or her expressions and you’ll be at a slight disadvantage. Meanwhile, you’re one person going toe to toe against a large established organization. But don’t be flustered. Take a stand and get what you deserve.

In a second scenario, the end of the year lies around the corner, and as the date of your performance evaluation draws near, it’s a good time to be ready for another necessary conversation: your yearly salary negotiation. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you head into your manager’s office and begin to make your case for higher compensation.

1. Don’t expect to be asked. If you feel it’s time for a raise, you may have to broach the subject on your own. Time the moment properly, and keep things formal. The best approach: ask your boss for an official meeting with an established time, don’t just ambush her in the elevator or the cafeteria line.

2. Know your value. See the research tips in the first scenario above. But since you already have a relationship with this company, you’ll be in a better position to outline your accomplishments and contributions.

3. Don’t corner, blackmail, or make demands. Managers don’t usually like this. Instead, enter the negotiating process in good faith and give your manager the same respect that you expect from her.

For more detailed negotiating tips that apply to your specific situation, reach out and arrange a consultation with the NC staffing experts at PSU. We can help you navigate the challenges of this difficult but important conversation.

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