All Things Negotiating Salary
Part III

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Be Prepared To Trade. Decide which issues of compensation are most important - paid vacation time, for instance - and which are negotiable (for example, tuition reimbursement). Expect to make trade-offs. Be familiar with possible perks and benefits, or bonuses or merit pay plans that could increase your total compensation and explore the possibility of adding them to you compensation package.

Don't Bid Against Yourself. Once you've tabled your proposal wait for a response and don't back away just because you are uncomfortable with the uncertainty. Always have a reason for any concession you make and get something in return.

Negotiate in a Respectful Manner. Make it a friendly experience because if you decide to accept the offer, this individual will very likely be your new boss. People confuse asking for hard things with being stubborn and unyielding. They are not the same. Never be confrontational. You can be perfectly charming and still ask for difficult things. In fact in doing so, you demonstrate a key business skill that makes you an even more attractive employee.

Also be honest about any constraints that are preventing you from accepting the lower offer. You can make them aware that you need to make a certain amount of income in the total compensation package to meet your monthly obligations.

Don't Get Discouraged During Salary Negotiations. The road to negotiating salary is filled with ups, downs and doubts, but persistence pays. Don't head for the hills if an employer doesn't immediately meet your expectations. Studies show that the person who hangs in and lives with the uncertainty the longest generally does much better than those who cave quickly.

Get It In Writing. Once you've agreed on terms, ask your future employer to draw up a letter of agreement that outlines the specifics of the offer, such as the position's key responsibilities, salary and any special arrangements that resulted from the negotiations.

Be Reasonable and Flexible. Negotiating means giving up some things in order to get other things that matter more to you. Decide which issues of compensation are most important - paid vacation time, for instance - and which are negotiable (for example, tuition reimbursement). Be willing to make and accept tradeoffs.

Demonstrate Your Excitement for the Job - show your enthusiasm! An employer needs to know you are serious about joining their organization. If you want this job, consider agreeing to start at the salary level they're offering, and negotiating for a shorter performance and pay review period or additional bonuses for specific accomplishments. Be ready to define them.

Or request a signing bonus or ask to receive your evaluation and possible raise sooner than the typical one year. If you do all this and the firm still won't budge, consider taking the position as a bridge job. It's always good to have something on your résumé, and you'll be earning some salary and building professional connections.

Finally you should not be afraid to turn down a job offer. If the company simply cannot or will not meet your walk-away number in mind, the minimum salary that you can accept before you say, then your response will likely be "thanks but no thanks," It is always better to ask and be turned down than not to ask at all!

Salary Negotiation Also Depends On:

  • Your level of experience and the level of the job you are interviewing for. The less experience you have and the less unique your skill set the less room you have to negotiate.

  • The person with whom are you negotiating. Are they the final decision maker? Try to deal with that person. In most companies, hiring managers decide how to allocate their budgets. Generally, HR representatives are messengers who report your past salary, salary requirements, etc., to the hiring manager.

  • The type of employer /(small private company, company with venture capital money, large corporation, public sector employer). Large companies may have more money, but usually have more policies, procedures, and bureaucracy. In small companies, there may be more latitude, but fewer resources. Profitable companies in growing industries are generally more likely to offer higher salaries.

  • Jobs that come with big benefits, big bonuses, perks (use of company plane), company cars, tuition reimbursement, etc., sometimes have less flexible salaries because the employer realizes that the job is going to provide lots of other compensation.

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