Once you’ve survived the interview process and actually received a job offer, it may seem like the preparation is over; however, there’s one final key step for which many job seekers don’t properly prepare: salary negotiations. Being overly aggressive and unrealistic with salary negotiations will typically backfire, but taking whatever is offered without question can set your career path back. Get the fair salary you deserve with these five ways to prepare for salary negotiations.
Educate Yourself on Salary Averages
Do some online research on the average salary/ranges for the job position in question within the industry, as well as by geographical region. This will help you make educated decisions on any salary offers so you know if it’s a fair offer – plus, it gives you a non-emotional, facts-based response to counteract overly low salary ranges.
Research the Company’s Compensation Policies
Talk with the company’s HR department to find out how the organization determines ongoing salary increases and promotions. If it’s based on annual performance reviews with no room for negotiation before that, you may have a case for a starting salary at a higher range; however, if you receive performance-based bonuses or commissions, a lower salary may be sufficient.
Determine Your Leverage Points
Prepare a written analysis of the factors that make you valuable enough to warrant a higher salary. Brainstorm to figure out what skills, experience, or other differentiators you would contribute to the organization, that set you apart from other candidates and make you worth the investment.
Figure Out Your Limits
Use your past compensation history, salary research, and leverage points to develop a flexible set of salary negotiation terms that you’re willing to work within. This includes your ideal target salary, an acceptable range, other benefits/perks that would supplement a lower offer (such as telecommuting options or schedule flexibility), and your non-negotiable walk away point.
Practice Your Persuasion Tactics
Negotiation is a skill that can take experience to develop, so it is important to be prepared so you’re as persuasive as possible. Rehearse your responses to a few basic scenarios, such as responding to the initial offer with a proposed higher figure or your comeback response if they reject your proposal.
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