Congratulations on nailing that interview! Now that the company is confident that your skill set is a match with the role, the next big item on the to-do hire checklist is to talk about your salary package. Here are 5 effective tips to negotiate for a better starting salary.
Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide, says to never go into a salary negotiation thinking of it as a battle between you and the employer. “Never engage in negotiation as an ultimatum–an either/or–but rather as a collaborative process and a unique opportunity to create a compensation package that makes sense for both you and for them. Establish priorities as to what is most important to you and what items you are willing to trade off,”
Cohen advises. So, like in most things in life focus on a win-win solution where you are happy with the compensation and your employer is happy to gain a valuable talent.
Feel thrilled with
It’s crucial that you are thrilled with the package or else what’s the point right? You need to know that you don’t have to accept the first offer they give you. If you aren’t happy with the offer, you can always negotiate and make it more desirable or closer to what you have in mind. Asking “Is that number flexible at all?” is a graceful way to give the employer the opportunity to offer more, or even mention other perks you might be able to gain if a higher salary isn’t in the picture,” says David Bakke, writer at Money Crashers.
Do your homework
It’s natural to want more money, but before you ask for a higher salary, you need to do your research. You can get an idea of your salary estimate from Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ calculator. Rather than seeming to pluck a number out of thin air, do your homework on what your skills are worth in order to provide a solid case for your employer to compensate you accordingly. “One phrase to use is something along the lines of ‘based on my research.’ That shows the other person you’ve done your homework and know what you’re talking about when negotiating,” Bakke says.
You can also clearly list down your key accomplishments and experience that would help with the negotiation. Do not brag about the accomplishments but do share them with your interviewer. Deepak Malhotra, a professor at Harvard Business School, emphasizes that you must help the person you’re negotiating with convincing his or her superior by identifying how to improve the original offer.
Think fringe benefits
You need to think beyond money for your salary and compensation package. Be sure to address other components of the compensation package such as paid vacation, flexible hours, bonuses, and pension contributions. If the base pay is non-negotiable, you can think about flexibility benefits such as being able to leave work at 4 p.m. to pick up your child from daycare every day. Or you can even negotiate for that benefit against a slightly lower base pay. The possibilities are there, so you need to know your priorities and negotiate with your employer.
Finally, get it all on paper to avoid any miscommunications. Workopolis.com says the golden rule is to go through each point with the negotiator and get it in writing. This will avoid any nasty surprises after you start your new job.
Monica Leong is a storyteller at heart. Graduated with a Journalism and Public Relations degree, she is currently working in corporate communications and also contributes as a freelance writer and editor. Before entering the corporate world, she worked in female lifestyle magazines such as Marie Claire, CLEO, and PEARL as a features writer and editor. Monica is passionate about writing and working on a short story and flash fiction anthology.