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How to Negotiate Salary

How to Negotiate SalaryAt some stage in our lives, most of us have to negotiate a higher starting salary or pay increase. Since we are generally programmed not to challenge our seniors in a professional environment, nor to discuss our finances in general, the thought of negotiation can make many of us break out into a cold sweat.

Salary.com reports that 20% of Americans never bother to negotiate a higher salary which is surprising given that simply asking for, and getting, what you want (and deserve) from a compensation package is actually a relatively straightforward process. This article offers a few tips to try to relieve some of the worry and concern next time you are preparing to negotiate your salary:

Prepare and do your Research.

Use some of the many online resources that offer salary benchmarking data such as PayScale. Research what competitor firms are doing and work out the minimum base salary offer you will accept before the interview. Understanding your own value is the first step toward convincing others what you are worth.

Your confidence will shine through with a little preparation, and will give you some evidence to support and justify your requests. The negotiation process will become a lot easier if you have thought through how you will address your needs beforehand.

Let the interviewer raise the topic first.

Once they do, advise that you are seeking a mutually rewarding career and are sure that an agreeable salary and benefits package can be reached. Focusing on your potential income throughout the interview will do you no favors and will only imply that financial gain stands ahead of your professional goals and commitment to the employer.

Don’t give it all away at once.

If you’re unlucky enough, you might come up against an employer well-versed in the art of negotiation. In which case, they will try every trick in the book to get you to show your hand and reveal how much you are currently earning, and what you would accept as a new offer. You don’t want to rush things and end up with a salary half of what was budgeted for the role. Take your time and give thought to each offer and the counter-offer you put back at them.

Play ball

Don’t expect for the employer to agree to your counter-offer and multiple requests at once. Since this ‘negotiation’ after all, you need to expect to go back and forth for a while until you reach a mutually agreeable deal.

Don’t be afraid to go in high with your initial request. Even if you are way over budget for the employer, there is a lot of scope to meet half way and you won’t have sold yourself short.

Try not to focus on the money

Add a little creativity to your proposal and requests. There are many options here to put to the employer; it’s about working out what’s right for you. Benefits such as a snazzier job title, performance related pay, more holiday allowance and flexible working arrangements can all be added to your negotiation armory.

Use your future potential as a bargaining tool, rather than your past.

Part of successful negotiation involves you selling yourself and communicating the value you will bring to the company.
Whether interviewing for a new position, or working your way up the ladder with an existing company, very seldom will you be rewarded for the work you have already carried out. From the employer’s perspective, your compensation package is an incentive for you to succeed and exceed expectations. They want commitment and certainty that you will deliver in the future.

Don’t make it personal.

It is unadvisable to bring your personal baggage into the negotiation process. Unnecessary detail such as your mortgage savings plans, family issues, dreams of travelling the world and so on may detract from the professional process at hand, and may not demonstrate your dedication to the company.
Focus on your competencies, your experience and the wonderful and impassable opportunity that you are for the company.

About the author: Nicholas Moores1 is a freelance business & technology writer for Clive Rich – Negotiation Training2

1) https://plus.google.com/u/0/117206235239231711221?rel=author 
2) http://cliverich.com/

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