Article: Negotiate Your Best Salary

Negotiate Your Best Salary

One of the most intimidating aspects of a job search involves salary negotiation. Most job hunters dread the money talk and let the employer take control. That may not be to your advantage. When it comes to negotiating your salary, your best strategy is to be prepared.

First, do your research. With all the resources of the Internet at your fingertips, you can easily find out what your position is worth. Salary surveys for your field can easily be located online via search engines. You can learn what others who are in positions of similar responsibility and have comparable experience are making. You can also check trade associations which provide salary data and ask others in the field for their input. You can even check online ads, which often list salaries along with job requirements. Before you begin negotiations with an employer, you should have a range of what’s acceptable in mind.

Second, be firm and confident. When stating your salary requirements, don’t be wishy-washy. Say, “I want X,” instead of “Well, I really don’t know if you can pay this, but I’d really like to make X.” Solidify your argument if you can give data that shows your expectations are based on objective information, such as what similar firms pay people with comparable experience.

Be aware that the employer doesn’t care about your financial obligations. Your school loans, child support payments and mortgage are your problems. From an employer’s viewpoint, your salary is determined based on what the position is worth and what value you will bring to the company.

Third, take into consideration other variables. These days, sometimes the benefits are as important or more when you’re considering a job. Perhaps health insurance is a priority to you or maybe the amount of vacation time the job allows. Determine your priorities and factor in all aspects of the job.

You’ll also want to consider the health of the local economy. If the economy is weak and jobs are scarce, you’ll have less negotiating power. If the economy is strong, you’ll be able to exercise more clout.

You should also assess the demand for your expertise and skills. If you are a specialist or bring a great deal of experience to the table, then you’ll have more leverage, and don’t be afraid to use it.

Fourth and lastly, don’t be so fast to say yes. When the employer makes you an offer, don’t hesitate to push for a little more. Most likely, he has left some room to negotiate. You can also ask to think about it. Play it cool. By not acting overly enthusiastic, you may end up with a bit more jingle in your pocket. And that’s always a good thing.

Knowing how to negotiate your best salary is just one important aspect of the job search. For additional tips and strategies, check out the book, Job Hunting in a Tough Economy.

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