Whether you’re starting a new job or aiming for a promotion at your current company, you know very well that you would and should be negotiating your salary. But the question is, how?
Here are the two most important things to keep in mind when you’re going to negotiate.
1. Before the Negotiation: Know Your Value
To know what your worth is, research will be your greatest ally. Research everything you need know to make a strong rationale as to why you’re asking for a particular amount of salary to have higher chances of making a deal.
Knowing your market value or the significance of your talent in the employment marketplace is important to determine how much the market is paying for people like you. Look for sources that would tell you the amount that companies pay for the job you’re considering. Make sure that these sources take into account the size of the company you work for, as well as the industry and region it is in.
Meanwhile, you can also calculate the potential value of your personal skills and background including your education, length of experience, certifications, cultural compatibility, and management responsibility. Focus on what you can do rather than on the numbers.
Market to the employer what you’ve done and what you can do before you start talking numbers. Instead of focusing on discussing what you make now, highlight what you can bring to the table.
Also, don’t forget to rehearse. Practice what you want to say. Write it down and rehearse it in front of a mirror, on video, or with a friend. This way, you get to be comfortable and more prepared to have the conversation.
2. During the Negotiation: Be Ready to Counteroffer
You may be afraid of rejection, but there is no negotiation until someone says “no.” In negotiation, your aim is to be in agreement with a party whose interests are not aligned with yours, and you do so by making adjustments in your arrangements that make a win-win situation for you and the other party (in this case, the recruiter).
Be firm when asking, but be willing to deal with concerns that your employer might raise and some tweaks he/she might want to make in your proposal so that it works best for both of you. Revisit the conversation until you and your employer are satisfied in the agreement.
Keep in mind, to be honest as well. It’s not uncommon for the company you are applying for to ask about your current salary. It can be tricky especially if you’re underpaid at your current job, but lying is never a good idea.
Just tell your current salary or opt to give an approximate number. Don’t forget to mention your benefits, bonuses, and the like as well. Afterward, quickly but smoothly reroute the conversation to explain the pay you’re asking highlighting your new skills and responsibilities, your market value, and the growth you’re looking for.
Lastly, be prepared to counteroffer. While it’s never good to be pushy, be firm to hold your ground and not easily accept the first offer that’s put on the table. Employers expect counteroffers, so go ahead and ask for what you’re looking for.
Your counteroffer can go beyond base pay, as it includes bonuses, vacation leaves, stock options, and the like. Just make sure that you’ve ascertained to yourself how negotiable you are on each item.
See? Negotiating can be terrifying, but if you know the proper way to do it, you can be certain that you’ll be given the amount that you deserve.