Great Salary Negotiation Tips
11 Commandments For Smart Negotiating
The article below will provide some real world tips and advice on how you can increase your salary. This article can also be read online at http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/salary-negotiation-tips.html
1 'BE PREPARED.
The more information you have about your market value and the
prospective employer, the greater your likelihood of success. This
is the first commandment because it's the most important. There's a
wealth of information available on the Internet, at the public library
and through professional associations and networking groups. Time
spent learning how to negotiate and preparing for negotiations may be
the best investment you'll ever make.
2 'RECOGNIZE THAT EMPLOYMENT NEGOTIATIONS ARE DIFFERENT
When the negotiations are over, you'll have to work with the person
with whom you're negotiating. Moreover, your future success may depend
on that person. So, while you want to negotiate the best possible
deal, you need to do so in a way that doesn't damage your image. At
the same time, the employer's primary concern isn't negotiating the
least expensive compensation package it can get away with. Rather,
their focus will be on getting you to accept the job.
3 'UNDERSTAND YOUR NEEDS AND THOSE OF THE EMPLOYER
To be successful in this type of negotiation, you need to examine your
priorities. What do you really want? Are you comfortable with a low
salary and a large equity stake? Are you able to handle dramatic
swings in income from year to year? Understanding your needs will also
help you determine the type of company you want to work for. For
example, a family-owned company may be able to offer a competitive
salary and a large bonus based on results, but may not be willing to
offer significant equity to a non-family member. A start-up company,
on the other hand, may not be able to offer market salary, but will
typically offer stock options. By recognizing what an employer can and
can't do, you'll be able to determine what issues you should press.
4 'UNDERSTAND THE DYNAMICS OF THE PARTICULAR NEGOTIATIONS.
Sometimes you'll have skills that are in great demand. And sometimes,
you may be one of several qualified candidates the company would be
happy to hire. Sizing up the situation and understanding the relative
position of each party will help you determine when to press your
advantage and when to back off.
5 'NEVER LIE, BUT USE THE TRUTH TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
It's not only wrong to lie, but in employment negotiations, it's
ineffective. If you lie during negotiations, sooner or later you're
likely to be caught. Once you are, even if you don't lose the offer,
you'll be at a tremendous disadvantage, and your credibility will
always be suspect. On the other hand, total candor wont be rewarded.
You're under no obligation to blurt out everything you know. You can
determine what you want to say and how you want to say it, and try to
put everything in its most positive light. One key element of your
preparation should be to recognize areas of concern so you can
rehearse how to handle them when they inevitably come up.
6 'UNDERSTAND THE ROLE FAIRNESS PLAYS IN THE PROCESS.
The guiding principle for most employers when negotiating is fairness.
Within the constraints of their budget and organizational structure,
employers usually will agree to anything that's fair and reasonable to
hire someone they want. Appeals to fairness are your most powerful
weapon. Thus, you should be able to justify every request you make in
terms of fairness. For example, if other computer programmers in
similar companies are being given sign-on bonuses, you should expect
to be treated no differently. Your prospective employer will want you
to accept it's offer and feel that you've been treated fairly.
Understanding the importance of fairness as a negotiating principle
can make the difference between success and failure.
7 'USE UNCERTAINTY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
The more information you convey to a potential employer about your
bottom line, the more likely it will limit what you get. Before making
an offer, a company typically tries to determine what it will take for
you to accept the position. With that information, the prospective
employer will be able to determine the minimum package it needs to
offer. While they may not offer you as little as they can get away
with, if you've divulged too much information, they likely wont offer
you as much as they might have otherwise. By not disclosing exactly
what your current compensation is or exactly what it would take to get
you to leave your job, you'll force a potential employer to make it's
8 'BE CREATIVE.
Consider the value of the total package. Look for different ways to
achieve your objectives. Be willing to make tradeoffs to increase the
total value of the deal. If you're creative, you can package what you
want in ways that will be acceptable to the company. You'll also be
able to find creative "trades" that allow you to withdraw requests
that might be problematic to the company in return for improvements in
areas where the company has more flexibility. That way, you can
maximize the value of the package you negotiate.
9 'FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS, NOT WINNING.
Too often in negotiations, the act of winning becomes more important
than achieving your goals. And it's also important not to make your
future boss feel as if he's lost in the negotiations. You'll have
gained little by negotiating a good deal if you alienate your future
boss in the process.
10 'KNOW WHEN TO QUIT BARGAINING.
The one sure way to lose everything you've obtained is to be greedy.
There comes a point in every negotiation when you've achieved
everything you could have reasonably expected to gain. While most
companies will want to treat you fairly and make you happy, few
companies want a to hire a prima donna. Being perceived as greedy or
unreasonable may cause the deal to fall apart. Even if it doesn't,
you'll have done immeasurable harm to your career. This brings us to
the 11th and most important commandment:
11 'NEVER FORGET THAT EMPLOYMENT IS AN ONGOING RELATIONSHIP.
Job negotiations are the starting point for your career with a
company. Get too little and you're disadvantaged throughout your
career there; push too hard and you can sour the relationship before
Understanding these principles will allow you to effectively negotiate
the terms of your new job. Then do your job well and continually seek
out new challenges. As you take on added responsibilities and learn
new skills, there will be opportunities to negotiate further
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"
About the Author
Nathan Newberger is the job and career expert at http://www.WorkTree.com Nathan has over 10 years experience in staffing and human resources. He has worked both as a recruiter and career counselor. Mr. Newberger has been the Managing Editor at http://www.WorkTree.com for the past 5 years and his articles have helped thousands of job seekers.
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