A salary negotiation guide

 What do a promoted employee and a new one joining an organization have in common? They have to engage in salary negotiations. For many of those employees, they would rather watch paint dry or pay the dentist a visit than to engage in this important activity according to statistics. Salary negotiations aren’t just some kind of vain discussions around your pay and though it may seem like the employer ALWAYS has the trump card, YOUhave more influence than you imagine. Here is a simple guide:

Preparation is critical; do a background research and gather information on the kind of pay packages that match your job, qualifications, and experience. This will prevent you from demanding some out of this world packages. While you are at it, try and determine if the organization is able to pay THOSE kinds of packages. Who wants to sign up Heather Locklear to play little red riding hood in a kid’s bedtime story?

Never thrown in all your cards right at the onset, the best time is to wait for the employer to throw in the first card. Delay the salary part until the final moments – or thereabout. This will allow for discussions on other equally vital parts of the compensation like working hours, vacation, medical benefits, allowances and other bonuses. This also means that you should be flexible. And don’t take the first offer! They know you are going to try and haggle a little bit and so, they would want to start you off on a lower figure than they intend to offer.

Unfortunately, employers will try to start shooting from your current salary and might even compel you to reveal it. Your negotiating edge might seem to take a hit in in this case, but, whatever you do, DON’T LIE! Verifying a salary is not as impossible as you may think. Getting off on the wrong footing with your employers is not wise, and certainly not in matters of personal character. Giving details about just how much you need the [extra] money should be avoided. Even if you just got a mortgage, recently had a bouncing baby boy, or taking up your masters program, it is best to keep these out of the salary talks. Everyone needs the money just as bad.

Arm yourself with information on your current and potential contributions to the organization, performance, and experience. Show how you have helped increase productivity, efficiency, sales volumes, etc. Exude confidence, excitement, and enthusiasm; that is, you can’t wait to start as soon as this salary negotiation is out of the way. Be calm and composed throughout the proceedings. Especially for new employees, don’t be afraid of turning down an offer. Demonstrate that you deserve it and you can also go out there and get it. Be careful not to appear somewhat cocky. And for heaven’s sake don’t throw a fit if you don’t get what you wanted.

Finally, if the employer happens to hit the magic numbers, don’t get easily carried away in the heat of the moment and say yes to every other thing. Carefully go over everything else included in the package, or you the might just have to spend the extra cash on visits to the local shrink [job stresses & what-have-you]. As for  a salary increase, it is highly possible that a new deal will come with more responsibilities, a revision of current ones or in rare cases, some kind of loyalty agreements. As soon as the employer throws in the final figure and locks in any other packages, consider taking some time out to go mull over it. Also, determining how low you will go before hand will save you a lot of pain and time in making the decision.

Remember, in any negotiation, do not just look to convince or win over, but also to disarm.


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