When it comes to salary negotiation, experts will tell you to postpone such discussions until you’ve been offered the job.
That does not mean you should wait until that time to craft your negotiation story.
Salary Negotiation Can Be Confusing
Salary negotiation is not a comfortable topic for most people. It becomes even harder when our words and body language tell a story of desperation. As desperate as you may be, however, never, ever do what this client did.
George C. Fraser, Chairman and CEO of FraserNet Inc., said, “Never bargain or job hunt from a position of weakness. Soar like an eagle, even when you are feeling like a wounded pigeon.” Easier said than done, but there are tools to help job candidates navigate the salary negotiation maze.
Research is Key
The first step is to conduct research so you are more informed when the discussion comes up. At minimum, start with tools such as Salary.com, Payscale.com, salary.monster.ca, Careerjournal.com, and Salaryexpert.com. Canada’s Job Bank also has information. These tools allow you to conduct research about salary ranges based on industry, location, job title, experience, etc.
A new resource featured recently on Fast Company, is Paysa.com. One of its co-founders, Chris Bolte told Fast Company that the goal for the platform is to help people figure out how to understand what their value is in the market, and prepare them to have a more balanced, data-driven conversation with either a current or future employer.
To use the tool, a candidate would enter information such as job title, years of experience, company, location, education level, and skill set, and the Paysa.com platform would give a comprehensive picture of what the candidate is worth in the market.
Having said all of the above, it’s important to keep in mind that salary figures are not universally applicable. You need to take into consideration locations (cities, regions, provinces, states or territories). Having some information puts you in a better position to negotiate.
While you are negotiating don’t get stuck on the dollar figure. Some companies might not pay the salary you want, but you could negotiate for additional vacation, a more flexible work schedule, company-paid training, or other perks. These, if converted to dollars, could raise your total compensation package.
Additional Advice from an Expert
Carole Martin, President of The Interview Coach, and contributor to my book, Tell Stories Get Hired, said that the first rule of salary negotiation is to be prepared with your numbers. You need to know what you want. You never want to be caught off-guard. When they ask you questions about salary, you want to be prepared and ready with answers.
You have several options when faced with the question:
- You can tell them what you were making at your last job. (Weigh the pros and cons before you offer this information).
- You can give them a range that is acceptable to you – making sure that the lowest number is enough to cover your basic needs. (Better way of handling this difficult question).
- You can postpone the discussion until you have more facts about the company and the entire package. (If possible this is the best scenario for you. Only then will you be able to do a fair comparison of what you have made in the past, satisfy your own basic needs, and get the deal that is the best for you).
How you handle the salary negotiation discussion will be key to your ability to get what you want, and more, and you won’t get caught in a salary negotiation trap.
For this post, YouTern thanks Career Musings from our friends at Daisywright.com.
About the Author: Daisy Wright is an award winning career coach, certified executive leadership development coach, certified career management coach, author, and certified resume strategist who collaborates with executives, managers, and mid-level professionals in all aspects of their job search and career. With more than 15 years in the careers industry, she has what it takes to guide you in the “Wright” direction!