Salary negotiation is like a game of tennis: Once the employer serves his offer, you have to return with a counteroffer of your own. You will usually come to a mutual agreement of some kind but not before some furious back-and-forth.
You have likely heard plenty of opinions from family and friends about what they think are the best counteroffer strategies. Some will tell you to ask for 20 percent more than what you want because you can always retreat from that, while others will suggest adding 10 percent to the employer’s offer out of fear that they are low-balling you.
These particular tactics can sometimes work, but they involve arbitrary figures that are not guaranteed to get you what you want from the negotiation. Here are some more practical tips to help you achieve your salary goals.
- Take the time to research typical pay for the position. Using this information, you can establish a compensation package that will be justifiable based on your experience, field, and skills. Be sure not to overlook anything because it will be difficult to ask for more once you have established your counteroffer.
- Many salary negotiators make the error of staking out an unreasonable position based on arbitrary numbers and then having to retreat from that offer. By submitting a counteroffer that is based on facts, you will be able to hold firm until the employer gives you a persuasive reason to change.
- Remember to keep the big picture in mind during your negotiation. Your ultimate goal is to get an offer that meets your needs so if your counteroffer is not moving you closer towards that, you should not defend it simply for the sake of winning the argument. Being flexible is key.