Money isn’t everything but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Unless you have recently won the lottery or are one of the lucky few who are set for life, chances are you are going to want your next job to have a starting salary that is as high as possible. At the same time, the employer is going to want to pay you at a level that makes sense for the financial well-being of the organization.
There are ways to break this stalemate using smart negotiating strategies.
Step One: Know exactly what you are worth, and this means doing the proper research. The latest salary report from The NonProfit Times lists the average pay for hundreds of nonprofit jobs making it a good place to start if you are unsure how you should be compensated. Once you know the going rate, you need to take into consideration your skills, education level, and any other attributes that would be of use to the employer.
Step Two: Avoid discussing salary with the employer as long as possible. If you give a figure that is too high you could be disqualified before you even get to the interview. Even if you do give a number that fits within their limit, you will be limiting your wiggle room as you have already given your bottom line. If the job ad specifically requests you list your salary requirements, simply state you are flexible and are looking forward to discussing it more in the future or you can say that your requirements vary based on factors including benefits, commute, etc.
Step Three: Don’t lie about your current or past salaries out of fear of pricing yourself out of the job. Organizations will be able to verify whether you are telling them the truth, so it’s better to be honest than to be labeled as a liar.
Step Four: Don’t accept an offer until you have time to think about it. Thank the hiring manager for the offer and request at least a day to go over your options to ensure you are getting a fair deal. It’s better to be overly cautious than to accept a starting salary that ultimately doesn’t give you what you need.
Step Five: Don’t be afraid to ask for more if you truly need it. As long as your request is made in a respectful manner, the worst that can happen is you are told they can’t do anything more to bring you closer to your desired salary. At that point you have to make the decision whether the job is attractive enough to make it worth working for a little less than what you want.