You’ve successfully navigated your way through the job interview process and have now been offered the position. That means your work is done, right? Not quite. There’s still one hurdle to get through before you can celebrate: The salary negotiation.
When you’ve come this far in a job search it can be tempting to accept the first salary offer you are given, but that will likely mean you are settling for less money than you are worth. Employers generally will start off a negotiation by offering less money than they expect to ultimately pay you, so it’s up to you to move their number to a more reasonable place. Not sure exactly how to handle these negotiations? Here are six things you should (and shouldn’t) do to ensure you end up with a salary that will fit your needs:
- Do give yourself as much information as possible. Examine salary and benefits data for similar organizations and positions so you can confidently argue that the number you are being offered is not market value.
- Do wait as long as possible to share your salary requirements. This information can be used against you when it comes time to negotiate a final number. If you are forced to name your number in the job application, list a range rather than a specific number.
- Don’t let your previous salary dictate what you can earn, especially if it was a completely different job. Remind the interviewer that your skills and experience warrant a higher pay and use your research to back up these arguments.
- Don’t be unrealistic about what you should earn. Take into consideration the state of the economy, your experience, and current trends when coming up with your ideal salary.
- Do let the employer make the first move. Knowing the salary range from which the employer is working will give you a better idea of how to adjust your negotiating strategy. For instance, if they start even lower than you expected, you will probably have to do more selling to get closer to your number.
- Don’t be rushed into making a decision if you are not satisfied with the offer. It’s better to walk away from a job offer if the amount they are going to pay you is below market value and will leave you in a situation where you will have to eventually find a new job in order to live comfortably.