Negotiate a Higher Salary in Your New Job

Negotiating salary and compensation can be an uncomfortable process. As much as you’re excited about the new job, you’re equally concerned about your living expenses, proper market value and benefits. Ask for too much, and the hiring manager might send you and your resume packing. Ask for too little, and you’ll likely end up dissatisfied and unproductive. Try these suggestions when you’re ready to sign the dotted-line.

Businesswomen shaking handsNever show your cards. Just like poker, it’s best to avoid giving away your salary expectations before the job has been offered. Leave salary requirements on questionnaires blank, and, if you’re asked upfront what you expect to make in the new position, respond by telling them that you’re flexible and that salary is negotiable. Giving a number too early may lock you in to accepting an offer far below the standard asking price for your position.

Do your Research. Go to the negotiating table (or telephone, as the case may be) with research on the local and national benchmarks for income in your area of expertise. There are many websites such as salary.com and move.com that provide salary information for free. Try to find as much as possible about the company under consideration — what are the standard benefits, severance packages, etc.

businessman pulling a ropeThe Negotiation. You’ve done the prep work and set the meeting; now it’s time to actually have the discussion. When you finally sit down to talk dollars and cents, make sure you’re coming across as assertive and confident. Never be apologetic when  negotiating salary. If you act unsure when making your case for a higher wage, your superior will sense that and may decide against giving it to you.

Know your value. If you receive a lowball offer, be prepared to map out in clear and objective terms the benefits you’ll bring to the company. Using past milestones as your guide, name specific ways you plan to increase productivity and reduce costs.

Stack of moneyDon’t take it personally. This isn’t a cold-war standoff, so don’t try to strong-arm your future employer. Keep in mind that both you and your employer are seeking a cost-benefit compromise that pays dividends for both parties.

Don’t rush to judgment. Once you’ve fielded a satisfactory offer, tell them you need a day or two to mull it over. If they’re in dire need of your services, the extra time may convince them they need to ramp up the benefits.

It’s a conversation that many people dread. But if your career aspirations and personal goals extend beyond the confines of your current wage, negotiating salary with your new boss is absolutely necessary.

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