You’ve passed the interview and you can tell that the employer is about to offer you the job. The last obstacle that you have to overcome is the salary negotiation. You know that it is important that you get it right; if you ask for too little, you will never get paid what you’re worth, but if you ask for too much, you may lose the opportunity. Here are three things that you should always do before entering a salary negotiation:
Find out the industry norm for your position. What are people typically being paid to do your job? Do your own informal survey to determine the average salary. You can get this information from job advertisements, labour market websites, and professional associations. You can even ask people in your network. Once you have an idea of the normal range, you will know if the employer’s offer is reasonable.
Determine your acceptable range. Now that you know the average range for your target position, you need to determine where you fit within this range. Consider your skills and experience and try to decide if you should be targeting entry level, mid-level or high level positions. Also, think about how much money you need to maintain your quality of life. It is better to go into a negotiation with an acceptable range in mind because it gives you room to negotiate.
Be ready to tell them why you’re worth it. These days every company is trying to save money. If you are asking the employer for a salary level above the minimum range, you will need to be able to justify it. Provide clear examples that demonstrate your skills and experience and let them know how you can save them time and money. Keep in mind that the hiring manager may have to justify the salary that they pay you to their supervisor; make it easy for them.
Nobody enjoys negotiating their salary; it can be stressful and awkward. However, it is a necessary part of the process. If you remain amicable and try to keep a smile on your face, you should be able to get through it without a problem.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)