How NOT to Negotiate Your Salary

Maintaining a steady income is important and so is advancing your career making leaps forward rather than backward. Most companies have set salaries for each position. Keep in mind that not all of these salaries are in line with industry salary medians. It is important that you do some research and prevent yourself from being short-changed. Of course, if you have been unemployed for a period of time, needing income as soon as possible also plays a factor, but make sure you are making the right decision first.

Know your Worth

Every industry has a value and you have a value within it. You have to know what you are worth as a professional in a specific niche. Experience and records of success make you a little more valuable that someone who is just starting out.

When you possess unique qualities and have proven methods of success, shoot for the stars. Most professionals include a salary requirement letter with a cover letter and resume. Include your desired salary and highlight the main reasons that you deserve that amount.

Complete an Industry Salary Comparison

In order to see what you should expect as a salary, complete a salary comparison. Include experience, top companies and the salaries of entry level and superior positions. This will give you a good idea of what to expect.

With that being said, if you have unique skills or are highly in-demand in a specific industry, you should expect a top range salary.

Don’t Settle

If you should end up in a salary negotiation situation, don’t settle just to get the job. This is where knowing your worth comes into play. Some companies pay lower salaries in order to keep more revenue for themselves. While this is a smart business move on their part, it also means that they are not likely to have the top professionals on their staff due to the offered salaries. Unless you have absolutely no other option, don’t settle.

Know when and when not to Negotiate Salaries

There are situations where negotiating salaries is not a good idea. Some companies do not budge period. In some cases, even attempting salary negotiations can cost you the opportunity completely. This is why researching the company and industry median salaries are important. If you can see that a company is paying below industry standards, negotiations shouldn’t even be attempted.

Gauge the ability to stand your ground and accept the salary offered or shoot for a little more during the interview process.

Understanding When to Discuss Salaries

Many professionals have it backwards when it comes to discussing salaries. This should be done at the time of the interview, not days later. Days later, the company is already set to bring you in and has you in the system under a specific salary. Most don’t want to go in and change this or don’t want to pay more than already offered.

It tells an employer that you are unsure about working with them if you go back days later. Perhaps you’ve received another offer and want to see if this company can match it because their structure, atmosphere and track records are better. See what the cards hold and give it a try, it never hurts to try.

There are right and wrong ways to go about negotiating salaries. A potential employer can tell if you feel uneasy with the discussion, so have confidence and understand how much you really are worth and what you deserve to be paid. As mentioned above, some companies just do not negotiate salaries, what they offer is it. Weigh your options before giving up on one company, it may be the only opportunity you have for a while.

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