Negotiating a salary offer is a very important skill. Whether you are gunning for a promotion or looking for a new job, you might not get offered your target salary right off the bat. Most of the time, you need to be able to negotiate with the company as to how much you are worth.
When a hiring manager extends a job offer, it usually comes with a package for your proposed salary. Before this happens or if the package does not align with your targets, you can suggest other forms of compensation or renegotiate your salary package. Here are some tips to guide you on getting the best salary offer from your dream job.
How to Prepare for Salary Negotiation?
Before heading straight on to negotiating for the best salary offer from your dream job, you need to make some preparations first on how to negotiate for your salary.
1. Know Your Worth and Value
Even though it is your dream job, you don’t have to compromise your value and worth to attain it. You still need to get paid for what you deserve. Because of this, you need to know benchmark rates on the specific position, industry, company, and area you are gunning for. All these factors come into play when knowing the going rates. You need to be able to find the perfect balance between your worth and the going rates.
Walking into an interview or salary negotiation without a number in mind is like going to war without your guns and canons. Without a number, you will be defenseless and will be dominated by the hiring manager to place a value on you.
You can search for benchmark or going rates for the position or company you are gunning for online. Online job search websites such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or Payscale can give you an idea of how much the going rates are. They get this information from people in the community.
Once you know the going rates, you need to balance this out with your own value. This time, you need to calculate all the factors that can affect your compensation. These include the following:
- Years of experience in the industry
- Years of experience with leadership roles
- Projects Completed
- Seminars Attended
- Historical Achievements
- Educational level
- Career level
- Licenses and certifications
You need to get the advantage on any of your credentials to put more value on yourself. Anything that comes to mind will be useful. So, you have to think carefully about the things that you can do and what you also have done. This will all play an important role when determining your salary.
2. Talk and Network with Recruiters
Another way to get information in the industry is to go straight to the source. Open forum and coffee table sessions are good opportunities for you to network with recruiters. Talk to them since they know how much expertise and experience are worth. You can use these kinds of information to your advantage when it comes to negotiating for your salary. When a recruiter reaches out to you, it is also best to engage in conversation.
Keep in mind that every person you meet is an opportunity to lead you to new windows. You remember that saying, when one door closes, another window opens. Well, this is the window that you have been waiting for. Every person you meet might lead you a step closer to getting the best salary for your dream job. You never know.
3. Play Out Different Kinds of Scenarios
When you trade in the foreign exchange market, there is something that you call stop loss. Similar to this, before you go into a negotiation, you need to have an idea of a “stop-loss” value in mind. This is the number that you’re willing to walk away from. It will be the value of the offer that will signal you to turn it down.
Sometimes, you also have to be willing to walk away from offers that won’t make you feel good or hit your target. Walking away is never going to be easy because you will always be thinking about what could have been if you did not say no and took the chance. That will always be there, so to prevent yourself from lingering on that idea, you need to have a hard stop figure in mind already before the negotiation begins.
4. Rehearse with a Friend or Trusted Person
To piggyback on the last point, playing out scenarios in your head might not do the job. That’s why it’s important to rehearse what you’re going to say with a friend. Ask your friend to run some questions by you so that you can practice how you’ll respond when the time comes. This will be very helpful for you. Remember that practice always makes perfect. If you are not comfortable practicing with a friend, you can also practice in front of a mirror.
5. Plan out the Right Timing
Timing is very important. For promotions, a lot of people usually wait until the time of the year when their performance is being reviewed before negotiating for a higher salary. However, by that time, it will already be too late for that. Upper management would have already decided the raise.
Instead of this, it is important that you do the timing right. You can start discussing your target salary with your boss months before the performance review season. You need to be preparing for this month before to ensure that you get the best salary. Sometimes, timing is everything. So, you need to be very precise with your timing.
6. Ask for Advice and Recommendations
If you have friends or family that have gone through the same thing, one of the most effective preparations you can make is to ask your friends and family for advice. This is also part of research and preparation. If you are gunning for a salary increase during a promotion, you might be able to scout for tips and strategies from colleagues who have done it successfully as well.
They will also be able to tell you truthfully how to navigate through the negotiation especially if they’ve done it before. If you are gunning for a position in a new company, it’s best that you talk to someone who is already inside the company to get some insights and tips on how to go about the negotiations to get the best salary.
How to Strategize for Salary Negotiation?
Next, you need to strategize how you will ask for the best salary.
1. Always Aim High
The number one rule for negotiating is to always aim higher than what you are targeting. If you aim for a higher amount than what you actually want, the person you’re bargaining with will feel like they are getting a good deal since they are negotiating down your ask.
That’s why you need to aim higher. If you aim for your target, the negotiator will still ask for a lower one. By aiming higher, you will get the salary that you are actually targeting and not a lower one. So, don’t be afraid to aim higher than your target.
2. Prioritize your Asks
There might be a chance that you might not get the exact number that you want. If this happens, you need to make sure that you can negotiate for other benefits instead. To do this efficiently, you need to prioritize other benefits aside from salary that’s important to you. These include signing bonus, HMO, vacation time, allowance, and such. This is a good compromise to get the monetary value of the salary difference between your goal and what was offered to you.
There are some perks and benefits that can be negotiable if ever the salary is not. For instance, you can get a work from home set up or an alternate schedule. This will all depend on your priorities. Some arrangements with the benefits and perks might be a better deal and have more worth even if you accept a lower paycheck.
In short, another strategy during a salary negotiation is to be flexible. You might be faced with different kinds of tasks and situations when you are in the meeting with your boss or hiring manager. That is why you need to be very flexible when it comes to this.
How to Converse for Salary Negotiation?
After you have made the necessary preparations and strategies for the salary negotiation, here are some tips on things you need to do during the negotiation.
1. Be Confident
In order for the hiring manager or your boss to be confident enough to give you the best salary, you need to show them that you also exude confidence. When you go into the meeting with your hiring manager or boss, it is best that you stand tall, chest up, and chin up. Having this strong and positive vibe will make a big difference.
Carrying yourself with confidence can go a long way. It will show your boss and hiring manager that you are sure of yourself and can take on the responsibilities that they will be placing upon you. Confidence is also correlated to credibility. That is why you need to be as confident as possible.
2. Talk about what You Can Do
Before talking about your target salary, you need to talk about the things that you have done and what else you can do. If you are gunning for a promotion with a raise, you can talk about all the accomplishments you’ve achieved within your time working there. Highlight all the instances that you have gone beyond what is expected. Use anything that can help you build your case.
If this is for a new job, you have to talk about all your achievements in your past job. On top of that, talk about the skills that you can contribute to the company. Talk about the certifications you have and plans when you are given a new role. Prove to them that you will add value to the company.
Never talk about your personal financial needs when you are negotiating for the best salary. You need to continue being professional and talk about what you have to offer to the company that will merit a certain salary.
3. Ask for Advice and Questions
After you have talked about the salary you want and what you can do, you can ask for advice from your boss or hiring manager. By doing this, you will improve your relationship with your boss or hiring manager by letting them know that you value their opinion.
Don’t forget to listen to your boss or hiring manager when you are trying to negotiate. Understand what they are asking and looking for so that you can find ways to make yourself look more lucrative. The skill of listening is just as important as your communication skills when negotiating.
On top of that, you also need to ask about the role that you are taking on. Instead of giving a number instantly, ask more questions about your responsibility and what is expected of you. This will give the impression that you are an achiever. This might also get you a higher salary.
4. Don’t Say Yes Immediately
Once you are given an offer, you don’t need to say yes or no right off the bat. Take your time to think it over. In fact, telling your boss or hiring manager that you need some time to think about the offer can actually get you another increase on the existing offer. This will also make you look like you are more discerning and won’t jump ship the first chance you get.
Negotiating for the best salary offer from your dream job won’t be an easy task. You need to be able to master this skill to be able to do so. Just follow the tips above, and you will be closer to getting the best salary offer. Try your best because there is no harm in trying. Good luck with negotiating for your salary!