Salary Negotiation

Handing someone a paycheck

Before you start talking pay or negotiating salary with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much the job (and you) are worth. You will need to take the time to research salaries so you are prepared to get what you’re worth and a job offer that’s realistic and reasonable.

Once you know what you should be earning, how do you go about getting it? Start by being very patient. When interviewing for a new position, do your best not to bring up compensation until the employer makes you an offer. If you’re asked what your salary requirements are, say that they are open based upon the position and the overall compensation package. Or tell the employer you would like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to discussing salary. Another option is to give the employer a salary range based upon the salary research you’ve done up front. Once you’ve received the offer you don’t need to accept (or reject) it right away. Sometimes just delaying your response, within a reasonable period of time, can get you an increase in the original offer. Most offers include an expiration or respond by date. It is essential to respond to the offer within this timeframe.

If you’re ambivalent about the position, a “no” can bring you a better offer too. However, be careful. If you do definitely need that new job, there’s a risk that the employer may accept your declining the position and move on to the next candidate.