You just received a job offer? Congratulations!
Now it's time to negotiate your salary. You might feel a little anxious about it, but trust me, if you do it right, you have much to gain. Even though not many people have the courage to go in there and negotiate, surveys show that almost half of the employers are ready to do it. So, why not take the most out of it?
Here are a few tips on how to excellently play your part in negotiating your salary.
1. Prepare yourself for this phase
Research a fair salary – either before going to the interview or when you receive the job offer. You must know how much the position you want is usually paid. So ask your friends, your colleagues, search for the information online. When you find the average amount that job is paid, you might want to add some extra – this way, you leave room for the negotiation part.
2. Don’t be afraid to take your time
If the job offer it's done instantly after the interview and you are taken by surprise, don't be afraid to postpone your answer. It's a misconception that you won't be called after this. They will give you time to think about it if you are valuable for them, thrilled and positive. Go home and study your opportunity.
3. Don’t go below what you consider minimum
Make sure you calculate your needs and figure out what is the minimum amount that you would accept for that job. Having that mind be ready to say “no” if the negotiation goes under your minimum salary. No matter how hard it may seem, be prepared to turn it down and walk away, don't compromise yourself. And try to avoid answering questions regarding your current income or your salary expectations in the first place, because it will surely affect the negotiation.
4. Show them how much you are worth
If you really want that job and you think you can get a better offer from than employer, you can volunteer to do a project to prove your skills. Once the employer realizes how good you are, it is more likely he or she will meet your salary request.
5. Make sure you settle this face to face
Don't have this conversation over the phone or by the e-mail. Set up a meeting face to face, it's easier to make an impression and be convincing in your requests when you connect with the other person. People tend to react better face to face than when you are just a voice or a picture, especially when it’s a salary discussion.
6. Be confident when you meet your employer
Role-play the whole meeting with someone your trust and practice to improve your communication skills. Concentrate on showing what a valuable asset you are before starting to talk numbers. Highlight you relevant skills and previous experience to illustrate one of your career achievements so far. Employers are easily convinced by people that proved their performance in the past.
7. Don’t be the first one to mention the salary
It's better to let the employer say a number before you ask for it. Focus on your qualities, your soft skills, your work experience and the things you could bring at the new workplace. Don't forget to still sell yourself, but without bragging or overselling it. It will convince the employer that you are the best choice and that the company will benefit from hiring you. A good hint is to mention what motivates you at the workplace (other than money, obviously).
8. Keep your reactions to yourself
When the employer says the job offer out loud, be silent for a moment and make sure not to express your initial emotion about it. Even if the offer is generous and you like it, don't rush into saying something. Take a moment, as if you're thinking about it. It will show them that you are not surprised and you are confident. Moreover, they might increase the offer while the silent moment. Surely, don’t take longer than a couple of seconds, to avoid making it awkward.
9. Be flexible
The employer likes you very much, but you tell he or she can't offer more at the moment. It's time to be flexible. If there’s nothing you can change regarding the salary, think about other things you would want. Negotiate other compensation like the schedule, a nicer office, extra days of vacation, a fitness pass, a work car, a phone, a laptop and so on.
10. Drink coffee before you enter the negotiating room
Oh, and drink coffee before meeting your employer to talk about numbers. Scientists say caffeine makes people more resistant to persuasion.
In the end, whether you got what you wanted or not, you should not forget to thank the employer for his or her time.
Negotiating your salary isn't an easy task. But if you do it right, it will change both your professional and personal life, offering you a big satisfaction. Moreover, having the desired salary will keep you motivated for a longer time, which in turn will increase your performance, exposing you to even better career opportunities in the future.