If you don’t ask for what you want, the answer will always be no!
This is especially true when it comes to salary negotiations. However, you can also negotiate other elements of a job offer. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of negotiating a job offer, follow these 9 tips and build your confidence.
Research Salary Ranges (And More)
First things first. You should have already conducted company research before you walked in the door for your first interview.
Technically, you should have researched salaries before you applied for the job to ensure your range was appropriate. As you may have noticed, most job postings will not include salary information. In order to get an idea of what the job is worth and what other people in similar roles make, do your due diligence.
This means using multiple sources. Use salary calculators. But don’t stop there. Talk to recruiters in your field and geography. Network with people who are in your line of work to understand what the going rate is. Use as many of these options as possible to develop a realistic expectation for your desired salary range.
Remember, your value in the marketplace is based on how much the employer is willing to pay, the value of your skills and what your previous employer paid you.
When To Negotiate Job Offer
You technically can’t negotiate a job offer until you have one.
Avoid getting into a detailed salary discussion or attempting to negotiate any condition until you have a job offer. For example, expressing your desire to work from home during the interview could sour the deal. Wait to talk about this until you have an offer and always be sure to learn what the company’s policies/perceptions are for conditions you are interested in.
And don’t try and negotiate on the spot. When presented with the job offer, ask how long you have to consider the offer and schedule a time to provide your answer. Remember, accepting a job is a major decision and you shouldn’t feel pressured to accept an offer.
Negotiate With Enthusiasm
If an employer doesn’t think you want the job, it could hurt your chances of negotiating, or worse, could lead to the offer being taken off the table. Tell the employer you are interested in the job and why. And be sure to smile.
Negotiate With the Right Person
The person who extends the offer may not be the person with the power or authority to negotiate. Every company has a different set of procedures. It is important that you know who has final budget approval for the job. While human resources may be the ones who extend the offer, they may not have the ability to negotiate.
Use Company Research and Inside Information
During the interview and through networking conversations with company insiders, you may uncover valuable information. Perhaps you learn that the company has negotiated vacation time for certain employees or allows some of the team to work from home once a week. You odds of getting things are better if there is already a precedent in the company or department. Use the information you uncover to your advantage.
What Can You Negotiate?
There are many elements to a job offer. Here are some things you may want to consider:
- Job title
- Start date
- Vacation/paid time off (PTO)
- Flextime/job hours
- Remote or virtual work
- Signing bonus or other bonuses
- Level of responsibility
- Relocation expenses
- Professional association dues, subscriptions
- Laptop, mobile phone, home office technology
Auto (car lease, mileage)
- Training/certification reimbursement
- Severance provisions
You’ll find a downloadable list of these negotiables in Don’t Overlook Negotiating Your Offer.
Negotiate Salary First
It’s important to prioritize what you want to negotiate- and don’t be greedy. The general rule of thumb is to negotiate salary first and if you secure your desired salary, be willing to compromise on other items you want to negotiate. Conversely, if you can’t negotiate the salary you had hoped for, push on and negotiate other things. You may consider negotiating for a performance review sooner (with the option of a pay increase if meeting/exceeding expectations), or maybe vacation or PTO is important. Remember, the employer won the salary negotiations, you need a win!
Your body language, tone of voice and the words you choose to use should convey you believe you are worth what you are asking for. Keep in mind, the company has invested significant time and manpower interviewing you. They don’t want to start over.
Always Get Your Job Offer In Writing
Once you have reached a final agreement on the terms of the offer, be sure you ask for it in writing. You will want this before you begin your first day of work. Managers can change and policies can shift. You want to protect yourself in case anything changes.