Salary Negotiation: How to earn more money and respect from your employer

As important as fair wages are to most of us, effective salary negotiation is often misunderstood and avoided. Current research indicates that the average tenure of a position today is 3.8 years. Over the course of your career, how well you negotiate raises or starting salaries will have an enormous cumulative effect on your quality of life.

So why does this skill remain elusive for many career professionals?

Most of us do thorough research and prepare extensively for a job interview. We create the perfect resume, whip up drafts of cover letters, and rehearse the answers to expected interview questions. We make sure we are dressed appropriately, have references, and are on time. But all too often, only cursory attention is given to thinking about how, when, and why we end up being happy with our salary terms.

One problem is that cultural taboos in our society make talking about money not worth it. Many of us consider negotiating money inherently improper, or feel guilty for not taking what was so well offered. Isn’t bargaining supposed to happen if you’re buying handmade rugs somewhere in Turkey?

We want to believe that the first offer we hear has to be the highest possible dollar figure; Furthermore, we don’t want to “rock the boat” and potentially ruin our chances of getting this great job. This voice inside us whispers “Everything about this interview is going well! Don’t smash it now!”.

Like it or not, you are a negotiator. You can’t get off this flight. Negotiations take place routinely in dozens of ways in our daily lives. Considering the fact that you will make or lose several thousand dollars in a matter of a few minutes, learning how to negotiate your salary respectfully is vital! Note that I say respectfully.

Unfortunately, I see countless candidates who either come in too aggressively, or too meekly, for their own good. This is often due to a lack of self-preparation and practice. Many candidates also fail to realize their position in the market and that of the employer. not good!

The good news is that salary negotiation skills can be learned or improved. Here are seven key tips for getting what you deserve while maintaining the healthy respect others have for you:

o Don’t believe that negotiating your salary effectively means you have to have the mentality of a used car salesperson! You are not being slippery, out of line, or ungrateful for not accepting the first number eliminated. Most employers value candidates who clearly have self-esteem and confidence in themselves; These qualities are revealed through skill and poise in how you negotiate your salary – they are also revealed if you do nothing.

Think about it: wouldn’t it make sense that if you show yourself effective negotiating abilities, you will negotiate smartly with your employer as well? Hiring managers pick up on this.

o Remember that your value is much more important than the number somewhere in the spreadsheet. Yes, it’s true despite the common cries that “Payroll budgets are getting fixed, that’s the best we can do” or “In this economy, you have to be a realist”. Employers generally aren’t looking for “cheap deals” but they do want value in their employees.

A common misconception is “I’d have a better chance of getting the job if I didn’t ask for so much money – I wouldn’t cost as much as other candidates.” do not go there! Focus on the value you bring, not the lack of cost. By the way, if you do it right, the “past salary history” issue should be much less important. This means that you will have a better chance of jumping to higher ranges faster in your career.

o Never (and I mean never) accept any form of benefit before negotiating your salary. Why? Once you accept some form of compensation other than salary, your employer has leverage in justifying why your salary is lower. Remember to always get an agreement on a starting salary first. Then negotiate non-salary benefits and special considerations afterward.

o Do not delay in talking about compensation; Try to discuss your value, and the specific benefits you can bring to the negotiating table, for as long as possible. The business owner should see you as a uniquely valuable resource – not a ready-made commodity with a price tag.

Think of those high-end commercials that delay revealing the bid price until the end (if at all). The whole point of business information is to bring to your attention the value of a good or service and its many different uses and applications.

Something that clearly proves gains or cost savings of $25,000.00 will certainly be valued attractively at $2,499.99. But would you really pay attention to an ad that immediately said its cost was $2,499.99? Mostly not! The same psychology applies to salary negotiation. The longer the interview process goes on, the more likely you are to be considered a valuable resource deserving of higher pay.

o Do not accept any offer, no matter how lucrative, on the spot. Instead, express your continued interest in the position and how clearly you see yourself making contributions (check them out again). Then always ask for 24 hours to consider an offer. The day is sure to give the hiring manager enough time to find any necessary “wiggle room”, if necessary.

Be passionate and enthusiastic, but don’t lose your objectivity – any position that will be the center of your daily career for years to come will not melt away in 24 hours. right?

o Don’t remember the old axiom “he (or she) who speaks first loses”. Wait for an offer to be made – but don’t respond right away. Remember that in many cases what you are initially offered may be the lowest number the hiring manager would dare ask.

This is an important area of ​​the assignment: often, even the casual remarks you make constitute tacit acceptance of the offer…which can quickly become explicit acceptance as the conversation proceeds. Don’t let this happen! Instead, intentionally direct the conversation to the responsibilities of the position. Who will you supervise? What are some concrete and specific contributions that you see yourself making? Where do you envision yourself in the organization in the future?

The more long-term image you create, the more likely you are to negotiate more effectively. You can only truly start negotiating after you have clearly brought realistic scenarios for the present and the future.

o Don’t over-negotiate. How do you know when to recognize what is too little or too much? Research your market early. Don’t just go to And you think that you “should” make a certain amount of dollars without taking into account the unique opportunities that each business owner has. This is not really a valid search.

Salary is compensation paid for the services rendered. Your salary should be commensurate with the skills and experience you acquired yesterday, but negotiated for the work you will do today and tomorrow. Remember, you don’t get what you deserve in life…you get what you bargain for!

Do you want more help? Check out this month’s HireWorks Recommendations for some great resources.

special offer! This month we will be reviewing 10 resumes for free. Find out what improvements you can make to get noticed by hiring managers and land that all-important first interview! Click here to introduce yourself and be among the first 10 people to respond!