As if finding a potential new job isn’t hard enough, negotiating salary can make a job search that much harder.
Salary negotiation can be a difficult undertaking for those who don’t have a solid grasp of employers’ compensation expectations. When you don’t know what companies are willing to pay, you risk asking for something far outside the company’s budget for the position, which can jeopardize your candidacy.
Conversely, taking a low-ball salary offer can cause you to resent your new employer and can financially put you in dire straits. That’s not the way you do it.
The negotiation suggestions listed below can help you land compensation packages in which you can take satisfaction.
Know Your Value
Take the time to research salaries on sites like Glassdoor, which enables you to study individual businesses, view salaries that people have earned, and check out employees’ opinions on the company to which you’ve applied.
Glassdoor and other websites like Salary.com have salary calculators that you can use to nail down your approximate value. Many of these sites also have cost-of-living and other features to determine the “real value” of your potential paycheck. Some of these sites require registration, and most are free to use.
Get the Timing Right
When first contacted by a potential employer about an open position, avoid the urge to bring up compensation. Bringing up salary right away can make you seem shallow, and more importantly, it can lock you into a number with little room to negotiate.
If the hiring manager or recruiter asks about your salary expectations, simply say willing to negotiate based on the demands of the job.
Assess the Overall Offer
As soon as you have a job offer, review it very carefully. There are more aspects that come into play than merely the bottom salary. For instance, you may want to look at commission, bonuses, and potential raises, along with benefits, paid time off, advancement opportunities, and flexible scheduling. These factors affect both your net income and the ability to enjoy what you earn.
Take Time with an Offer
If you are formally offered the position, do not make a decision right on the spot. Take at least a day to think about it and ask any follow-up questions you might have, regardless of how minor your concerns might seem. When taking your time, be sure to get the company’s deadline for a response.
If the job offer isn’t where you need it to be, put together a counteroffer based on your research. Don’t forget to consider other factors for negotiation besides pay rates, such as vacation time and flexible scheduling. Your counteroffer should be reasonable, and it should leave room for you to compromise.
If you’re in a position where you can walk away from the negotiating table, and the offer isn’t where you needed to be, then you should walk away. Don’t take an offer you know you’ll end up regretting.
We Can Help You Get the Job Offer You Need
At ZDA, we connect job seekers to great opportunities and support them through the application process and beyond. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you land a great job offer.