Trying to negotiate salary in today’s economy can be one of the more intimidating things that we have to do as an employee. Money is tight all over, and every one is filling the pinch. Still, negotiating your salary is necessary to remain competitive with others in your field. If you are a valuable asset to your company, then you have every right to negotiate a salary that is equitable and fair.
When negotiating your salary you should always remember what it is that you do that earns your company money. Find out what you bring to the table that is unique and cannot be replaced. This is the best leverage you could have when you go in to negotiate salary. If you offer your employer something that they do not already have, then this will give you the basis of a higher salary. Conversely, if you offered them what they already had, then your value and salary would drop. Make sure that you fall into the first category before going in to negotiate salary.
Respect is another factor that you must consider when negotiating salary. Many people enter into negotiations with the attitude that they are tough. There is a difference between tough and stupid. If you walk into a salary negotiation with attitude, then chances are the results are not going to be in your favor. Always enter into negotiations with an attitude of teamwork. Good manners and a better attitude will get you much further in salary negotiations.
If you can, arrange your salary negotiations to fall on Fridays. Friday is generally the end of the work week, and many employers will be in a rush to get to the weekend. They will be much more likely to give you what you want, and to be in a much better mood. Also, always set your salary negotiation appointments for the late afternoon.
When the negotiations begin, do not tip your hand. Have a salary range in mind but do not share it unless backed into a corner. Usually the side that reveals first loses. You do not want to say that you are wanting $20 an hour when they might have been considering $25 an hour. If they do back you into a corner, then only give a broad range and let them know that it’s open for discussion. Do not linger on the point. When in doubt during salary negotiations, simply be quiet. Sometimes it is what you say that causes you to lose.
Keep in mind when going through salary negotiations that desperation is not your friend. If you appear to be desperate for a certain salary or raise amount, then it will not reflect well. It is vital that you come across as confident and sure of your value. If you question your value to a company, and they most certainly will. It is for this reason that you should go into salary negotiations with a very clear range in mind. Value yourself, and then wait for them to meet that value. Salary negotiations often begin in one place and end up in a very different place. Do not simply jump on the first offer of salary that the company gives you unless it exceeds the value that you have set for yourself.
Salary negotiations do not have to be as stressful as they are made out to be. If you are prepared, and do your homework before the negotiations begin, then the salary negotiation process will be smooth and stress-free.