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The Anatomy of Salary Negotiations

Effective salary negotiation is a skill. Your artful ability to negotiate the salary that you want, both when you are offered a job or preparing for your review to discuss your raise, will unquestionably impact what you get.

Below is a step by step guide to preparing for salary negotiations, including valuable resources and tools to help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Photo by thomastoons

Research, plan and go in fully prepared.
1- Fully review and understand your job description
2- Research for comparable salaries for similar job description and job title in your area
Salary.com
Kiplinger.com
PayScale.com
SalaryExpert.com
Monster.com
3- Based on the salary range that you find for your position, assess your skills, work experience, level of education against that information to get a better gage at where you fall within that range
4- If you are seeking a raise, factor in the following additional information:
• Recent performance reviews and valuable accomplishments
• Quantify your value add. Find ways to show that what you do saves them a ton of money
• Additional responsibilities that you have taken on and be prepared to discuss your plan on how you will own them

What can you negotiate for? Be prepared to negotiate fully. If more money is not an option right now, then consider other means to increasing your compensation package.
1- More money
2- Equity (Most people don’t ask for equity, but you’d be surprised how beneficial equity can be. Agreeing to take less money now for equity can be a very smart decision)
3- Vacation Time
4- Better Title
5- Benefits (Health, dental, vision)
6- Retirement package
7- Flextime
8- Bonus

Be prepared to respond effectively.
1- We don’t have the budget.
2- What you are asking for is too high.
3- Is what you are asking for negotiable?
4- I’ll think about it.

Do your research, plan and rehearse for your salary negotiation. Also, before you go in to negotiate, make it clear in your mind what your objectives are and consider what you will ask for in the event that your company will not go higher on money.

Keep in mind that each company has a preset salary range for the position that they are hiring for. You can try and make an educated guess at what that range is and aim for a number within that range, but if you ask for something outside of that range, it is unlikely that you will get what you are asking for. At the conclusion of your discussion, make sure you that the final terms are memorialized in writing.

  • Published 01/11/10

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