Negotiating Your Salary: 10 Things You Don’t Want to Overlook

Most people know salary negotiation will be a big part of any serious job interview, so they come somewhat prepared. Still, all the research in the world doesn’t account for nervous forgetfulness that may mean something will be overlooked in the process. Today we’re going to highlight ten key things you don’t want to overlook when negotiating your salary.

Do Your Homework

As mentioned, most employees do some homework but not always the right kind. In fact, many of them go into negotiations with one specific figure in mind and refuse to negotiate further. This is a huge mistake that could get your job offer withdrawn. Use negotiation training first to set up for preparation. Afterward, perform research on what your potential company currently pays for your position.

Learn to Mediate

Business experts agree companies usually start negotiations at a little less than half of the salary you might receive. Be warm and friendly without over-sharing. Focus on your unique skills or how your personality traits will positively influence the position.

Bargain for Time

Sometimes employees get so caught up in the money part of negotiations, they don’t negotiate other aspects of the job, like sick leave or vacation time. This is crucial, especially if you have familial or other obligations. Use negotiation training to address this issue, among others.

Watch Your Attitude

While some interviewees come off as money-grubbing, others are too nervous during negotiations. They end up settling for a lower salary than they want and often a less fulfilling job. Negotiation training will allow you to be confident in your negotiations, which encourages time for thinking through the process. Let the company wait several days or a week for your decision.

Brainstorm First

List the pros and cons of negotiating for specific salaries. One common misconception is that a lower salary means more time spent at home. In reality, it often means more hours spent at work to earn the same amount of money as a competing employee.

Know Your Budget Basics

Before you negotiate, go over your budget. Where do you or your family spend the most money? Can you foresee any big expenses (medical, marriage, automotive, college)? With these things in mind, you can negotiate for a salary that best fits your needs.

Consider Cost of Living

The area where you live will heavily influence your salary negotiations. If you live in an urban area, you may need to negotiate for a higher salary because of housing, gasoline, and food costs.

Don’t Use the “S” Word

You’ll get farther with your interviewer if you don’t actually use the word “salary.” Let him or her bring it up. Use negotiation training to help determine when and how to begin the financial aspect of the discussion.

Be Aware of Alternatives

Many companies offer alternatives to traditional paychecks, such as stock options and bonuses. Research these and identify the ones you’re willing to take in addition to or in place of cash.

Prepare for Objections

As with any negotiation, employers negotiating a salary will often play hardball. Prepare yourself for objections your interviewer may make to the salary you want. Pretend you are the employer and address questions you might have, such as whether an employer with three to five well-honed skills should be paid more than one with 10 skills at different levels.


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