Hearing those magic words, “You’re hired!” is generally when your brain goes in party mode. Not so fast. Your job is not over, yet. You just entered the perfect zone to negotiate salary – the time when the company is anxious for you to start working but you have not yet signed on the dotted line.
Negotiation doesn’t just stop at salary — vacation, training and other company perks can also be on the table.
For most of us, salary negotiation feels awkward at best. But, rest easy, companies expect you to negotiate and often view your negotiation skills as part of your entire job skills package. Here are some exact words and phrases to say and to avoid to make the process easier.
- Market value. Do your research so you know what your market value is. Find out if the company you are interviewing with publishes salary ranges for your position or research the industry to get a sense of industry-average pay. You can do this by research online and through executive recruiters and professional recruiters and professional association, according to Linda Descano, president and CEO of Citi’s Women & Co. in 3 Magic Words for Negotiating Salary.It’s common to ask for a bit more than your market value, knowing you will have some wiggle room, but do it within reason.
- Just say no! “Yes” is a phrase to avoid when a job is initially offered. It’s not an easy economy out there, so it feels like you should just snap up any job offered, right? Wrong. Most companies expect you to negotiate and often view your negotiation skills as part of your entire job skills package. And, the dirty not-so-secret is that what a company initially offers is not everything they can give. Often, the employers have much more authority and much more to offer than what they let on, you just need to go digging, according to Victoria Pynchon, expert negotiator, What not to say When Negotiating your Salary.
- Once you understand your worth, how do you say it? Sometimes you are able to put out the first offer; sometimes a company will do it for you. Either way, be ready to offer it with a concise, respectful and to the point phrase. Practice something like this suggestion by Rebecca Thorman in her blog, Exact Words to use When Negotiating Salary.”I’m really excited to work here, and I know that I will bring a lot of value. I appreciate the offer at $58,000, but was really expecting to be in the $65,000 range based on my experience, drive, and performance. Can we look at a salary of $65,000 for this position?”
- Expect rejection, but never take it as the final answer. According to Pynchon saying no to a company’s final offer just shuts the door on a conversation that isn’t over yet. Instead, try reiterating your salary offer and mention that you believe your skills are worth the pay. If contracting, Pynchon suggests asking what might be standing in the way of paying the fee, and possibly offering payment over time — in other words, always be moving toward making the payment happen.
Negotiation doesn’t just stop at salary — vacation, training and other company perks can also be on the table. Do you research and look at the entire package, depending on your level in the company. Remember, this is your future, so if you want something, just ask, says Descano.
“Know how much more you want to earn and in what form, generally salary, bonus or equity, then ask for it,” Descano said. “Also, think about what you would like if you can’t be paid more, such as additional training, flex time or a company car.”