Job Offers and How to Negotiate Salary

Find out how to negotiate salary so that you get exactly what you want.

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You’ve gotten your job offers, but you want to know how to negotiate salary offers as well. Nobody likes uncomfortable money talks, but young job seekers and employees just returning to the job market are often especially uncomfortable dealing with salary negotiation.

Learn how to negotiate salary, and remember the most important rule: Be respectful and confident.

Don’t be afraid that the job offer will be taken away.

When should I negotiate my salary?

Do your salary negotiation soon after receiving the job offer. Don’t be afraid that the job offer will be taken away. Your employers have already decided that you are the best candidate for the job, so they don’t want to go through another interview process.

Most employers will expect it, too. Salary negotiations are common, and as long as you stay positive and polite, there’s little reason to think anything bad will happen.

How do I prepare for a salary negotiation?

Know the job details and know how much other people are getting paid in similar jobs. Pay Scale is a great website for researching national and regional wages. Understand how other factors such as unions, company pay grades, and current company finances are affecting hiring and salary ranges. Use this information to figure out the salary you expect to have.

It’s also smart to know your minimum expectations upfront. Don’t waste time if the company isn’t able or is unwilling to meet your financial needs.

Make them give you a number first.

In a negotiation, parties meet in the middle. If you give your salary number first, you can expect to meet in the middle somewhere below your original number. Instead, avoid talking about salary until you have a firm offer, and then ask them for their number first.

If you’re forced to give your salary expectations first, know how to negotiate salary effectively by leading with a high number. Take the number you decided on in your research and add 10%. It’s easier to negotiate down than trying to negotiate up anyway.

What if my employer refuses to negotiate?

If your employer absolutely refuses to negotiate salary, and you are willing to stay, consider asking for other benefits. Extra paid time off, shorter hours or the option to work from home are nice perks to bring up when salary negotiation isn’t working.

You might also suggest that you receive your one-year evaluation a little early. Typically new employees are evaluated and given raises after a year, but in certain circumstances, exceptions can be made.

Finally, know when to walk away. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and that’s fine. You could also consider the position as temporary work while you continue your job search.

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