When you’re preparing to start a new job, one of the most critical steps in the process involves negotiating the salary. Your initial pay rate plays a big role in your earnings potential, both now and in the future. As a result, the idea of negotiating compensation is typically intimidating, particularly if you aren’t sure how to tackle it.
Fortunately, by using the correct strategies, getting the pay rate you deserve is often easier than expected. Here’s a look at how to negotiate salary before starting a new job.
Do the Research
Research is your ally when you’re negotiating a salary. Gathering evidence that shows what your skill set and experience level are worth in your local market makes it easier to craft a compelling case for better compensation.
Ideally, you want to use a mix of resources. Online job sites that allow people to self-report their salaries are excellent places to start, as well as profession-related data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just make sure you limit the results to your local area when possible, as compensation norms do vary between different states and cities.
As you present your research, it’s wise to back up those figures with examples from your career that show you’re worth what you’re requesting. Highlight accomplishments that demonstrate your value clearly, outlining the skills you used and quantifying the results. By doing so, you craft a more compelling case, increasing the odds that you’ll receive compensation that aligns with what you bring to the table.
Present Exact Figures
In many cases, it seems like rounding off any salary you present to the nearest thousand is the best choice. However, presenting specific figures – like $58,650 instead of $59,000 – works in your favor. It implies that you’ve done a significant amount of research into what your skills and experience are worth to arrive at that number, giving you a stronger overall position.
Start at the Top
As you conduct your research, you can typically outline a suitable pay range that meets your needs and aligns with industry standards. However, when it’s time to present a figure, don’t provide the range. Instead, lead off with a number that’s at the top of the range.
By presenting the top figure, you’re creating space for the employer to negotiate down while increasing the odds that the final number is within your target range. Essentially, it establishes wiggle room, and that’s critical since negotiating a salary usually involves some give and take.
Know When to Walk
Since you have a solid, research-backed range that aligns with your value, it’s wise to pick a figure that represents the lowest you’re willing to go. Then, consider any offer below that you’re walking-away point.
While the idea of walking away is intimidating, it’s often better to refuse the job than take a salary that doesn’t work for you. Plus, it will let you continue your search and find an employer that sees the value you provide, leading to a better salary and potentially more than you’d get if you accepted the low-paying role.
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If you’re ready to find a position that will pay you top dollar for your skills, Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us and speak with one of our recruiters today.