Proper Salary Negotiation

Businessman Filling Cheque

Salary negotiation is a very delicate and uncomfortable topic but I decided to write about it as I get a lot of questions on the proper way to negotiate. Whether you’re negotiating your salary for a new job, or with your current employer, it can be quite daunting. Here are tips on how to ease your struggle on getting the salary you deserve.

First you have to know when it is a good time for salary negotiation. Many job seekers make the mistake of asking about the salary too early in the interview process. The right time to negotiate is when you are sure to get the position. The salary negotiation usually starts towards the end of the 2nd interview, and the most important thing is to be prepared for it. First do your research’try to find out the average salary of people in your field, and in that particular organization. Resources could include current employees, online salary calculators, websites and directories of professional associations, government reports, and industry-specific trade magazines.

If the discussion is going towards salary, try to get the employer to mention a figure first. If presented with: “What salary do you expect?” A good response is: “You likely have a figure in mind that fits the responsibilities and requirements of the job. I would be interested in knowing what that figure is.” Also remember you are not negotiating for salary only. It is a good thing to ask about medical benefits, RRSP, vacation days, sick days, performance bonuses and all the other extras that might come with the salary.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you ask to have everything in writing. For example if the employer states that he will give you a lower salary than you requested but after 3 months you will have a review and a salary increase, you can agree but you need to say “I would like to have that in writing please”. By doing so, you can be sure that the employer will keep their promise.

Don’t feel hesitant and apprehensive to negotiate’it is a part of the process. The employers actually prefer people who negotiate as it show them that a candidate has good communication skills and confidence. If you see that negotiations are not going your way, whip out additional reference letters, take a salary cut during the early stages, or propose working from home to exempt the employer from having to set up your office and hence extra costs.

Whatever you do, improvise and be ready to adapt. Understanding what you are getting into when you start to negotiate for a salary is one thing; being prepared for it is where these pointers come into play. Take this negotiation process seriously and only accept the position if you feel comfortable with the offer.

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