Five Tips to Really Negotiate a Higher Salary

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We haven’t talked nuts-and-bolts here. There are other pointers – rehearse with a friend or partner, do the research, don’t be defensive or aggressive if you don’t like the offer, don’t accept the offer on the spot and ask for a formal offer letter. Make sure the letter includes reference to non-cash compensation such as vacation, sick time and insurance. Find out when insurance coverage starts – COBRA adds up fast. Most important: be prepared to justify the salary you want. Come to the negotiation prepared with a summary of your accomplishments. Show your value to the interviewer. And remember: you’re not just a number on a paycheck. You’re worth more than that.

What are you worth to an employer? Quick, come up with a number.

OK. Now, let’s come up with a realistic number.

Negotiating salary is, for most of us, as difficult as getting past phone screens and interviews to the job offer. It can be tough to think of yourself in dollar terms. If you’re not prepared to negotiate, you’re sure to be unhappy with almost any offer. So don’t be caught flat-footed. Especially today – when companies may not have much flexibility with money – getting to the offer, and making sure it’s fair to all, is a necessary skill.

Meghan M. Biro has written for GlassDoor about questions to ask during an interview to help you understand a company’s culture, and ways to figure the real and soft costs of commuting. Those topics also figure into a salary negotiation.

Salary, for example, is one measure of a company’s culture. Employees should be compensated fairly, compensation should be on par with similar companies in the region and the company should have a documented performance review process. If it’s a start-up, compensation may be difficult to benchmark, but for more established companies – say, those in business for more than ten years – it’s a simple matter to check Glassdoor.com, Salary.com, The Ladders and similar sites to get an idea of pay scales.

Commuting is also a salary issue. If you are looking at a long commute, for example, there are many associated costs – read the post and check out the calculator.

In salary negotiations, research, preparation and a realistic attitude will be your best friends. Here are a few things to think about.

 

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