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    Salary Negotiation: Five Rules to Follow

    While the job market has been improving over the past few years, pay rates have remained stagnant, at best, for most workers. That trend seems to be easing as we move into 2015, with many expecting salaries to increase across all job markets. While changing jobs and/or companies is often the best way to secure a salary increase, it’s not the only way.

    Whether it’s the fear of being perceived as pushy or feeling uncomfortable about the negotiation process, professionals are hesitant when it comes to salary negotiation. According to the 2015 PayScale Salary Negotiation Guide, only 43 percent of the survey’s respondents have asked for a raise in their current field.

    Instead of fearing salary negotiation, Heather Huhman, writing for Glassdoor, has identified five rules every professional should follow when asking for a raise.

    Salary negotiation is a challenging process for many professionals, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you do for your career. By following these rules of salary negotiation, hopefully you’ll earn the salary you deserve in 2015.

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    How to Negotiate Salary

    Click through for five rules IT professionals should consider when negotiating a salary, as identified by Heather Huhman, writing for Glassdoor.

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    Avoid Accepting the First Offer

    When negotiating a job offer, don’t be quick to say “yes.” Instead, tell the employer you need more time to think about the offer.

    Ask the employer if you can provide a response within the next 24 to 48 hours. During this time, sit down with the job offer and determine whether it’s a fair offer. After you’ve made your decision, approach the employer with your counteroffer and be ready to negotiate a higher salary.

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    Don’t Be the First to Share a Number

    The art of salary negotiation is to wait for the employer to make their offer. Unless the employer asks what your expected salary is, don’t provide a number until requested. The key is to be patient and wait for the employer to present what they think is a suitable salary for your experience and skills.

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    Keep Your Emotions in Check

    Salary negotiation can put you through a roller coaster of emotions. It can be scary, stressful, exciting, and even frustrating. Regardless of how challenging the salary negotiation process becomes, make sure to keep a positive attitude and stay professional.

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    Remember to Negotiate Additional Perks

    What many job seekers overlook during the negotiation process is the additional benefits they’re receiving as a part of the job offer. Instead of solely focusing on the salary, pay attention to other perks such as health benefits, a sign-on bonus, paid vacation time, and the opportunity to telecommute. It’s very likely an employer will be open to offering you additional perks if they can’t promise a higher salary.

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    Find Balance Between What You’re Worth and What the Employer Can Offer

    The most important rule of negotiating a salary is knowing what you’re worth and what the employer can offer. The last thing you want to do is to request a higher salary and more benefits without doing your research first.

    For example, if you applied for a marketing position at a small nonprofit, you can’t expect the organization to have the same budget as a large marketing firm in New York City. Before you negotiate your salary, determine how much you should be paid for the position you’ve applied for. This will help you think of a realistic counteroffer to present to the employer.

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