Whether you’re about to accept your first job offer or you’re seeking a raise, negotiation is a skill that will yield great rewards for you if done well. Before signing on to any agreement, it is important to understand the conditions of your employment and how you can adjust them to get the most out of the deal. Below are some tips to capitalize on the opportunity to negotiate your salary and other benefits.
Know Your Worth
Before you bust into your boss’s office and demand a raise, it’s critical that you come prepared for the discussion. Do industry research so you know what others in your position earn, understand how your professional experience and qualifications stack up against others and be able to speak to your contributions to the company. You should not only be knowledgeable and have a desired salary in mind, but you should be confident and communicate your value to the firm as well.
More Than Money
When employees enter negotiations, the first item on the agenda is usually salary. As important as a fair monetary reward is, don’t lose sight of all of the other significant benefits you can attain. In the worst-case scenario, i.e. you do not achieve your desired salary, shift the conversation to other benefits that can be obtained. Extra vacation days, gym memberships, discounts at the company store — all of these can add up in the long run and make you feel like you’re getting more out of the arrangement than you previously had.
Have a Win-Win Strategy
When negotiating, make an effort to be more agreeable, and justify your requests. Although these behaviors may seem ineffective, these tactics can be extremely successful. When you come in with a “win-win” strategy in mind it will come across as a collaboration rather than a battle. Negotiations that are discussions where benefits are considered on both sides are the most long-lasting and successful, and both parties tend to be more satisfied in these circumstances as well. It’s important to be able to give yourself the credit you deserve while being amiable and cooperative.
When you receive a job offer or a promotion, it is essential that you take a step back to carefully consider whether the proposed benefits are up to par with your merit. Be aware of what your true value is to the company, and be able to communicate it well. In addition, consider alternatives to negotiating a higher salary if the other offered benefits are substantial; a bigger picture of the arrangement can help you determine what kind of tradeoffs you’re willing to make. Lastly, no matter who you are, it’s never a bad idea to have a win-win strategy when entering a negotiation. Be open-minded, considerate, and propose an arrangement that will bode well for both sides. But don’t forget – be your own advocate!
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