Seven Tips For Negotiating Your Salary
By Jean Baur
As a career coach who has guided thousands of job seekers — many of them women — through the ups and downs of the interview and negotiating process, I’m sad to say that many aren’t very good at asking for what they want. And I include myself in that group. So what can we do to get better at this?
Put these seven tips into practice to negotiate effectively:
1) Never be the one to bring up compensation first. If asked about your salary requirements, politely ask about the company’s range.
2) Use good solid eye contact and excellent posture to demonstrate that you’re a professional and are not intimidated by addressing money issues.
3) Practice in your everyday life asking for what you want. These are muscles that can be developed over time.
4) Take the pressure off yourself and don’t agree to anything important like salary during an interview. Instead say, “Thank you. I need to think about this and will get back to you with my questions.”
5) Look at the overall package. If the salary isn’t exactly what you’d hoped for, can you negotiate for a sign-on bonus, more vacation, or will the company pay for a credential you want?
6) Read career books. There are too many to list here, but you’ll get good advice.
7) Ask a mentor or someone whose work you admire, how they learned to negotiate.
The biggest fear women have is that they’ll lose an offer or look too tough or aggressive if they negotiate effectively. In my 20 years of experience, I’ve never seen anyone lose an offer, and if the company doesn’t want a strong woman who can speak her mind and get things done, then maybe this isn’t where you want to work.
Jean Baur, a career coach and author, is an expert in working with job seekers of all functions and levels, and likes helping those in transition overcome obstacles and find work that’s a good fit.