Negotiating doesn’t come naturally to everyone and can be downright uncomfortable for some. Still, it’s important when you’re applying for a job, interviewing for a job, or going for that promotion.
When a job seeker sees interest from a company or hiring manager of a specific position, they might feel like whatever is offered they should take. However, any offer is negotiable when approached strategically.
- Understand Salary Expectations and Limitations
Do your research ahead of time and go into any negotiation with the amount you hope to make and the lowest number you’d be willing to accept. Research doesn’t just start with Googling what the position’s average salary is. Take into account the geographic location you live in, the experience you have, and the education you’ve obtained.
- Practice Negotiation Skills
It takes certain skills to communicate and negotiate effectively. As with planning for a presentation, going into a negotiation means you’ll need to prepare. Organize each point you want to make and an explanation for how to argue it. Consider your most valuable qualities and how they can benefit the employer. Always bring the conversation back to the value you add to the company. Bonus tip: Be overly polite and positive in your approach.
- Ask Employer About Their Expectations
Get an idea about what a current or potential employer is looking for and what their limitations are. When you provide your salary expectations, ask them what they need from you to prove why you deserve the salary you are asking for. If you are planning a negotiation with your current employer, ask for feedback on your performance, especially recent projects or tasks you’ve worked on.
- Choose Appropriate Timing
Timing could mean day of the week, time of day, season of the job market, and even the point you’re at in your career. Understand the busier times for the industry you’re in or attempting to enter and consider the same for the company or person you would be meeting with. Friday afternoons can be the best time to make your pitch. There are certain positions within your career where you can ask for a higher salary. If you are a more passive job seeker and hit a particular milestone or achievement within the company you work for, it might be the opportune time to ask for that promotion.
- Don’t Act Impressed with the First Offer
Even if you’ve never seen that many zeros before, don’t act ridiculously grateful. If you do, your negotiation leverage weakens when it comes to discussing other benefits. If you go in the opposite direction and want to act less than impressed, remember to do so politely and positively. You can say, “I appreciate the offer” or “thank you for sharing that information.”
- Consider Benefits You Can Negotiate
Although it’s good to have additional negotiation points to discuss aside from salary, it’s key to secure salary before launching into this discussion. Besides salary, what was it you felt was missing in your last position or at your previous company? Whether that’s a certain amount of PTO, a more flexible work schedule, maternity/paternity leave, or educational opportunities or reimbursement. Bringing these benefits up in discussion with those in charge of hiring might help open the minds of a company or department to what quality hires are looking for.