By Ashley Stahl
Would you be willing to leave $1 million to $1.5 million on the table in lost salary earnings over the course of your career? If you aren’t negotiating your salary at the onset, chances are, you already are. It’s time to change the trend and take some of that money back.
Many of my clients are nervous to negotiate their salaries. They feel like it will lower their chances of ending up with the job, or that it will upset someone, but remember this: they already made you the offer. Asking for more money usually won’t change the fact that they want you to work for them. (And if it does, you probably don’t want to work for that company or a difficult boss anyway.) Your prospective employer will probably respect you even more for asking for what you deserve.
Follow these six steps for negotiating your salary and start to earn some of that cash money back.
1. Plan to do it, no matter what. Your prospective employer expects you to negotiate. Even if they come in at what you were originally hoping for, it’s still common practice to make a counter offer. Follow these mindset tips to pump you up.
2. Never give your number first. You don’t want to unknowingly anchor yourself too low. See where your prospective employer comes in first, and then go from there. If you’re asked directly what you’re looking for, say you’re open based on the range.
3. Know your worth. Remember, your boss will respect you for asking for what you deserve. Know your worth, and don’t let the initial offer intimidate you. It’s not uncommon to go back and forth until you get to a place where all parties feel good.
4. Don’t make it personal. Salary negotiation is strictly business. The company is making you an offer based on what you can bring to the table professionally and the level of responsibility you’ll be taking on. Please keep it professional, and don’t start complaining about your student loan payments. Instead, point to your resume and use that as leverage.
5. Think ahead. The average raise in corporate America is hovering at around 3% per year. If you don’t plan on leaving your job quickly, consider yourself “stuck” with this salary until you change positions or companies once again. Now is when you have the most leverage, so take advantage of it.
6. Take your time. It’s OK to ask for 24 hours to think an offer over. If you’re waiting for other offers to come back the same week, you can ask for a bit more time and let HR know that you “are excited about the role, but currently weighing it against another offer.” Let them know you’d prefer to work for them, but you need to crunch the numbers and will get back to them within 72 hours. If they need an answer sooner, they’ll tell you.
Only 29% of job seekers negotiated their salary at their current or most recent job, meaning 71% of employees could be missing out on a fatter paycheck. It’s time to change the statistics. Use your voice and speak up!
Stop leaving dollars in the employer’s pockets, and ask for what you’re worth. If you don’t, you certainly can’t expect anyone to do it for you.