According to data from professional networking site LinkedIn, January is the best month to get a promotion or a raise (unsurprising, considering it’s also the best time to job hunt), followed closely by June and July.
Alarmingly however, the majority of workers leave money on the table. Of the 2,000 respondents to a survey conducted by salary research site Salary.com, 18% reported that they never negotiate their first salaries and 44% only occasionally so due to fearing repercussions or lacking the necessary negotiation skills. Failing to negotiate is costly; studies have shown that those who fail to negotiate at least a $5,000 increase in their first salary lose out on approximately $600,000+ over the course of a 40-year career.
So whether you’re looking to discuss your compensation package with a prospective employer or your current one, follow the following negotiation tips to start – and conquer – the salary conversation!
Q. How can I overcome my hesitation about negotiating my desired salary with a prospective employer? A. It’s the part of the interview that most job seekers dread: salary negotiation. Fortunately, you can learn how to negotiate a compensation package that works for you. Try these tips:
If you’re offered a job and your current employer makes a counteroffer, don’t accept it.U.S. News & World Report notes that doing so can create tension between you and your employer if you end up staying.
Besides, if you put in the effort to reach the job offer stage, chances are compensation isn’t the only thing that’s holding you back from loving your current job and place of employment. If you decide to accept the counteroffer and stay, you may be earning more money, but the circumstances that made you unhappy in the first place (e.g., unproductive work environment, toxic company culture, unrealistic expectations) will remain.
Plus, according to Forbes, often counteroffers are simply a means of getting you to stay long enough for them to find your replacement.
Do your research. Get all the details about a job before you discuss salary. And use a salary website such as SalaryExpert or Salary.com — or better yet, talk with a knowledgeable, specialized recruiter such as Chase Technology Consultants (CTC) — to get a sense of the salary range for a specific IT or technology-related position (including factors such as location, years of experience, and tech stack).
Determine two numbers up front: your ideal amount and the amount you’re willing to accept. For example, you might want $80,000 but be willing to work for $72,000. This gives you your potential negotiating range.
Don’t bring up salary. There’s some truth in the old saying, “Whoever names a price first loses the negotiation.” Many hiring organizations ask for salary requirements, but providing a number could cause you to undersell yourself. Instead, Monster suggests giving an answer such as “I expect a salary in line with my skills and experience and the demands of the job.”
Now comes the back and forth. If you receive an offer that is lower than your ideal — even if that offer falls within your potential negotiating range — don’t simply accept it. Rather, thank the interviewer; say that you appreciate the offer but had a different amount in mind. If the response doesn’t meet your needs or you receive resistance, emphasize the value you bring to the position, or ask about non-monetary compensations (such as insurance benefits or other perks, such as the option to work from home more often) that might offset the lower wage for you. Don’t be afraid to negotiate; the worst that can happen is they say “no.”
Of course, when you work with a reputable staffing agency such as CTC, you don’t need to deal with negotiation at all. In such cases, the recruiter negotiates your salary and benefits package for you. You will need to talk honestly with your recruiter about what you’re currently earning and what you expect for compensation. However, even if you go this route and work with a recruiter, negotiation is still a useful skill that you can apply when you’re seeking a salary raise from your current employer. Remember: Use our tips to overcome your resistance to negotiating salary and other perks and get the employment deal you really want.
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