After nailing the interview, get ready to talk dollars and sense
By Elijah Thomas
You’ve polished your resume, secured a job interview and gotten that sought-after job interview. There’s still another hurdle to clear before accepting this new position: Negotiating a salary. Some-times, it’s the most difficult one of all. Here’s how to get the pay you deserve.
THE RIGHT MINDSET
These negotiations require both confidence and the ability to compromise. Even if you are just starting out, it’s important to know your worth as an employee. Your pay must take into account your level of education, specific skill set and experience. At the same time, you’ll need to display the required level of professionalism to continue a healthy dialogue. If you’re not able to secure a proper starting salary, it’s more difficult – if not impossible – to ever pull even with peers doing the same work. On the other hand, if you negotiate too aggressively, you may convince a prospective employer to look elsewhere. Seek out a compromise that suits both sides.
The more you know about the pay scale for your position the better prepared you’ll be to discuss salary options. Evaluate the numbers before you arrive, paying close attention to national averages, differences based on your experience and education, and also the cost of living where you’ll be employed. Your pay level has to take all of those things into account. Resources to find out more include SalaryExpert.com, Salary.com and the U.S. Department of Labor website.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Avoid discussing the lowest salary you can accept, focusing instead on the upper end. This leaves room for you to negotiate downward in good faith. Don’t settle for their first offer. You’re looking to achieve a happy medium. Even if you’ve negotiated your way to a final number that seems equitable, take a moment to decide. The impulse is to quickly accept, rather because of excitement about the new job or exhaustion at the end of a protracted hiring process. Make sure that you’re comfort-able with the money and the job before making a final decision. If the numbers are never quite right, or something still feels off, be prepared to walk away. Better to keep looking than to be stuck in an unwanted position.