4 Negotiation Tips To Get Paid Your Worth

4 Negotiation Tips to Get Paid Your Worth
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Don’t leave any cash on the table with these easy steps

Whether you are facing your first position as a professional in your career, re-entering the job force after some time off or about to make a pivot, the word negotiation can bring on the scaries. Results from a 2018 study done by staffing firm Robert Half revealed that compared to 46 percent of men, only 34 percent of women negotiate their salary before accepting an offer. Here is where you come in, we want to empower women with some practical tools on negotiating your next salary or hourly offer.

Let’s work to eliminate that feeling in the pit of your stomach if you accept a salary that’s lower than the minimum you had in mind or find out a coworker is bringing in way more bank than you.

Never Accept The First Offer

This is the cardinal rule of salary negotiation. If you haven’t followed it thus far it’s fine, but politely decline the first offer in order to take time to do some research. You may not realize it but, almost everything is negotiable! When you receive an offer take a look at it and note what you do and don’t like about it and this will prepare you to do a little research.

Your research will include:

*Salary comparisons of similar roles within the same geographical area and industry.

*Calculations of your current cost of living and any future projections of how it may rise over the course of you being at this job.

*Notice the benefits package and compare that to similar companies but most importantly to your current needs and the anticipatory changes you see yourself making if you take the position. For example, if you plan to expand your family, take the health benefits or even adoption assistance into consideration.

Set A Range And Stick To It

After you have done some research and came up with a solid number, the next step you can take is to create a range within a couple thousand of that number. If it’s an hourly rate, create a range within a  $10 to $15 dollar range over the amount you were offered. This will add some padding but also prepare you to counteroffer more than once if needed. According to senior human resources manager, Janna Williams you should aim to have an “ideal, okay and no way number” while also remaining realistic. By starting at the top of the range you create a boundary that is the highest you will ask for given your research, go to the middle then the absolute minimum if necessary.

Putting this in action looks like this. Let’s say your original offer is $73,000 base salary with two weeks paid vacation and the option to elect health benefits. After your research let’s say you create the range to be between $76,000 to $79,000. Your first counter offer you can offer up the highest bid and this may feel uneasy! Just remember that given your research and expertise you are worth any number you choose. Now, let’s say the highest number isn’t accepted you still have two more options to throw out there as a negotiation. This is the point of a range to use is as a ladder.

“While you know you’re amazing sometimes that doesn’t translate to the same value from a company’s perspective,” said Williams. “That’s okay, know that doesn’t have anything to do with you as a person and also be okay to walk away.”

Remember also to show confidence when in the negotiation phase based on how you will create value for the organization.  

Think Beyond The Cash

Consider other ways to negotiate besides the base salary. A salary package can include vacation time, health and life benefits, stock purchase options, remote work schedules or a retirement plan. When in the negotiation phase, think of what you can counteroffer back instead of just the option to be paid more cash. For example, if you are denied the cash you present on your first counteroffer you could ask for maybe a couple of remote work days per week or an extra week of paid vacation instead. A 2017 New York Times article cited a Gallup survey that revealed 43 percent of Americans spent time working remotely. Stats like these will support your offer to work remotely at least once a week and with the growing importance of a mindful work and life balance, it’s not hard as you may think to negotiate an extra week of vacation time.

Bonus Tip

Didn’t negotiate effectively or accepted an offer below your minimum? No worries, you can work smart to produce the best work over the course of the year and document the contributions to show why you either deserve a raise or a promotion. The best time to have this conversation is during annual performance reviews.

If you don’t take anything away from this article, remember this: never take the first offer. You will walk away feeling confident, powerful and in full ownership of your career path even if you negotiate just a little. Negotiating shouldn’t feel uneasy or uncomfortable when you are speaking with your potential employer. Remember also: YOU are the prize!

Courtney is a multi-passionate creator and founder of Being Bourt, a content marketing agency. You can find her browsing YouTube videos in her spare time or checking her horoscope. 

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How to write a job-winning cover letter

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13 comments on “4 Negotiation Tips To Get Paid Your Worth

  • Johnny Quid , Direct link to comment

    ALWAYS negotiate the offer! I can’t tell you how many times I shot low and regretted it later. Yeah, you might not get the job, but at least you know your worth and you can find someone else who will be willing to work with you. Most jobs have a budget for salaries, and they can’t exceed it unless the candidate has an extremely competitive resume, so keep that in mind!

  • sjd68 , Direct link to comment

    These are great tips for negotiating! I agree about always negotiating the offer and not accepting the first thing the employer throws your way. There is almost always leeway and many first time job seekers don’t understand this concept. If the money isn’t there then look for other perks like you said such as vacation time, etc.

  • lforsythe7040 , Direct link to comment

    These are great tips! I recently negotiated a new job offer and used all of these tips to get a great salary and benefits.

  • aword84 , Direct link to comment

    Thank you for these great tips and for raising such a controversial (for me) topic. I never in my life asked for a raise nor negotiated a salary, and the thought would really make me feel uncomfortable..But I believe you’re right, everyone should do, because if we cannot fight for ourselves and our value, who will? Also, negotiating on the complementary parts of the salary package is a valuable idea. Thanks!

  • Lindsay Rae , Direct link to comment

    These are really great tips and such an important thing to remember. We all have skills and education that deserves a proper salary so it definitely makes sense to negotiate on your terms as well as the potential employers. I really enjoyed reading your article and will be keeping these tips inind for sure!

  • Run Wyld , Direct link to comment

    My husband is considering a job move after 20 years with the same company and having moved up the ladder to the max he can go. The idea of having to interview and negotiate after 20 years of “comfort” is a daunting one!

  • Andrea (2oddravens) , Direct link to comment

    These are wonderful tips for anyone looking to switch jobs! It is a headache negotiating, but you learn so much about a company and how much they value (or don’t value) their employees when the negotiations begin. In December, I interviewed with a company that was about 45 minutes away from where I live (my current job is only 8 minutes away). The owner and I clicked very well, but when I told her what I wanted for my salary, she already hinted that it probably wouldn’t work. She eventually offered me the role, but at about $8,000 less than what I offered, and some of the details that were contained in the offer were not shared with me in the interview. Despite how well we clicked during the interview, there were too many red flags and I turned the role down. She didn’t even try to negotiate with me, which had me really feeling like I made the right move. Now, here we are and it looks like she has filled the position and had to re-hire 2 more times.

  • honeybunnytwee , Direct link to comment

    Great tip! All too often I see people literally sell themselves short for fear of charging too much, but it really isn’t selfish or greedy to be paid fairly. If you have a premium service or product, price it accordingly I can’t stress this enough for freelancers or small businesses

  • Subhashish Roy , Direct link to comment

    I believe one should do a research on the industry salary standards before appearing for the interview. That makes it all the more easier to negotiate.

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife) , Direct link to comment

    I never really considered negotiating to be that important. Usually saw it as detrimental because it was being a pain in the butt for my employer. Now I get to pick and choose what I want to do with my work, and that is kind of nice.

  • Megan Kerry , Direct link to comment

    These are great tips! I am currently working hard to grow my online influence to a point where I’ll be able to negotiate sponsorship and other means of income through my business. I promise I wont forget your first tip;) Thanks for sharing!

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