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Three Things You Need To Know When Negotiating A Job Offer

Every contract negotiation is a business transaction — it isn't personal. The most common and biggest mistakes I've seen people make when discussing salaries with a new employer involve bringing up their personal needs, being indecisive or not knowing what they want, and not having a firm grasp of their own defined value on the market.

By Jamie Hoobanoff, July 18, 2019 via

Of course you have needs, and you will require compensation that meets them, but your needs are not your employer's concern. Companies are willing to pay you based on the value of your contributions. If you want to earn more, be more valuable, and be aware of just what your value is. Here's how.

Show your value (and know your value).

You can convey this in salary negotiations by not talking about money at all. Be enthusiastic about discussing the role, how you plan to be successful in it and what you bring to the table. If you start the money conversation, it makes you appear to care less about the company and its culture and more about your own bottom line. This makes you less valuable in the eyes of the employer.

Similarly, if the recruiter brings up money right off the bat, know your compensation statement. Do your research before any potential negotiations. If the recruiter or hiring manager puts money on the table, you need to be ready to discuss your expectations and align them with your achievements and qualifications.

Every conversation you have with a potential employer is a part of your contract negotiation. So, you need to be demonstrating the value you will bring to the organization right from the outset. Your professionalism, confidence and character from the very first conversation can impact your potential offer.

Be transparent.

If you are asked if you are considering other offers, always say yes. You have other irons in the fire. Explicitly state that this is the job you want, at the company you want to work for; however, there are other organizations that are interested in you. This also greatly increases your value.

In the ideal situation, the interview will lead to a discussion of salary, and more specifically, salary range. At this point, bringing up salary is usually to ensure expectations are aligned across the board.

Don't accept that first amount they offer. Whatever the amount is, take a moment to consider the details before responding. Put yourself in their shoes. If they've made an offer, that means they want you — they want you to be happy. They want you to contribute. And they want you to sign that offer.  If the number doesn’t match your value, ask for more. It’s that simple.

However, if you ask for more, you must give more as well. A negotiation is a give and take. To be specific, if you ask for more money, you should be willing to sign immediately. You can't add more demands on top of the deal after the employer has already met what you initially asked for. You have one shot to ask for what you want. If it’s more vacation time, a higher base salary or a higher commission rate, ask for it once — and only once.

Know how to get what you really want.

Ask for more than you are willing to settle for. A counteroffer will often be met with a further counteroffer. So, if you are willing to work for 10% more than they offered you, ask for 20%. This allows you and the employer to split the difference and both walk away feeling like you've negotiated a successful deal.

Remain polite, upbeat and enthusiastic about the job itself throughout the process. Tough-guy negotiating tactics don't work in the job offer situation, because at the end of the day, you want to remain the kind of person they want to work with.

Moreover, explain that you expect to receive a counteroffer from your current employer, as this may drive urgency on your potential employer's end during the offer process.

Enter into the formal salary negotiation forearmed with market research about the range of salaries that type of job should normally pay, as much information as you can determine about the compensation policies of the company itself, a clear idea of what you would like to earn and an understanding of what you would settle for.

The salary negotiation is a straightforward business deal. The more value you can demonstrate that you will bring to the company, the higher your offer will be. Your salary is an investment that a company is making. The return on that investment is the success your work produces. Use your previous on-the-job achievements as evidence of what you can accomplish for the company. Make them want you.

Also, remember that compensation negotiations are about more than just base pay. Benefits packages, vacation time and other perks can all greatly increase the value of the overall offer.

However, bear in mind that companies regularly offer more compensation to attract new hires than they do in raises to retain existing staff. So, your best chance at higher earnings is by demonstrating value and negotiating a better salary when starting a new job. Make the most of the opportunity.

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