Salary negotiations are one of the most intimidating aspects of looking for a new job. It can be daunting indeed to contradict an assertion of someone you’ve been trying to impress and find favor with. And to some degree that’s exactly what you’re doing when you negotiate a job offer – you’re telling the hiring manager or human resources contact that you disagree with their notion of what you’re worth and how you deserve to be compensated.
Heady stuff for sure when you break it down to such basic terms. But the truth of the matter is that challenging an offer isn’t really a confrontation. It’s a matter of cooperation, with the aim of arriving at a mutually beneficial arrangement.
But to do so, you have to be willing to at least try. And that takes at least a tiny bit of courage. Here are some great things to think about when you’re feeling meek in the face of a job offer.
Power has shifted in your favor
Employers try to disguise this fact, but getting an offer is the time in the interviewing process in which power has finally shifted to your favor. The employer has stated in no uncertain terms that you’re their top pick for the job. All they can do now is sit and wait for you to say “yes” or “no.” Bask in the satisfaction of that and let it embolden you.
Do your homework
Get more confidence about asking for more money by finding out what people in your profession generally get paid. After all, it doesn’t take a lot of gumption to tell a hiring manager that the average salary for a position is $8000 more than what he’s offering. That’s merely stating a fact. Start by looking at Websites like Salary.com
Employers don’t encourage negotiating but assume you will
When an employer makes an offer, they’re certainly not going to punctuate it with, “Let me know if you’d like more money.” It’s in their best interest for you to take the offer as it stands – anything you question is certain to cost them more money. That said, they fully expect you to ask for more.
Remember that employers have built extra into the offer
Since employers assume you’re going to negotiate the job offer, they’ve allowed extra money for it. You can count on at least another five to ten percent more salary available in any job offer. And that’s not to mention other perks they could be willing to loosen up on.
It’s not a war
When you get down to it, there’s nothing to feel brave or cowardly over anyway. Done properly, a job search isn’t a confrontation. It’s a discussion in which both parties seek to arrive at mutual gains. You’re asking for more money, but you’re also giving them a better employee. And since they picked you over all the other candidates, they obviously agree.