The Challenge: Salary Negotiation

Salary negotiation can be challenging, if not also intimidating, but in reality, it is a process, which can be learned. By following these basic steps, you can handle it with poise and confidence.

• What is the standard rate for your current position and responsibilities? Needing more income isn’t a reason for a raise, nor is it your boss’s responsibility. Being paid an equitable and appropriate salary in recompense for your work is a reason.
• Consider all aspects of your “salary.” You are negotiating more than money. Vacation time, health benefits – including insurance, company perks, flexible hours, etc. can be essential components to your final salary package.
• Determine what is most important to you. Consider all the options. Prioritize what is the most important to you – increased vacation time, more flexible hours, or the money, etc. What is your ultimate goal and your personal bottom line? If you have established what is the most important to you, you will be more likely to walk away from the negotiations satisfied.
• Set the bar high, without being unrealistic. Base it on not only the standard for your position, but also on what you are actually achieving. Do you do more than what your “job description” contains? Are you regularly making a difference in the company’s bottom line? Have your actions improved your boss’ position within the company? Have you won any awards? Have you participated in conferences, webinars, and/or other means of self-education?

Schedule a meeting
• Don’t demand, but be firm in your request.
• If your boss claims to be too busy, ask how you can accommodate his schedule. What can you do to ensure that a meeting takes place?

• Dress with confidence and arrive on time.
• Start with a positive tone – express appreciation for his/her time. Show by your body language as well as your words that you are on his/her team.
• Express exactly why you asked for a meeting. Be specific about with all your requests – whether it’s money or other factors. Point out what you contribute to the company – giving specific examples. Now is the time to mention the standard salary and benefits for others in similar positions/fields. Don’t be a braggart, but be willing to speak up with confidence about your achievements. Being specific now is crucial in showing how you will continue to be a valuable player in the future.
• Indicate that you are willing to negotiate. Show a desire to listen. Consider it from your boss’ perspective. Understanding what’s important to him/her and listening to his/her agenda and goals will enhance negotiations.
• Present more than one options. Show your willingness to brainstorm together. Discuss ways to bring your varying positions to a common ground and fair solution.

• If you are happy with the result, express your appreciation and restate your commitment to both your boss and the company.
• If you aren’t satisfied, but negations are clearly over, briefly discuss what steps you need to take to getter better results. After you leave the meeting, take time to evaluate what you did wrong – if anything and what you can do differently. If you need to make changes in your daily activities and goals, make a plan.
• Don’t use a possible exit from the company as a bargaining tool. If you are good, they will want to do everything they can to keep you. If they can’t afford to give you what you consider appropriate for your position, skills, experience, etc. accept it with grace. You can still choose the options of looking for a new job, but don’t make it part of the negotiations. It will hurt your professional reputation and – face it – others will know.

We all negotiate everyday of our lives – with clients, coworkers, family, and people in our communities – often without even thinking about it. Salary negotiation is bigger stakes than much of what we negotiate, but it is still just negotiation. Preparing for it will build your confidence and help reach a satisfactory ending. Contact Springborn today. We help candidates in Bangor and Portland, Main with all aspects of their work – including salary negotiation.

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