When you get a job offer, the first thing you will look for is the salary. It is what pays the bills and is the main reason most people go to work in the first place. Despite this, most people don’t negotiate and end up accepting the first offer they receive, fearful of upsetting their new employers.
However, most companies don’t expect the first offer to be accepted. Often, they will start with a low-ball offer knowing that many people are too afraid to negotiate. You owe it to yourself to not fall into this trap, so negotiation skills are essential to get the best deal. It can be nerve-racking, but if you negotiate well, you can get a good deal for yourself and leave a good impression on your employer.
Remember You Have Skills the Employer Wants
While it may seem that the company holds all the cards in negotiations, this isn’t usually the case. If you have reached the stage where you are negotiating your salary, then the company wants to hire you. You bring your skills to the table, and the company values these enough to want you on board.
This isn’t to say that they will give you anything you want! Far from it. You do have to be a little wary of pushing the boat out too far. But almost every company will have leeway in their offer to allow for negotiations.
Take the Emotion out of the Situation
It’s easy to get caught up in the status symbol attached to your salary. However, it is only a number, and instead, you should be considering how much you need to maintain or expand your lifestyle requirements.
Look at every offer in terms of the whole package. The principal salary is only one part of your income, so factor in all the additional benefits to work out an offer you are happy with. It could be that negotiating a little bit less up top with better add-ons could benefit both your bank balance and your quality of life.
Give Yourself Time to Make a Decision
A lot of salaries are negotiated face to face (or at least over the phone) with the expectation that it will be resolved there and then. However, settling on a wage is a big decision and one that you should rightly take time to consider. Companies are usually happy to give you this time, even if they may give the opposite impression during talks.
Remain Calm and Friendly
Calmness is contagious, and the best deals are always conducted when both parties are relaxed and happy. Appearing anxious or frustrated is likely to harm negotiations, and you may find the company being a little stricter with their demands. Instead, give the impression that you are keen to get any differences ironed out, and you will have better luck. Stay firm but friendly with your demands, and be prepared to make sacrifices to negotiate the deal you want.
Push for Extra Benefits if You Can’t Make Progress on the Salary
Sometimes a company just won’t budge on a salary that is below your expectations. If this happens to you, target the additional terms such as performance bonuses, annual leave, or pension contributions. Making an effort to make the deal work leaves a good impression, and you may even find it encourages a bit of movement in your annual wage.
Negotiating your salary can be a nerve-racking experience, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try for a better offer. Businesses expect to negotiate, and you can give an excellent account of yourself if you remain confident during talks. Your future employers want influential individuals on their team, so no-one loses if you negotiate in the right way.