SALARY AND NEGOTIATION SKILLS
THE CAREER PLAYBOOK GUIDE
11. NEGOTIATING SKILLS - Wrapping
it all up! Accepting a job offer today may require
you to successfully negotiate salary, bonus,
commission, stock options and more.
The purpose of any negotiation is to achieve a "win-win"
situation where there is no loser. Both sides must feel
that they are satisfied with the outcome and that no one
feels like they have had to give up too much.
To prepare to negotiate with your potential employer about
salary, bonus, commission, stock options etc., you need
to do your research to find out what is comparable in your
industry. What are other companies paying for someone with
your background, skills and experience? Ask others in your
industry for guidelines. There are a number of Internet
sites you can check like www.salary.com,
(economic research) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics at
There are also fee-based services like www.salarysource.com,
and Abbot Langer & Associates that you could research
at your local business library. The librarian can be a big
help directing you to resources within the local library.
Check the Career and occupational guides for your industry.
They will include some broad references to expected earnings
for each field or discipline discussed.
When assessing the job offer, you need to carefully consider
several aspects: How does it compare to your needs as far
as salary, benefits, culture, location etc? Do you clearly
understand your primary duties, to whom you report, your
authority level and your potential and time frame for advancement?
A friend accepted a position and after relocating discovered
the scope was not managing 4 people in 1 state but 10 people
in 3 states - and that was with a major Fortune 100 company!
When it comes time to negotiate, make sure you negotiate
reasonably. Here are several suggestions: salary increase,
(but not double). Legitimate benefits (they may simply not
have a facility for day care but maybe you can start working
toward one when you are hired). Tuition reimbursement to
finish your master's degree, training on competitors products,
or to enhance your own knowledge. More vacation time (within
reason). Flexible time, stock options, profit sharing, company
car etc. Your research here is critical. If they are asking
you to relocate, for example, you will have calculated the
cost of the move, living expenses in the new city, spouse's
new job opportunities etc. and be prepared to present those
as reasons for your needing a specific salary or benefit.
to compare the cost of living for your relocation) They
may even be willing to give you a hiring bonus to help offset
some of the differential. Be creative. Can they give you
the relocation costs as a hiring bonus and you move yourself?
Can they issue more stock options? Offer more benefits like
a company car, on-site childcare, home office set-up etc.
Review the particulars of the relocation package carefully.
Are they offering a couple of house hunting trips? What
expenses are covered? Do they provide temporary housing
until your escrow closes or your apartment is available?
Additionally, do they offer a retirement program or 401K
program? These are all the items you need to review carefully
before making your decision. If you have several offers,
you will want to weigh each of them carefully on all of
the above items.
Keep calm during the negotiation process. If you are reasonable,
chances are they will be too! Always leave the door open
for negotiation - they may be testing your negotiation skills
especially if that will be a part of your job! Ensure that
you have gone through all of the particulars of the offer
before reaching the one that is really bothering you. Reassure
them you are truly interested in the position and there
is just one item that could possibly hold up your decision.
You also need to weigh the pros and cons. Maybe the medical
and educational benefits can offset a salary that's a few
thousand less than you expected.
If the offer is not what you expected let the interviewer
know it but still let them know you are interested in the
position. If they are interested in you, they will either
ask for a couple of days to "see what they can do"
or explain that it is simply company policy to bring someone
in your position into the organization at that level of
salary and benefits. If that is the case, you have to decide
if it's better to accept the position because it's one you
really want and go for a salary review after six months
or be prepared to walk away altogether.
If the offer seems like a good one, the best advice is
to avoid accepting it on the spot. Ask for an offer letter
that spells everything out so you can review it over 24
- 48 hours (or longer) to make a truly thoughtful decision.
Of course, there is always the exception to this. If you
have done your research and you have found the perfect company
and they have made a great offer, then go ahead and accept
with the understanding that they will put everything you
have discussed in writing for your final signature and approval.
WE WISH YOU MUCH SUCCESS IN YOUR JOB SEARCH. PLEASE
REMEMBER, WE ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO GIVE YOU PERSONALIZED