The Art of Salary Negotiation

  • The Art of Salary Negotiation

    The Art of Salary Negotiation

    Nobody enjoys salary negotiations. Even fewer of us enjoy asking for a raise. There are plenty of schools of thought (such as the Smith-Wenkle and the Jack Chapman Salary methods) you can use to provide some structure to the negotiation. To save you some time, we’ll distill the best practices for you here to help you ensure you get paid what you’re worth—or maybe even more!

    The Art of Salary Negotiation

    Did you know that failing to negotiate your starting salary (even for a relatively meager increase of $5k per year) can cost you as much as $600,000 over the course of your career? Even small raises can produce huge value over time, so make sure you come to your salary negotiation prepared.

    Prepare data in advance

    Succeeding in salary negotiations begins with knowing your worth. Take stock of your experience, skills, and work history.

    Research comparable salaries for similar roles and come up with a range you’ll be comfortable with. And while you’re at it, prepare a one-sheet (also known as a brag sheet) that offers a rundown of your achievements and past successes.

    Focus on their needs

    Don’t be the one to bring up compensation in the interview—keep interview answers focused on what you can do for them. Companies will prioritize candidates who put the needs of the organization over their own desires.

    Don’t offer a specific number

    This is a cornerstone concept of both the Jack Chapman and Smith-Wenkle methods: Avoid making an offer at all costs. Leave the desired salary form blank on your application. When they ask you about it during the interview, state your preference to focus on what you can do for the company rather than discussing numbers. If they press you, tell them that you’ll be willing to consider any reasonable offer.

    Your goal is to get them to make an offer first. If the offer is good, take the job. If it’s too low, feel free to tell them that—but don’t tell them by how much.

    Dream big

    If they demand that you make an offer, stick with a range rather than a specific number. Base this range on the data you’ve compiled but don’t limit it to the standard. You’re almost certain to receive less than you ask, so don’t be afraid to start high.

    The Art of Raise Negotiation

    Negotiating a raise is similar to the initial salary discussion but with minor differences.

    Bring that data

    Unless you’re already getting making more than the market standard, data is your friend. You’ll have a much better chance of success if you can defend your request with objective figures rather than emotional pleas. Bring salary data, information on your work performance, and any other ammunition you can find to make yourself seem indispensable.

    Request a meeting—on Thursday

    Unless you’re due for a scheduled raise, you’ll need to suggest the meeting to your boss. If possible, schedule it for a Thursday—research shows that the psychological ebbs and flows in our moods over the week make certain days better than others for negotiation. The end of the week is your best bet.

    Stay flexible

    Making more money isn’t always possible. But even if this is the case, you don’t have to walk away empty-handed. Angle for more vacation days, more flexible working hours, or other company perks. Managers may be more willing to compromise on these benefits than on salary.

    Above all, don’t be needy

    Whether you’re considering a new job or angling or a raise, be willing to walk away if the company can’t provide what you need. There are plenty of jobs out there, and it’s better to spend a few more months job hunting than to sign on with a company who refuses to pay you what you’re worth. Plus, some hiring managers will up the ante if you try to walk away. Don’t be afraid to call their bluff—you might be worth more than you think. Give Urgenci a call if you need help with the process, and we’ll give you a hand.

    Comments (4)

    • J W Gibbs

      Now a days employment applications are filled as online forms. These forms do not accept empty fields or ranges of numbers. They will only accept one number. Your suggestion of not giving salary number or giving a range do not work in that situation, which is very common nowadays.

      • Urgenci
        • Urgenci
        • February 28, 2018 at 7:21 pm

        Thanks for reading and providing feedback. This is true in some cases. However, some online applications provide the salary field as optional, and many online applications ask for or allow a salary range and not just a single numerical input. In many instances, this scenario depends on the field requirements for a given employer’s online job portal.

    • cowlotto

      Thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

      • Urgenci
        • Urgenci
        • March 16, 2018 at 6:16 pm

        You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!


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