As a business-of-one, your salary is just the price for your services. Because no one spends their entire career with one company anymore, you have to think of yourself as an independent business owner to get a fair salary. You don’t want to work FOR a company. You want to work WITH a company, which requires you to have a clear view of what you do and how it provides value.
How To Get The Most Salary And Benefits
It’s okay to feel uncomfortable about salary negotiations, especially if you haven’t done them much in the past. Do your research at salary.com, payscale.com or glassdoor.com to get a rough estimate of salaries for your job title and region, then come back with a nice, broad salary range. That range should include:
Your Walkaway Rate
This is the lowest pay you could afford to receive while in that job. You shouldn’t need to take one job, then still look for a job with better pay just to stay afloat. If you have to work more jobs than you are right now to cover the bills, then you shouldn’t work for less than your walkaway rate. Be committed to staying at your walkaway rate for two years if necessary.
Your Ideal Rate
What amount would you love to make? This amount could be thousands (or later in your career tens of thousands) more than your walkaway rate.
Even with this range established, your work isn’t done. You have to pitch it properly. The employer needs to know that money isn’t the only factor for you, so you have some bargaining power. Other elements of their offer could make up for less money, as long as your walkaway rate is satisfied.
In the beginning of the negotiations, emphasize that salary isn’t the only factor, but that you need to know more about the role and the other parts of your compensation that would be provided before you can make a decision. For the right opportunity, you have wiggle room in the discussion.
It’s a common misconception that employers will always offer you the lowest rate. They don’t do that every time, and they won’t completely low-ball you that often.
If you’ve truly impressed them throughout the application and interview process, they’ll see the value you can bring to them. It will also take them quite a bit of time over the course of finding their next hire, so they would prefer to get it done quickly. Once they’ve extended an offer to you as their top choice, they don’t want to lose you and start negotiating all over again. Offering too little in the beginning would unfortunately fulfill all of those mishaps.
Have a nice wide salary range, wow them each and every time you interact with them, and show that hiring you provides the best value for them to get the salary you deserve.
If you’re not happy with what they initially offer, then talk about how excited you are to get an offer, but mention how important it is for you to get more out of the deal (salary or something else). Given the other parameters of the offer, you would really like to have x amount if they can increase theiroffer at all.
If you don’t ask, you won’t have the chance to get more. Companies don’t just throw money at people if it’s not a good deal for them. Stress how much you will exceed their expectations to reasonably ask for more.
If you’re careful about how you ask for more money, you might end up with everything you wanted out of the proposal. Even if they say no, they almost definitely won’t rescind their offer if your counter-offer was fair. Try asking for more vacation days or the ability to work from home once a week.
It may be a lot to swallow initially, but all of the steps necessary for you to get the compensation you deserve are here.
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