Consider these recent statements I received from job seeking clients regarding salary discussions:
“He asked what salary range I wanted. I wasn’t expecting to discuss salary and hopefully I didn’t bomb that part.”
Or this one:
“I HATE the salary history stuff!”
Why everyone hates talking about money when it comes to applying for jobs, I’m not sure; especially given it’s the main reason people work- to get paid. We’d all be better served by going ahead and hashing out this discussion. In fact, the best recruiters I know discuss it from the start. They don’t want to waste anyone’s time if the range is out of line with expectations of the candidate. Why would you want to waste your time either?
An even more important reason to go ahead and begin the discussion with a potential employer is, quite frankly, the only way you’re going to get a substantial increase in pay is to switch jobs. If you want proof, read this post from the HR Capitalist, Kris Dunn- CHART ART: This Picture Says if You Want a Good Raise, Get Another Job…”
So, talk about it already!
If you, like most, are gun shy about having the conversation, some steps for facilitating a salary discussion may help:
Wait until they ask about it
As noted, the best recruiters and hiring managers bring it up out of the gate. They don’t want to waste your time or theirs, so consider an early discussion about salary to be a good thing, rather than a bad sign.
When they ask, see if you can get them to state a range first. If you can get them to state a range this will help ensure you aren’t selling yourself short.
The conversation may go like this.
Recruiter: “What are your salary requirements?”
You: “Is there a salary range for the opening?”
Recruiter: “Yes, it is between $50,000-$60,000.”
You (if that is fitting with what it would take for you to make a move): “That is in line with what I am expecting.”
Or You (if this isn’t in line with what it would take for you to make a move): “In order for me to consider a change, I would need ….” (state your figure here)
Be Honest- Tell them what you want
If they are unwilling to state a range, (remember, the best recruiters are open about it from the start) tell them what you want. Many people I talk to worry they are asking for too much and are afraid they will lose the opportunity to still be considered for the role. Let’s take a look at this logic. Do you really want to be considered for a role that isn’t going to pay you what you are worth or what it is going to take to make you happy? My guess is no, so why play a game?
Discussing salary shouldn’t be difficult. As Nike would tell you, Just do it.
Want more on salary negotiation? You may also like this article, “Know Your Value.”
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