Salary negotiations can be tricky, but there's no escaping them.
At some point in your career, whether you're applying for a job or angling for a promotion, you'll find yourself in the middle of a salary negotiation.
These conversations don't have to be uncomfortable. Like anything in life, knowledge and preparation can make all the difference. As an employee, if you know your value and you can back it up with quantifiable results, you can make a compelling case during your salary negotiations.
Here are four important factors to consider when preparing for salary negotiations:
Salaries Are Always Changing
Just because you make a certain salary today, doesn't mean that it's going to stay that way or increase. Job responsibilities and requirements can change, and the best employees are the ones that are usually a step ahead and show a willingness to be flexible.
Take a step back once in a while and think about how your job is changing. Acquire the necessary skill sets that you need to stay ahead, and take time to find ways to go the extra mile and expand your job responsibilities. By doing this, you're not only growing within your job position, but you could be setting yourself to move up within the company.
These characteristics will prepare you for not only being able to justify your salary, but give you some leverage in a salary negotiations if you're seeking a salary increase.
The Economy Can Change In A Heartbeat
It's safe to say that 2020 has been a good example of how quickly the economy can change. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down businesses and changing business models, many companies were forced to layoff employees.
As a result, there are some very talented people looking for work right now, making the job market extra competitive. If you find yourself looking for a job in this situation, you may be going up against people who have very similar skill sets to you.
This could significantly impact your value, especially if you live in a market where there's more qualified people with your same skill sets than available jobs. In these cases, you'll have to go the extra mile to stand out, and you could still be looking at a small salary reduction.
But, on the opposite end of the spectrum, If you live in a market where your skills are in demand and there's not much competition, you may be able to use that to your advantage during salary negotiations.
Salary And Career Planning Go Hand
Salary increases don't typically just happen by accident. They're usually a result of hard work and continued career growth. From the moment you start a job, you should always be thinking about ways to not only meet expectations but exceed them.
By putting together a career map, you can plan out your goals and strategies for gradually increasing your value as an employee. As you check off these accomplishments, you can get a sense of whether you're on schedule, or even ahead of schedule, to reach certain career milestones.
Keeping track of these milestones is important because it can help determine the right time to bring up the topic of salary and bolster your case during negotiations. Remember, you're a business of one, and it's important to always know the value that you provide to your employer.
Constantly Do Your Research
Even if things are going well with your job, and you're not necessarily in the market for a salary increase, it's still a good idea to check the market sometimes to see what the average salary for your position is. As stated above, things change in a heartbeat and you should always be aware of your value.
Salary largely depends on experience, location, and economic conditions. All of these things can be very fluid.
There are also free resources available that can help give you some valuable information about job salaries. Glassdoor has a salary calculator that allows you to enter information about your current career, job experience, and market to give you your estimated market value.
The more information you have about your value, the more comfortable you'll feel about negotiating salary. It's also important to remember that salary is only one part of the equation. Many companies offer strong employee benefits packages that include strong health insurance and retirement benefits, along with generous paid time off, and other perks.
Don't let economic uncertainties take you by surprise! Check out this FREE masterclass 6 Signs Your Career Isn't Recession Proof.
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