Let’s face it, we all want more money. Not just for a better lifestyle, it also gives us status, and a personal sense of accomplishment and security. But in order to make more money at a job, we must first find the courage to ask for it. And if you learn how to negotiate your salary effectively, it can add an extra $20K-$50K to your annual salary. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Salary negotiations take a lot of courage. They often make you feel uncomfortable due to cultural beliefs. There is also a risk of potential rejection and/or disappointment. What if they say no? What if they get mad and pull the offer? Ok, the latter is unlikely unless you are being rude and disrespectful. Which brings us to the whole point of this article – the five tips (or five secrets) I’m about to share with you on how to negotiate successfully.
Secret #1 – Be positive.
If you have been underpaid in the past or if you don’t believe you can’t get what you want, it’s easy to slip into a negative mindset. You start predicting “no” for an answer and preparing yourself for disappointment. As a result, you may either pull back or push forward, either way sabotaging your chances.
Instead, try asking for the salary you want with a positive attitude, expecting a “yes.” This will make a big difference in how you come across. You will look more confident in yourself and your value. And it will naturally make any employer want to pay you more.
Secret #2 – Focus on your value.
This is a hard one as well because we often undermine ourselves and our value. We are often taught to be modest. We want others to notice our value and appreciate us for what we do for them. Problem is, if you don’t focus on your value while talking to a prospective employer, they won’t see it.
If you are planning to ask for $10,000 more than your original offer, be prepared to tell them why you are worth those extra $10K. You want more money because you are worth more money. Not because you have to feed your family, or your mortgage is high. That part is none of their business.
Secret #3 – Be creative.
Sometimes you reach the maximum amount of salary negotiation in their budget. This can happen, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop there and either take it or leave it. Think about what those extra ten thousand dollars are worth to you? A signing bonus? An extra week of vacation? You might be able to negotiate those into your deal.
Secret #4 – Don’t be afraid to ask for more.
It’s always exciting to get a new offer. Sometime the offer comes in less than what we expect, most of the time it’s about the same, occasionally it’s more. I used to think there is no need to negotiate if the offer exceeds your expectations. But what if you didn’t expect much to begin with? What if they expect you to negotiate and could easily pay you more? They won’t if you don’t ask.
As long as you are respectful in your approach, your prospective employer is unlikely to pull the offer away, if you ask for more money. They may even get disappointed if you don’t negotiate, especially if being a good negotiator is in your job description.
Secret #5 – Sometimes it’s best to simply walk away.
What if the offer is so low that it doesn’t even meet your minimum requirement? What if the company just doesn’t have it in their budget to pay you what you want? And no matter what you do, you get a “no.”
Walking away from an offer can be tough. Especially if this seems like an opportunity of a lifetime, or the job market is particularly rough. Most likely this is not the case. Companies who underpay their employees often have a bad reputation. And it’s hard to be happy or have a positive attitude at work when you know you are being underpaid. When you walk away from an offer that doesn’t meet your minimum requirements, you are actually giving yourself a message that you are worth more.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach, a resume writer and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.