What's more nerve racking than a job interview? Salary negotiations might come to mind.

Do you wait for the employer to mention it? What if their salary is far lower than you're looking for? How do you negotiate without offending them?

There's no doubt about it, salary negotiations can be thorny.

If you want to negotiate a salary you're happy with, while avoiding putting off potential employers, here are four top tips to help you do just that.

Do Your Research

The best place to start your salary negotiations is with some research.

Knowing the salary you can expect for the job at hand will start you off on the right footing.

Employers will be looking to pay lower on the scale if possible.

If you want to negotiate a better salary, you need to have an idea of what the scale is, so you can negotiate your place on it. That's where research will help you.

Some sources for salary research include:

  • Online adverts or job sites;
  • Your contacts in your industry;
  • Professional associations.

Find out what you can reasonably expect to be paid, so you know if you're getting a good deal or not.

Know Your Worth

As the article "How to Improve Your Contract Negotiation Skills" says, negotiation skills can give you more leverage in your career.

To negotiate successfully, you first need a strong sense of your own worth, and confidence in your ability to do the job.

Go into any salary negotiation with two figures in mind: Your ideal salary for the job (realistically based on your research), and the lowest figure you're willing to accept. When negotiating your salary, aim to get your ideal figure.

If you do get haggled down, but you're still above your lowest figure, you'll be in a win-win situation.

You'll still have a salary in the range you wanted, and your employer will feel like they got a great deal.

Look at the Whole Package

When negotiating your salary, don't forget to take a look at what else your new employer can offer you.

Some companies might not offer you a salary as high as you would like, but the rest of the benefits package will more than make up for it.

Ask your employer what they offer in terms of:

  • Medical and dental benefits;
  • Pension schemes;
  • Paid holidays;
  • Potential for pay bonuses;
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • A company car.

The right benefits package can be worth almost as much as money in the bank, making you significant savings on insurance or pensions, for example. Take the whole package into account when negotiating your salary.

Negotiate Alternatives

If your employer isn't willing to meet your salary negotiations, that doesn't have to be the end of the discussion.

There are other options available, such as negotiating alternative compensation, or requesting an early review.

If you're offered a salary below your expectations, find out if your employer would be willing to supplement it by:

  • Offering extra paid vacation days;
  • Offering "personal days" in addition to vacation;
  • Giving you a signing bonus for starting your contract;
  • Letting you work from home.

As well as supplementing the salary package, you can try negotiating a review period.

Discuss the possibility of a three or six month trial period, after which your employer will review your performance and consider raising your salary if you've met goals that you both agree on.

Negotiating your salary can be tricky.

Go fully prepared with knowledge about your industry, your new employer, and your own personal expectations. You'll be in a stronger position to negotiate for the salary you really want.

Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com

About the Author; Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to negotiate the best salary.

Views: 141

Comment by Katrina Kibben on November 3, 2015 at 10:17am

Just to emphasize even more, it's less about salary than it is about knowing the data points. Realistically, every position has a salary range and cap they pay for each role. You're either in it or not. 

Also - note to the author, please don't post on behalf of other people. We will remove their information. Authors need their own account to publish on our site. 

Comment by Dave on November 3, 2015 at 12:48pm

Katrina,

Tristan works with me; his byline was inadvertently left off the article the first go around. Thanks. :)

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