Negotiating a Salary
Around this time of year I start to get a lot of questions about how to negotiate on a salary or on multiple offers. Offers are starting to come in for next summer (congrats!), and some of you may feel stumped about how to proceed once your offers start coming in. You are not required to negotiate on your offer, so if you like it, feel free to accept! But if you have questions about how to negotiate, here are some tips that can help!
1. Evaluating your offer
First, make sure you have your offer in writing. Nothing is set until it’s written down, so ask for a formal written offer if you get a verbal offer on the phone, before you begin making plans to accept your offer. You should not be pressured to accept an offer on the spot, so feel free to take some time to get back to your HR contact if you need it. Simply say thank you and ask how much time you have to consider and research your offer.
Next, do some research on comparable salaries for similar job titles or positions. Resources like glassdoor.com, indeed.com, and PayScale, all help you determine comparable salaries and benefits for similar positions. Search the job title that you’ve been offered, or the company that you will be working for, and if you aren’t finding enough information, try searching on similar job titles. You can also ask other professionals at the company, or at other companies, if your offer seems reasonable, or for advice on what to ask for or expect. You can use other offers you’ve received as a comparison or negotation tool as well.
3. Asking for more
If you feel like your salary offer or benefits are less than what you need or expect, or less than the typical range for salaries and benefits for the position that you’ve researched, you can ask for more. Write a thoughtful email or phone your company contact. Express gratitude and enthusiasm for the opportunity and the pieces of your offer that you like, and then ask to discuss the element of your offer that you are concerned about. If you’re asking for more base salary, frame your request in terms of comparable salaries that you’ve found in your research. Cite the data you have, the salary range that you have data to support, and then ask for a specific amount that is int eh range of what you feel is reasonable. You will likely get a lower counteroffer, so give yourself some room to negotiate to the number that you want. The more research and well-reasoned justification for your request you have, the more likely it is you will get what you ask for, so do not skimp on the research step.
Don’t forget about your benefits! This is an area that you can negotiate on as well, and you may look at your benefits to provide a more satisfying package with the employer who is offering you a job. Benefits such as retirement contribution, vacation time, transportation subsidy, technology, profit sharing, stock, and educational or professional development benefits, are all pieces that may be included in your offer and negotiated. Ask to negotiate on these things if they are important to you, and propose what you would like if you are hoping for more than is being offered.
Overall, express gratitude and enthusiasm for your offer as you negotiate, and maintain a professional demeanor in your communications. Advocate for what is important to you, and don’t be afraid to ask for more if you need it! And remember if you have questions, Janet can help!
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