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Do You Know How to Negotiate?

by - January 20, 2016

In my earlier working years I often thought about ways that I could negotiate better pay or benefits. Salary is obviously not the easiest topic to address, however I've personally negotiated a better salary for myself and have given advice to others. 

Salary negotiation is a very important topic. It is especially crucial for women and the ladies from Black Career Women's Network do a great job of providing some tips on how to negotiate a new job offer or a better situation in your current job.

Below are some key points from the video and ideas from my own experiences. As someone who works in human resources field, I have seen negotiations go very well and also very badly. Avoid having a disaster conversation by using the tips below to help guide you. 

Negotiating A New Job

1. Do your Research

If you have read my blog post about interviewing, then most likely you would have already thoroughly researched the position and company you are pursuing. When you have a good understanding of the role that you are interviewing for then you are also well equipped to negotiate when being offered the position. For example, when negotiating a salary you should have data on average salaries for the role. This should include the job duties that were discussed during the interview along with those written in the job description. 

You should have a really good understanding of the role, company, and the industry or market you will be working in. You will need to consider all compensation being offered. This not only includes the starting salary, but also bonus potential, benefits and other perks. These factors can come in handy during the negotiation. For example, if you will be paying more for benefits each month in the new role, then you can use this fact to negotiate a higher salary. Will you have a longer commute? Are you losing any company perks that translate into additional costs to consider? These things will typically help in your case for a higher salary. 

2. Know Your Must Haves  

Whenever you negotiate anything, you must go into the discussion knowing exactly where you are willing to compromise. Think about what things you must have to accept a new position and also the things that are just nice to have, but really won't effect your decision. Maybe you are looking to gain an additional week of vacation, but are fine with the original salary being presented. You will not always gain everything you ask for, but be sure to get the things that are most important to you. 

3. Be Ready to Hear The Word No

This piece advice is pretty common. It's actually been said to me when ever I've negotiated buying a car. When negotiating a new job, the key is to be polite, but also firm in your ask. Be ready to be told "no" and know whether you will walk away or move on without getting your request. Most likely there will be some wiggle room in negotiating things like salary, vacation time or start date. You may not get the exact number you originally asked for, but in my experience you will receive better than what was originally presented to you. 

Negotiating In Your Current Job

1. Talk with Your Manager
Have multiple conversations with your supervisor about your interests and wants. Whether you are negotiating a new salary, cost of a training, vacation, or a promotion it must start with a conversation and typically not just one. Be ready to negotiate just as if you were discussing a new position, but also leverage the relationship you have with your manager. 

2. Highlight Your Value
Tie in your position or ask to the business in order to show the benefits to the company. A specific example of this is provided in the webcast. Let's say you would like to go to a training that will increase your knowledge or skill set. You should know how it will benefit the organization. Will you be a lot more effective in your role? Will you bring back skills and teach them to your team? This type of information will show your employer the return on investment and make your ask more appealing. 

3. Understand the Market
Understanding your value will help you when negotiating overall. Think about the niche skills and talents you bring to your company. What is the market rate in your area for someone holding these skills? These are the things you should  understand and be ready to discuss during a negotiation. 

Know your worth. Show your worth. State your Ask. Provide the Reasoning (ROI). Be Ready for the "Yes", "Yes, but" and the occasional "No".   

Happy Hunting!

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