GET THE SALARY YOU WANT
Congratulations! You have been offered a new job. Could this be the dream job you've been looking for?
Before you break out the champagne to celebrate, take some time to make sure the job offer is what you really want.
What if the proposed salary offer falls short of your expectations? A 2005 survey by CareerBuilder.com found that 58% of executives surveyed leave room for negotiations when offering a new employee's salary.
However, in order to negotiate for more money, you will have to present a strong case explaining why your particular set of skills and experience warrant a higher salary than what the employer is offering.
If you decide to ask for a higher starting salary, spend as much time as you can gathering information and preparing what to say, then make an appointment with the interviewer either in person or by phone. Arrange for an appointment within a couple of days of their formal offer to show your continued interest in the position.
Before you begin negotiations, make sure that you’re on top of current industry salary ranges in your geographic location. You may be able to learn typical salary ranges for your position by networking with other people working in your field if you happen to have a network that is generous in sharing career information.
However, many people will not discuss how much they’re earning, so you may need to rely instead on online resources. Some professional associations have salary information available. For example, you can find average 2007 starting salaries for administrative support staff in Canada and the U.S. at the website of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
Once you arrive at a figure based on your research, consider preparing your counter offer based on the slightly higher end of what you would be willing to accept. As long as your skills and experience deserve consideration at this higher pay scale, there’s a good chance the employer will propose a salary somewhere between their initial offer and yours, if not accept your offer outright.
However, no amount of money will make it easier to show up for work when you have serious concerns about the job or your work environment. Although interviews can be nerve-wracking if you are concerned about making a good impression, remember that they are also an opportunity for you to learn about the employer. Some questions you can ask yourself after the interview include:
In addition to what you will get out of the job, don't forget to consider what the job will cost you in terms of time and money. For example, will you have a long commute? Will you need to buy new work clothes? Will you have to pay for parking?
If you want more money but the employer is not able to move on the salary, you can ask about non-monetary benefits such as additional time off, flexible hours of work, working from home, bonus structure, shares, health benefits, training and education, or anything else the employer might be able to provide. If it’s not cash out of hand, your future employer may be more likely to agree.
If not, and especially if this is your first position in this field, remember that what the job might lack in a hefty paycheck, it may make up for in valuable experience. Once you have more experience, you will be in a better position to negotiate a higher salary.
by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
FabJob.com is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).
FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites.