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Helpful Tips for Salary Negotiation

Aparna Iyer
In these financially troubled times, accepting a job offer without negotiating your salary can be the worst thing to do. Here are some tips that will help you negotiate the best salary possible, so you don't have to worry about your financial stability in the months to come.
Many times, people feel that they are not being adequately compensated for their skills and expertise.
Although it is true that monetary compensation and rewards should be in proportion to one's ingenuity and resourcefulness, only people who have successfully mastered the art of salary negotiation can hope to have their compensation clearly aligned with the skills that they bring to the table.
The given salary negotiation tactics may be of use to people who feel unappreciated and undervalued on account of being paid less than what they deserve.

Useful Pointers for Salary Negotiation

Tips for successful salary negotiation are indispensable, especially in the current environment when there is stiff competition for jobs. Going by the recent numbers since the economy went into recession, the number of job seekers who are vying for each opening is at an all time high.

Negotiate Only After Getting an Offer

Many times, candidates who attend interviews start negotiations even before they have completed the initial rounds of interviews, and have impressed upon the prospective employer that they are the right candidate for the job.
As a rule of thumb, one should never broach the subject regarding monetary compensation unless the final round of interview is well underway. In fact, it is best to negotiate after having the offer in writing.

Know What the Position Entails

In order to negotiate, one needs to know what the position entails and accordingly assess whether one is the right candidate for the job. Understanding the nature of work is indispensable from the point of view of successful negotiations.

Never Give the First Figure

In their enthusiasm to get the best deal, people often make the mistake of mentioning the salary before the employer broaches the subject. It is never a good idea to quote the first figure on account of the following reasons:
The prospective employer may find the candidate worth rewarding and may have mentally decided on a compensation package that includes both salary and bonus.
The candidate may have underestimated his/her worth and may end up asking for a compensation that is less than what the employer had in mind. Moreover, the candidate may be so intent on negotiating the salary that he/she may miss out on the bonus altogether.

Focus on the Entire Package

People often fail to look at the broad picture and focus only on the salary. Consider the entire compensation package before deciding on further negotiations. The package may include affordable dental and health insurance, employee discounts, extended leaves and enticing retirement programs that may be more than compensated for the less than expected salary.
In case one is unsuccessful when it comes to negotiating the salary, one should try and negotiate other elements of the compensation package. This is a very useful salary negotiation tip that is ignored by most people.

Don't Jump at the First Offer

Women generally make the mistake of accepting the first offer that comes their way, since most women take a break from work to raise a family and an interrupted work history makes it difficult to get a satisfactory offer.
Explore and assess the job market and avoid settling on a job that does not meet their standards with respect to salary, work environment, job profile, etc. Although face-to-face negotiations are the best strategy, people who don't feel confident about their ability to negotiate from across the table may consider drafting a salary negotiation letter.
Hopefully, the given tips would have provided some insight on the art of salary negotiation. Ultimately, it's up to the candidates to project themselves in a manner that makes them seem indispensable to the prospective employer.