Salary negotiations make headlines on a regular basis for those big names in sports, television, and movies. Most of us could just about choke hearing movers and shakers whine about getting mere thousands — per game, per race, or per episode, just to name a few. Heck, we would love to make that in a year, right? Actors and athletes alike have gone on strike over the issue of salary negotiations (shortened hockey season sound familiar?) but that's not an option for most of us.
So how does the average person go about negotiating a reasonable career salary, yet one that appropriately compensates us for what we can do for the company? (And what we can live happily on?)
So How Does One Negotiate?
Here are some tips for an individual to get the salary he or she is worth based on relevant experience and expertise on the job:
Be mindful of the economy and make reasonable salary requests, but don't undervalue yourself either.
Understand what the position entails as well as the market value of the position. Researching average salaries for similar positions is key.
Demonstrate how and why experience and expertise matter, and how they validate a better or higher salary. You'll need to sell yourself! You'll have to convince hiring managers (and often a number of other decision makers), much like any marketing expert has to convince consumers to buy a product or service, and demonstrate why you are absolutely, positively, without a doubt the very best person for the job.
Provide examples of accomplishments and value added to past or present companies. Show them that you increased the bottom line, even if you weren't in a position where that is measured tangibly.
Speak with confidence and calmness, and remain in control of emotions.
Be appropriately enthusiastic about the position, but never manic or desperate.
Don’t be replaceable or forgettable.
Keep customers or clients in mind.
Don’t mix business with pleasure — only address aspects of the company, the job, anticipated contributions to the company. Don’t beg for the higher salary because of personal or family needs.
Anticipate objections, have a backup plan, and offer alternatives.
Snag Some Confidence and Go For It
That’s right; take a clue from that actor or athlete who may appear to be way overpaid, yet who exudes the confidence to demand the salary he or she wants — and usually gets. If you believe you are worth it, so will they, within reason.
Go forth and state your case for a higher salary with conviction. In a tight economy and competitive field, silently hoping may not fly. Ask and — very often — you shall receive.
K'Lee Banks has written more than 200 articles about small businesses, entrepreneurship, social media, and the importance of maintaining a good online reputation for various sites including Reputation.com. She also pens articles about careers, specifically how you can enhance your job situation.