Salary negotiations are the trickiest part of the deal when you’re heading into the dream job, or trying to be properly paid for the job you have.
It’s the Goldilocks conundrum — Push too hard and you build resentment that can undermine your success. Hold back and you’re the one feeling resentful.
And the tricky bit just might be getting trickier, now that the news is rife with evidence that it’s becoming an employer’s market again.
So, how do you manage this delicate task and still get what you truly deserve?
Well, let’s start with that. What do you truly deserve? Information is power, so know your value on the open market. Check out sites like PayScale, available here on Workopolis for a take on what the going rate is for your role and experience, in your city.
You could also try old-fashioned sleuthing, but it’s a delicate conversation to find salary information from former employees, competitors or your network. Tread carefully.
It’s a dance, even when you do have a figure in mind. Here are a few of the steps:
You’re a person not a number. Don’t get caught offering a salary figure too soon. It’s another Goldilocks situation – if your number is too high, you can get pitched from the running; too low and you don’t look senior enough to be taken seriously.
Try to have them name their range first. If you must give an answer, talk about total compensation – salary, bonuses, benefits and so on; alternatively offer a range of what might make you happy, stressing that salary is just one of your considerations.
Never lie. Tempting as it may be to embellish your current salary, and especially tempting if you’re underpaid, those who do the background checks can verify these things and the result can be a rescinded offer. Be honest about your expectations.
Don’t accept the first offer. Often a company will expect a little negotiation so there may be wiggle room on the salary offer. As well, think total package. If the salary isn’t as high as you’d like, see if other benefits can make up for the shortfall. Sometimes extra vacation time or flexible work hours can go a very long way should money not buy happiness.